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Meeting Jakob (by Jeff Selph)

Before I introduce my guest blogger today, I wanted to wish my beautiful, brave, butt-kicking friend Annie K a very Happy Birthday, and invite you to drop in on her blog and do the same. Love you, gal! (Y’all really need to stop having birthdays on Mondays and Wednesday. It messes up my schedule.)

And now back to our regularly scheduled guest post…

I usually write a short intro for the folks that guest post here, but Jeff has done such a good job explaining how our paths crossed on the internets, I’ll just let him tell you. I will go on record as saying that he is one of many chronically sarcastic pastors (my favorite kind of pastors, btw) that somehow find their way to my blog. Wonder why that is…

Here’s Jeff:

I am a youth and children’s pastor in Kalamazoo, MI. The most important thing in my world is my family. My wife’s name is Sarah, and my son’s name is Jakob. I am a nerd. I have no problem with that. I grew up Baptist, but like sheep, I have gone astray. I am non-denominational.

I, like many of you, found this blog by reading funny comments left by Kathy on Stuff Christians Like posts. If I see a comment I like or hate, I usually click on the person’s profile, check out their blog, and start liking them more or disliking them more based on what I see. My first visit here, I found her yelling at some kid for stealing her kid’s Pokemon cards. It was kind of a rant. I like ranting and the idea of being mean to children, so I decided to subscribe. I have been amused, appalled, moved, and incited to rage many times over the last year, and I have enjoyed it.

A few weeks ago, Katdish – I really believe that is her real name, even if her mom calls her something else – pointed out that I had not offered to write a guest post for her blog yet. I was simultaneously flattered and confused. I was flattered, because I am not really a writer’s writer. I don’t think my blog even has a theme. So for someone to ask me to write for their blog is a novel and flattering concept. I was confused, because I don’t know how this guest blogging thing works. I had no idea that you are supposed to offer to guest post on someone else’s blog. I thought they were supposed to ask you. Is offering to write for someone else’s blog not like inviting yourself over to someone else’s house? I think it is exactly the same, and I was never allowed to invite myself over to anyone’s house when I was younger. That explains why I’ve never offered my services to anyone, and probably never will, unless I become really famous, because I’d probably be really arrogant about the whole thing, and I would assume that everyone would want me to write for them. But since she has asked, I will write, and I will tell you about when I met my son.

My wife, Sarah, is Korean, but she has a very light, fair complexion. I am a real whitey, of Jewish and German descent. It doesn’t get much whiter than this. I always looked forward to whenever we would have a child, because I really do think Asian kids are the cutest. My one hangup was that I was disappointed that if we had a child, he would probably not look anything like me.

In January of last year, we learned that Sarah was pregnant. We were so excited. We couldn’t wait to find out the gender. Once we found out that she was having a boy, we started imagining what he would look like. Of course, he would have brown eyes, pin straight brown hair, almond shaped eyes, and a flat nose. He had to, because he was half Korean. Most half-Asian kids I’d seen looked predominately Asian. So we also figured he’d have a little bit darker complexion than me. We were hoping that maybe he could at least have my smile or ears or something.

Sarah had a scheduled c-section. The morning was hectic. They decided that due to previous back injuries that Sarah had sustained, they didn’t want to do an epidural. They just knocked her out. So they escort me to the hall for “just a moment.” A few minutes later, one doctor came out and told me that I had to stay out in the hall. I was pretty upset, because I didn’t even tell Sarah that I loved her or give her a kiss goodbye, which I would have done if I had known. So they station me outside the operating room. I took out my camera, because I wanted to at least video the procedure for Sarah, since she was going to sleep through the whole thing. Not happening. A scrubbed up doctor walked to window, pointed at the camera, and told me to put it away. I couldn’t video. So I took out my other camera to take pictures. Truth be told, I did take a little video with my digital camera, just to spite them. They don’t know, but I feel better about it.

There was a lot of commotion and jerky movements in the delivery room. It looked like the doctors were trying to wretch Jakob free from Sarah’s incision. I was a little nervous, because that’s how I roll. But I kept my eyes trained on the doctor that would no doubt be holding my son up for me to see. After about fifteen minutes, a nurse came up behind me and told me to come with her. I refused. I told her that I had a good view of what was going down, and I wanted to get a picture. She insisted that I come into the next room with her. After a little back-and-forth, I agreed to come.

Inside the room, there was a screaming baby boy. I looked at him for a moment. It meant very little to me. I was too excited to meet my son. I started to walk right past him. There were two delivery rooms over there designated for c-section babies, so I assumed that he had just come from the room behind me. After a few seconds, I noticed that there were tags laying next to this screaming baby – who I found to be very distracting – were little hospital bracelets waiting to be placed on his ankles. They read, “Baby Boy Selph.”

I had no emotional reaction at that moment. The very first thought that popped into my head was, “But he’s white. He should be yellow.” After analyzing his color for a moment, I got excited. I couldn’t believe it. Through the screaming, i could see a few things about him: he had my mouth, his nose wasn’t too flat, he had my hairline, and he was screaming uncontrollably. He actually looked a little like me. It was amazing.

I’m proud to be his dad. He’s beautiful. I know, he’s a boy, and I should say that he’s handsome. He’s that, too. Every time he starts doing something new, I get so excited. I anticipate that even when he aggravates me, I will always think the best of him. He’s my son. And if he ever asks me what I thought the first time I saw him, I will tell him the truth: “But he’s white. He should be yellow.”


Jeff Selph


To read more from Jeff Selph, visit him at Selph Inflicted and follow him on the twitter at @jewda4.