The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A plain, white card

... for Father's Day

Ask any dad and most will agree: you can't be ready ahead of time for the job of being a father.

That was especially true in 1978 for Wayne, to whom fatherhood came early — weeks early.

Doctors were as surprised as everyone else when Wayne's wife, Alice, gave birth to twins. In 1978, before ultrasounds, the boys' heartbeats were so in sync that the doctors believed she was having a healthy single pregnancy. Friends and family thought Wayne was pulling a prank when he called to say he had twin sons.

The joking mood turned serious as doctors worked to keep the twins alive, born at 27 weeks gestation.

In 1978, a man named Wayne holds his
In 1978, a man named Wayne holds his son, born at only 27 weeks.

During the roller-coaster ride of their sons' touch-and-go existence, Wayne and Alice drew closer to God and to one another. Wayne's faith had been lukewarm since adolescence when he'd quit attending church altogether. But when the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pomaria, S.C., arrived, scrubbed up and used sterile water to baptize each son, Wayne's faith in Christ was cemented. That day, in a hospital conference room, he prayed and placed his trust in the Lord, no matter what the future held for him and his family.

Each day after finishing his work as an accountant at a Columbia, S.C., construction company, Wayne joined his wife at the hospital. It was a daily occurrence — except the one day the family gathered around the tiny coffin of the oldest twin, 9-day-old Patrick, who had developed intestinal gangrene and died of a staph infection.

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