The first time we met was almost exactly two years ago. I drove our son to the park where you were waiting for our social-worker-supervised introduction and I felt physically sick with nervousness. Months later, sitting on your couch, you would share with me that you could tell I was good for your baby because I had intensely wary eyes that day… protective eyes. I laughed and declared that it hadn’t been intentional and you confessed that it had been comforting to you; you could see that I loved your son as if I had birthed him myself.
Once the adoption was finalized, we entered the vastly uncharted waters of open adoption following foster care. Sometimes, (I will be honest here because we’ve had so many lay-it-out conversations prior to this), I hated it so much because I’m human and thus, by nature, selfish and our ties were not easily compartmentalized. Once, when we were spending time with you and the girls, you commented on how you all had the same hands and my heart nearly broke. But the hardest part about it all was that I love(d) you. I wanted so badly to be furious at you for your past mistakes, but your heart was so GOOD and I felt nearly crazy sometimes with being jealous of you and being heartbroken for you; it was a source of frequent turmoil. I am HUMAN; I am a dwelling of GOD! The worst and best of me wrestling with the worst and best of you.
And now I am here, on Earth, with our son, while you are most certainly with our Jesus. (Your faith in the face of adversity made me frequently question my own.) There will be questions as he grows and I ache that you will not be here to answer them. But I knew you. Openness was a blessing in this haywired merging of families and I can confidently tell him that you loved him intensely. Because you didn’t give up fighting for your rights to raise this little boy, because you showed me so much respect in a situation that repeatedly ripped your heart out, because you loved me well, I am thankful; there will be nothing I need to make up about your love for your son. When I told you I loved you I meant it- I mean it. I am saddened beyond words in your absence because always, in the end, love won out and God is bigger and, though our relationship was far from perfect, the best you can hope to accomplish in a broken world is to seek out the best in one another and lean on grace for the rest.