By Jenny Lou Jones

With the birth of our first child, Lance told me that he’d help me rock our new baby to sleep if only I’d agree to buy a La-Z-Boy.  His argument was that all decent and caring fathers had one thing in common—a big, boxy wad of material that calls itself a chair.  Instead of La-Z-Boy, it should be named as the 51st state.  And even though the chair had its own zip code, we bought it.

I know that all the shows on HGTV would throw out any large chair made of “suede-like” fabric that resembled a small house with arms.  Vern or Candice or Genniveve would toss it in the HGTV dumpster with all ceiling fans and anything with barn animals on it.  But no one could argue its healing qualities when the boys rocked each other to sleep every night.

Once a man puts his behind in the chair for the first time, he instantly adds whiskers, muscles and testosterone.  As he sits in it, the chair becomes human and wraps its arms around him and gives him a soft place to lay his head.  The chair is the embodiment of his mother, father, first crush, his wife, his childhood dog and all who love him.

Whole stores are dedicated to this nesting chair.  I’ve even seen little plastic tables that attach to the arm.  There are chair caddies to store all 52 remotes, a golf magazine, a used Kleenex, a Porsche and several small power tools. It’s like a throne where all things needed are within arms reach so there’s no reason to get out of the chair at all.  Any well seasoned chair could feed a man for days just from the cereal and potato chip crumbs in between the cushions.  I’ve heard that if someone invented a La-Z-Boy with a catheter, the inventor could top Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s wealth combined.

One night I heard our 5 year old son screaming, “Help me, somebody, help me.”  I ran downstairs and Landon had his head stuck in the part that is the foot rest.  When I say stuck, I mean, really stuck.  Lance was out of town at the time so I called my neighbor.  He had to take off the whole bottom half of the chair to free my little circus performer.  Landon looked at me when it was done and said, “I just wanted to see if my head would fit.”

Our now-grown son, Landon and his wife Laura, will have to start looking for a bulky chair soon because they are in the process of adopting a child from Russia.  So far, they’ve filled out three inches of paperwork and have sent it off to an agency.  After several months, they got the okay and high-tailed it to “the ends of the earth” to meet their mystery child.  They are excited to begin their journey of becoming a family and eventually having 2.5 children, a dog, and a white picket fence.

After their initial meet and greet, Landon and Laura brought home a video of meeting their 15 month old son.  At the beginning of the video, we saw a nurse walking in and placing a small, dark-haired boy in Laura’s arms.  In the movies, the child would instantly understand what was going on and grab his new parents and give them a wink and a high five.  But what really happened was Little Boy lay stiff backed in Laura’s arms.  He constantly tried to comfort himself by grasping his own hands.  He gazed over their heads and around them, but never really looked at them for any length of time.

The next day showed a softening and Little Boy relaxed some and ate applesauce that Landon fed him.  As we watched the last day evolve, we saw a more comfortable Little Boy look directly into his soon-to-be parents’ eyes.  He began to relax, to feel comfortable and to sprawl over Landon and Laura’s laps.  I commented that he was sitting on them like they were his personal La-Z-Boy.

Then right before the video ended, we watched as Little Boy’s hand reached out to Landon and grabbed his finger.  Yep, it was like an ending to a Hollywood movie.  But the story isn’t over quite yet.  Laura and Landon are back home waiting until their Russian court date is set so they can bring back Little Boy. They can hardly wait until he can run around and make too much noise, knock over prized possessions, track mud on the carpet, and hear those dreaded words…”Wait until your father gets home.”  Little Boy doesn’t even know what’s ahead, but his parents can see the future with him in their family.

When I think about how I am with my Heavenly Father, I wonder if I ever come to Him stiff-backed.  Even as God sees what would be good for me, I find myself uncomfortable with trusting His future plans.   If I take the time and spend some days with God, I slowly relax into him, His will.  His desires become my desires.  I look around and see that he has brought me into his family.   I slowly relax with him and into him and sprawl in his lap because I can trust who He is.  As I reach for Him, I put out my hand and he wraps his hand of security, of certainty, of comfort around my finger.

*You can follow the process of Landon and Laura’s Russian adoption on .