We met with the county social worker handling our little baby’s case. Besides being inundated with the plethora of appointments we need to take the baby to as part of court and agency required assessments and services, we were also told that if the adoption were to happen, we would not expect it to happen until up to 24 months later! She told us though that we should know more clearly where things are heading after 12 months! But during that time, we’ll get no updates on the case’s progress. So at least for 12 months, we wouldn’t know where things were heading; we would be in the dark for a year.
People have said to us, “Don’t get too attached to the baby because you may have to let him go.” They suggest we should hold back from the baby, otherwise if we allow ourselves to fully love him and include him in our lives we may get seriously hurt. It makes sense to protect oneself emotionally; self-preservation is natural and key to living.
But when we look at this child, feel him in our arms and listen to him when he coos, cries and “talks,” we find that we both choose to love him and can’t help but to love him. We look at him and see that what he needs is not a babysitter but parents. As of now, we’re called to be his parents at least for this period of his life. If after a year, he leaves us, he may not remember us and, yes, it will surely break our hearts. But I have to honestly say my sense of love has been challenged in a practical way. I’m challenged and called to love him not because I know he will be here for me in my old age, or that I’ll get to be at his college graduation, or that I’ll get to help tie his first tie, or that I’ll get to play ball or Legos with him when he becomes a boy. I don’t have any of these foreseeable things as certainties in the future. But what I have with him is now. And right now, I choose to love him with the risk that in a year this may leave a deep hole in my heart. I choose to love him because what he needs right now is a father. I choose to love him because if you could see him like the way I see him, you have to love him. I choose to feed him, change him, burp him, embrace him, buy toys for him, play with him, sing to him, read to him, talk to him and pray over him… right now. The love I’m learning and choosing to give is one that expects nothing in return. It is a love that is offered now with no guarantees for a future. But I do believe that while I may not have a future with him, the love I sow in him now (though he may not remember it) will leave an imprint on his soul for a lifetime.