I gave a baby up for adoption 32 years ago. [You don’t know what I did there, so I will tell you. I first wrote that I’d given a son up for adoption. I changed it to baby because I’m ambivalent about calling him my son when I didn’t raise him.] Strange, that. Feeling like I don’t have permission to call that baby my son? I don’t even know what that is. When is a child yours?
I wrote about the adoption years ago. Distilled everything down to the two days after delivery. Love bears, is what it comes down to. Love bears all things. Bear the baby and let him go, at birth, or 27 years after.
When Jake was born, four years later, I said, out loud, “I get to keep him.”
Your kids never seem to remember what good stuff you did for them before age 10. I know I don’t remember a lot of what my mother did (but I’ve always thought it was because, you know, she didn’t do much good stuff.) (Wrong-o!)
Mine don’t remember a lot of my being present: holding Jake’s arthritic knee under warm water when he was a toddler crying from pain; playing hide and shriek in the dark; laying out on the lawn and looking at the stars; cuddling when he’d let me. Not a cuddler, that one.
Or: Swimming in mud. (Not me, thank you.)
Taking a break from mud play for a picture.
They knew they loved each other, once.
I hold these still frames tightly, the way I can’t hold my boys. I fooled myself for a while, but now, acceptance is trickling in. Or, well, resignation right now. Real acceptance’ll be later, I guess.
I am counting on this:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Bears all things.
My boys: I love you.
This is me, hoping.