wedding surprise

This weekend my brother and I had the honor of walking our sister Jenny down the isle and giving her to Rob VanHouten.  It was, just as it was with Bethany, bitter-sweet.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair that dad could not be at any of his kid’s weddings.  Sometimes I wonder what he would say to us or if he would cry at the sight of his little girls as they approached in all white. These are the times we miss him the most.  But I do know that he would be proud of the women they have become and the men they have chosen.

I wasn’t planning to write about that but hey, that’s what came out so….

The wedding was absolutely stunning.  The bride, even more so.  The sacred union between Jenny and Rob was obviously the highlight of the day.  Hearing family read vows and commit their lives to each other will never get old to me.  The second most awesome thing of the night came at the reception.  Cassie and I had loaded up our fancy plates with fine cuisine and were sitting down at table 2 when…everyone at our table started staring at us.  At the same time we heard our names over the speakers and the DJ reading a note from the bride and groom.  Now the whole place was laser beaming at us as we listened to the voice explain that instead of the guests receiving “party favors” the bride and groom would like to give in support our adoption!  Cassie, being weak, was immediately in tears.  I, with he-man like fortitude, cried too.  Jenny and Rob were soon at our table giving us hugs and encouragement.  It was beautiful.

Each table held a pile of puzzle pieces that we had not even noticed.  Once the gift was made apparent to us, our untouched dinner was pushed to the center and we devoured the task of piecing it together.  Here is the promise:

A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families.

Psalm 68:5-6a

Thank you so much Jenny and Rob!  And thank you Bethany and Chris for hand-painting each puzzle!

We are so loved.




  1. hannah · January 25, 2012

    That is the sweetest story.


    • Julie · January 30, 2012

      This brought me to tears! You guys have such a wonderful and supportive family! I’m so excited to see all that God is going to do as he brings a special little one into your lives. God Bless!


      • wecantadopt · February 8, 2012

        Thank you so much Julie. Your photography for both of my sister’s weddings was nothing short of inspiring. You have a wonderful gift! Thanks for loving on our family and being such a great friend to Jenny. God bless you too!


  2. Kristen · January 30, 2012

    The amazing love of Christ so beautifully shown in our own families. What a gift you received from Jenny & Rob. Your sweet child out there somewhere is being loved in so many ways. Praying for your and Cassie and your sweet little one that just hasn’t quite made it to America yet 🙂 It was so good to see you yesterday at Northwest, too. Love you! Don & Kris


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