Updated: Jun 23, 2022
Eight years ago, almost exactly, I started blogging as “BoyMom.” I told my stories of faith, family, and international adoption, and to this day it seems like posts about the “boys” are reader favorites.
Of course, the boys are now men. Five young adults, all in their 20’s. Three married, three still in school. Two close to home, two-going-on-three ridiculously far away. I’ll start my updates with “going on three.”
Last August Nils and Brina got married in our lakeside backyard. They’d met at Veritas Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Nils had recently been hired as a worship pastor, and Brina was on staff with a ministry called SALT. Their real connection began the week both of them bunked with Nils’ pastor-boss when their own (individual) rented accommodations lost power due to The Derecho. An “inland hurricane” tore through Cedar Rapids during Nils’ first weeks on staff…a gigantic bummer for the city, but a happy boon for my son. Their whirlwind relationship (pun intended) was a year (maybe) from first love to tying the knot.
And now, as I write this, they are somewhere in the neighborhood of New Mexico, in route with two cars, a trailer, a bike rack, and both of their dads, bound for their new home in southern California. (Don't worry, the dads aren't staying.) My once-baby is following in his father's footsteps in terms of employment—working for the same company, doing stuff with numbers. (Kyle is an actuary; Nils' specialty is the math side of economics.) But sadly for his mama, "following in the footsteps" will not be bringing him closer to home. Not yet. They tell us it’s not forever, so we’ll see.
Nils, who is birth-order #3 and Felipe #4 are both twenty-three. Felipe falls into the categories of “still in school” and “ridiculously fall away”—although he is home this summer for an extended visit. Felipe has been studying “bacteriology” at a university in Colombia, his childhood home country. His adulting experience has involved all sorts of adventures, including a stolen passport, several moves, and starting school just weeks before Covid shut down the world. If you want a fun look into Felipe’s creative genius, check out juan.anderson22 on Instagram. (Juan is Felipe’s first name; he goes by his middle.)
Moving on to Son #2. (I am telling these stories in no particular order.) Luke is married and still in school. Law school at Columbia University in New York City. He is married to Ali, who works for a Minnesota-based company called Medtronic, although thus far the “base” has only brought her to our beloved state for occasional training. These two young-marrieds are living BY FAR the most outlandishly adventurous and (if you ask me) stressful existence of my BoyMom bunch. I once worried about Luke and/or Ali falling off a Colorado 14er in their previous home-state. But that was child’s play compared to their current exploits. Ali drives to hospitals all over the Big Apple; and Luke CANNOT say “no” to any conceivable opportunity to add high-pressure achievements to his ultra-academic life. (Including the opportunity to run the NYC marathon next semester for some law-related nonprofit.) His dad and I are just hoping he makes it out alive.
In contrast. My last two sons—my oldest and youngest—are (at least for now) living closer to home. A blessing I do not take for granted. I say this in part as an attempt to coerce Jimmy into staying local after graduating from college next spring. Jimmy is a business major at a small Christian university in the southwest metro, and he continues to persevere as a soccer player for his sadly struggling team. That said. Jimmy is amazing. He is rocking school and winning at life. I look forward to every opportunity to hang out with my youngest son, even if it means breaking the bank for a Costco run. And it doesn’t hurt that I (as well as every other member of our family) absolutely adore Jimmy’s girlfriend-since-high-school, Sidney. (Quick question for Sid. Are you sure your only grad-school options are in Miami and Colorado Springs—and there’s not a nice option here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes?? Just askin.)
And that leaves Grant. My firstborn. And in my current season of “enjoying my grandkids and writing my book”—my dream come true.
(Short explanation before you other fellows get jealous. When Grant was a sophomore at Bethel University, and I was in my first year at Bethel Sem, I had a weirdly prophetic dream. Three times God asked me this question: “What do you want to do?” And three times I responded: “I want to go to seminary, write books, and enjoy my grandchildren.” And this was LONG before grandkids. I know—crazy.)
So Grant. Married to Kiana, and together these two are truly amazing in all of the ways. Awesome at parenting our two-going-on-three grandkids. (Baby #3 is due in just a couple of weeks.) Seriously creative. In addition to running their incredibly successful photography business, being a worship pastor, and accomplishing nonstop top-notch home-improvement projects, Grant and Kiana have agreed to be my promo and design team for my upcoming book-launch. Notwithstanding the obvious overlap between their mid-July baby-due-date, and my (newsflash) August 1st release date.* Yikes. Honestly, these two are unreal. They are thoughtful and generous and beautiful people. And they live here in Minnesota—just a stone’s throw away. Which means I get to see them and my delightful grands whenever I’m feeling the urge—which is often.
There you go. This is us. The BoyMom crew—and the dad and me.
Which reminds me. It’s about time for a travel update from good ol’ Papi and the California kid…
*It is official. The Covenant Story, which is dedicated to my five sons, has an official release date of August 1, 2022. Stay tuned for more details!