I remember the day his birth mother sat in our waiting shed, ready to surrender her tiny, fragile newborn son for adoption. I can remember her eyes as I promised we would find a beautiful family and how her son would be loved and she needn’t worry. It was the most beautiful sacrifice of love.
My social worker and I were blessed to find a foster family that was willing to care for him while we worked on his paperwork for adoption until an adoptive family was found. It was an American couple only in country for a few years, but wanting to give something, somehow.
That was the beginning of 2010. Imagine.
Loving someone else’s child as your own. Covering all the expenses of his care, special milk, special food, medicine and doctor appointments because of some unexpected health issues. Imagine teaching him everything you taught your now grown up children. Kissing his bumps and scrapes the same way you did 20 years ago with your own sons. Singing the same songs to him at night. Taking him to swim classes, to music classes and letting him sleep in your bed.
And you know he is not yours to keep.
Imagine. Not only giving everything he needed physically, but emotionally, too. Loving him with no reservations. And praying for him. Every night.
It took 16 months to get everything ready and to find a family that we thought would be the right match for this little one.
My heart was racing as the moment of introduction came of the foster parents and the parents-to-be. There were tears, with no words, and then words that were unending. I stepped back and let them share, question, and bond. It was beautiful. They became friends in just those first few hours. Their coffee stayed cold in the cups.
They met the child and gently, skillfully, from father to father, he taught him the tricks and showed him the favorite toys. His hands shook as he let the new daddy hold his son for the first time. It was only for a moment and the child ran again to play. But that moment was magic.
The mothers shared stories, recipes, clothes, diaper sizes, and routines. Tears came and went. Sometimes controlled, sometimes not.
And I stood to the side, holding my breath. The realization that it was working, it was beautiful.
Strange to think how people living on opposite sides of the world, actually had driven the same streets in the same county. Had the same taste in handbags. Laughed at the same things and both liked the Red Sox. I couldn’t have known any of that. They say some matches are made in heaven.
It was time to discharge, and we all knew. The child was doing marvelous. He was entertaining his new mommy and daddy, assured and nudged by his foster mommy and daddy. He was accepting it, carefully, but even his little heart had prepared as best as could be.
God, why was my own heart aching.
My own tears were burning my eyes.
So we stood, in a huddle, arms around each other, all five of us. The little boy, held by his foster daddy, listened quietly. We prayed.
I prayed many things in those few moments and I know God heard every word.
For the foster family, healing, strength, and grace to let go.
For the new parents, who had waited for three years for this day, wisdom, understanding, provision.
For the little child… that he would grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. That he would know how special he was and that God’s hand would be on him all the days of his life.
And for a few holy minutes, God arms held us all. And we knew it.
A last hug, tears unashamed, they walked out the door, a new season in their lives.
And the three of us stood, bravely, alone in our own pain, but yet sharing the same grief.
The foster mom, smiled. “The day he was born, he was born into their family. We were just his safekeepers until they could get here.”
Oh, the courage, the grace, the love they had for that little boy.
May they reap what they sowed. And may the adoptive family be blessed beyond measure with the life of their new son.
Godspeed, little one. Godspeed.