I must admit: I told a lie…to my pastor nonetheless. Maybe I could rephrase it as I convinced an individual to accept a reality that was not going to happen during the duration that they expected.

It was July 28, 2004. I was sitting at my desk at work when the phone rang. I was slightly surprised that it was our social worker on the other end. She was asking how our trip to Las Vegas had gone. You see, my wife had never flown before and we were hoping in the near future to be on a plane bound for Ethiopia to bring home our first child. We made small talk for several minutes as I explained that she had done really well on the trip, even though it was filled with all sorts of turbulence. And then she dropped the bomb.

Quite honestly, I cannot tell you any details about our phone conversation once she told me that there was a small girl half a world away who wanted to call us Mom and Dad. I sat at my desk, the words flying in one ear and right out the other. Finally, I had enough composure to ask her to send me the details in an email. As I sat there in a mild panic waiting for the email to arrive, I tried to figure how I was going to tell my wife.

I picked up the phone.

“Hi, honey. Have you checked the Yahoo account recently?”

These words sparked a flurry of activity, first as we rushed to each other to celebrate but then as we raced around to parents and siblings, proclaiming the wonderful and exciting news. And then I told my lie.

You see, our Associate Pastor at the time was (and is) a close friend. She and I had worked together on consistory and in youth group. She and my wife were just starting a friendship that has grown stronger every day. We knew that we wanted her to baptize our daughter. But, how do you drop by to share the wonderful news without her suspecting something?

I used the angle that I had something for youth group that I wanted to show her. In reality, I did, honestly. However, as to be expected, it was sitting at home.

 She and her husband greeted us, the smell of supper still in the air. They were a little surprised to see that Sherri was with me. It was then that I had to come clean.

“Will you baptize our daughter?”