Even when Jacob isn’t trying, there are times when he really touches my heart in a very positive way. He doesn’t even know he is doing it either.

Today in church, I heard a sad story which, as a father, touched me emotionally. The story was about the one-child policy in another country. Parents are allowed only one child and therefore, want sons because they will earn better livings and therefore be able to care for them better in the future.

Anyways, the reasoning behind the law wasn’t what hit me hard. The fact that parents will give up (either before or after birth) a child if it is a girl or has a defect is what broke my heart. As a result, there are buildings many stories high that are filled with children and babies who were given up on. Most of them either girls or children with a defect. Rows and rows of cribs are there and those that work in these places will simply place a bottle in each crib and move on. If the baby figures out how to drink from the bottle, it drank. The ones that don’t … well, I don’t even want to think about that.

The part that really struck me hard was that most of these babies never know what it is like to be loved or held. That was so tough to hear. Thankfully, our church is one that goes to these types of places on missions to try to help, which makes me so proud.

Still, I think of our little Jacob and am so thankful that he has both Valerie and myself. I thought, “Wow, I mess up — a lot. I may not be a perfect parent, but I am sure better than that, right?” I tend to focus a lot on the mistakes that I make with Jacob, trying to learn from them and do better, but still feeling bad for them.

Then later, when Valerie picked up Jacob from our church’s ITM (Infant/Toddler Ministry) and brought him back into the worship center, he saw me from the door and ran to me while yelling “daaaaaddyyyyyy” and practically jumped into my arms. He was so happy to see me. Then I got emotional again because it was then that I realized something. No matter how much I think I mess up as a parent, no matter how many mistakes I think that I make, it does not matter to Jacob. His love is unconditional. Mistakes are forgotten and all he knows is that I am daddy and he loves me no matter what. The mistakes won’t stop, but neither will Jacob’s love. And trust me, the fact that this lesson was taught to me in church was not lost on me.

Even at 2 years old, an age when you would think that it would be Jacob learning lessons from me, it is actually him who has a thing or two to teach me.