The Joys of Boys

I come across this video on one of my favorite blogs at an hour far too early to be out of my bed. Taking a sip of coffee and pouring puffs across Gabriel’s high chair tray, I drowsily push the play button…

Way too soon for the caffeine to have reached my veins, I am jolted awake.

There is one special need, ironically, that often is the barrier to a child ever finding a permanent home. Being and orphan and being born a BOY…

Can that really be true?

As the mother of two little guys whose boy-filled ways melt my heart daily, it is hard to fathom.

By the time that first sweet little face fills my screen, a lump begins rising in my throat and my eyes threaten to brim over.

And then…some of the reasons to consider adopting a boy:{deep breath}

Because a boy’s laugh is contagious…Because it’s never too soon to buy that first truck…Boys have dreams, too…Boys are soft and sweet…Because playing sports is fun…Because we need more cowboys…Because who else can make a suit look so good…Because we all need a superhero…Because boys love a good adventure…Because boys are gorgeous, too…Because brothers are a wonderful thing…Because boys love playing outside…Because every little boy deserves a family…

The tears are now flowing freely because these truly are the joys my boys bring to my life and, oh, how I know the list can go on!

I adore my little men and find myself smitten with all the things that delight their wild hearts. For someone who has always been a bit of a girly girl (my interests growing up being dancing, singing, acting, art, and anything beautiful), there has been a shift of focus for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s amazing how my love for them has transformed the world around me too. Creepy crawlies have gone from being, well, creepy to really fascinating and what is a day without a good sword fight, cool cars, and at least one game that involves throwing, catching, kicking or hitting some kind of a ball. Life with them in it is good for me…very, very good.

This gratitude for the gift of their little lives in mine is quickly adding gravity to the harsh reality playing across my computer screen. My heart is being torn right in two as I contemplate others just like Jack and Gabriel who are hurting and lonely waiting for a mommy and daddy to come and make them family.

I find myself already responding to questions implied but as yet unasked and I wonder…


Is it wise to let myself go where this train of thought is going to take me? Because once it leaves the station, there is going to be no turning that puppy around. We’re not talking so much along the lines of, “What’s one more?” but more to the effect of, “Why not pack this house with little boys”? A glimpse of my future is coming into focus that resembles a football team, and I can smell the stinky feet already.

Lord, give me strength.

I try to shake it from my mind and tell myself that what I really need is more sleep. Gabriel’s late night feedings and early morning wake-up calls are getting to me more than I realized, and I have to regain my grip on reality…

Or do I?

For I know it to be true that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts nor are His ways our ways. And the wisdom of the Lord is foolishness in the eyes of the world. This craziness does seem to have His fingerprints all over it. This is the way He consistently speaks to my soul and asks me to follow Him along paths as yet unknown. Will I cast out into the deep and lower my nets for a catch? Will I step out of the boat into the raging waters and keep my eyes fixed on Him?

And then, there they are in plain view, written on my screen, the questions my heart had already been asking and I know their answers have already been given.

Can you open your heart to a little boy?…And open your life to adventure?…Every baby boy needs a momma…There are thousands of little boys right now who are dreaming of just one person to believe in them…

Oh, my heart…I can’t take it! Seriously, it really is too much, as if the voice of God Himself is asking me to love his little ones, to be a mother to his sons.

Could that person be YOU?

Game over. Every fiber of my being is shouting, “YES”!

Now I am praying, pleading…Oh God, please let this be done in me, in my family. Allow us this gift, the tremendous blessing of raising your sons. May they grow to be men after your own heart. God let them know the unfathomable love of the Father to the fatherless. Let us show them One who has heard their cries, who has not allowed one tear to fall unnoticed and who will not leave them abandoned as orphans forever.

I can barely wait for Johnny to wake up so that he can see what I am seeing and know what I am knowing….

The poor guy isn’t even greeted with a good morning much less given the chance to make his way to the coffee pot before I pull him over to my laptop. Sure enough, I’m crying again before it has even begun, and he wraps his arms around me as he watches the screen. I can feel his embrace tighten as this truth, one we hadn’t known before this morning sinks in.

I’m not one to cry very easily or often but when I do…well, let’s just say that it’s not pretty. I somehow manage to sob, “Did that have the same effect on you that it had on me”? He jokes that he doesn’t think it could affect anyone as much as it had me. But through the smile on his face, there is an intensity in his eyes and I know.

He sees what I am seeing and knows what I am knowing…

Our sons are out there somewhere, waiting for us bring them home.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9


Alison Oertle

Alison Oertle

Alison Oertle is a wife and mother who works in full time ministry at her Church and serves women and families as a FertilityCare Practitioner. Just when she thought life was settling into a comfortable and somewhat predictable routine, God laughed. As it turns out, a new vision for her future is being revealed that promises to shake things up a bit and involves sharing Christ’s heart for the orphan. Her family is hopeful and excited to see where the glorious unknown will lead as they strive to be faithful to the call. Read more of Alison’s story, a lot of the ordinary day-to-day alongside her deep thoughts about the things that matter most, as the Oertle’s adoption journey unfolds at Let Us Begin.


Wanna see a very special 17-month old boy who is waiting for his family to say yes to him?

Come swoon over this beautiful child.

More information available if you are interested in learning more about him.

8 Responses to The Joys of Boys

  • Gaby says:

    Funny to read this. We are adopting a child from Haiti and while we have not specified a gender, in my heart I think it will be a boy. I pray for a boy. I have one of each and for some reason my heart is set on another little boy. I hope you have a whole football team one day. Be blessed!

  • Ann says:

    Alison, what a wonderful story to glorify your decision to adopt a boy. I love that video–and I love my boys! When we adopted our son Vu, four years ago, we had been waiting and waiting and WAITing for a GIRL! A girl made so much sense–after all we already had FIVE boys and only two girls; our last 2 had been boys, we were ready for some girl fun!; we had a bedroom for a girl and adopting a boy would mean 3 boys sharing. BUT, one day our agency called asking if we would consider a boy–tons of boys were waiting on the waiting child listing (many perfectly fitting our SN list–except that they were boys–and many were even HEALTHY boys, just older). I gave the caller all my reasons why we were still waiting to be matched with a girl–but later was convicted that God loved those boys on the WC listing just as much as he loved the girls that families were waiting months and months for. Then I had a prophetic dream that we were adopting a boy. Hubby and I decided we would be open to a boy–and we saw our son’s face the next day! WHAT A JOY this boy has been! If I had to describe him in one word it would be JOY! Can’t wait to follow your journey! Blessings, Ann

  • Alison says:

    Thank you for the words of encouragement.

    Ann, it is so nice to “meet” you. Do you want to know something funny? That “favorite blog” I referred to where I stumbled across this video … you guessed it :) If you go to my actual post, it actually links to your blog. Yours was one of the first sites I came across last spring when I started to feel the Lord really tugging on my heart to be open to adoption. I have been so encouraged and inspired by your beautiful heart for adoption and the witness of your family. So excited that there is another one on the way! In Him, Alison

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  • I’ve got two boys and LOVE both of them!!! I’d adopt another boy…or two :)…in a heartbeat!

  • Lacy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. Such a good post!

  • Ann says:

    Oh my goodness! Alison, I have Godbumps (goosebumps) all over that the blog was MINE! Praise God for the way He works through us for HIS great glory! I am so thankful I had some small part in bringing another boy home. My heart aches for the boys–I really thought if we ever adopted again it would be a boy–and now we have since adopted two girls (one home and one still waiting)! So, one just never knows! We are SOOOO excited to get to our little Mei Mei. She needs a family so badly. Happy Mothering! Ann e-mail me sometime!

  • Christy says:

    Our boy is waiting for us in South Korea – praying he’ll be here to jump and play with his siblings so soon! Great post, thanks!

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