07/31/2014 10:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

There Are Children to Love


The black-and-white beans danced around the screen. The heartbeats thundered through the speakers. My wife and I could not believe our eyes. We knew exactly what they were: twins.

My mind raced: We are already the proud parents of twin toddlers and a single baby. We are not planning to have more kids. We are actively working against the possibility of another pregnancy. We do not feel like the timing was right. We do not have the resources in place. We are adapting well to the three kids we have. Regardless of the thoughts on planning or preparation, we met a new reality on the screen.

Though they are strangers, I quickly fell in love with those beans on the screen. There was a deep, undeniable understanding that those two children belonged to me, and I to them. I have had my doubts that I could love any more children as much as I love the three children we already have... until I saw the screen.

Sometimes we are not ready or prepared, and yet love finds us anyway. The scenes of children crossing our borders and arriving to this country have touched me no less than the scene I experienced on the sonogram. Now we are a nation sitting next to a metaphorical sonogram machine and staring at the screen. The concerns that I had are no different from the concerns that many in this country have. We were not planning on more children immigrating. We were actively working against the possibility of any more children crossing the border. We don't feel like the timing is right. We feel as if we do not have the resources in place for more children. We were adapting well to the immigrants who were already here. Regardless of the thoughts on planning or preparation, there is a new reality that has met us on the screen. Though they are strangers, it is hard not to fall in love with the faces of all of our human future. These children are our children, and we belong to each other.

When we realized that we were expecting twins, my wife and I could have allowed our plans and preparations to cause us to get upset and angry. We could have blamed each other. We could have blamed the failed birth preventions. We decided not to waste time on such trivial matters; there are children to love. Our nation can be angry that our plans and preparations have been met with unexpected increases in immigration, or we can open our hearts at the realization that there are children to love.

There are often more questions than answers. There certainly are for us. God meets us in those places of questions and dangerously guides us past our borders to a place of love. There are children waiting there who need our help. Will we open our hearts and follow the love we felt when we first saw them on the screen?

Today I join religious leaders and immigration activists to give my body up for arrest in an act of civil disobedience at the White House. I commit myself to this act because I know that the God who loves all children regardless of their nation of origin will be standing with me. Will you stand with us wherever you are?