Let’s talk about love. Love that is unselfish. Love that grabs a tiny portion of your heart and slowly grows and grows until it is simply impossible to deny. A love that prods you to take a risk though that risk seems great. And scary. A love that takes over and says do something, make a difference…act.
Two days ago, I sent you over to my sister’s post to share in her news. It has always been her story to tell and I wasn’t going to say one word on this blog until she felt the time was right to post about it. When she did, the words poured from the center of her being, from a heart that is full to the brim with love. From a heart that knows, absolutely, that the right decision was made.
I’m so proud of her. The decision to adopt Little Z was not an easy one. It took time. With every life decision, questions are raised, ‘what ifs’ abound, emotions run high, fear lies in wait. But in the end, when that blessed sense of clarity arrives on the doorstep to your heart and mind, all wrestling stops. Peace arrives.
This little boy who almost didn’t make it, who has fought every step of the way, who is filled with love and humor and gutsiness, this little boy stole the hearts of everyone who came into his life. He is an angel. But he needed a chance to be loved and nurtured by a forever family, a family that understood his special needs and was willing to help him be all that he could and should be. And all along, Meredith has only wanted what is best for him. If that meant it was better for another family to adopt him, she would have accepted that. But it became clear that the family for Little Z was her family.
My nephews, one in high school, the other in college, have embraced him. My brother-in-law, just two years younger than me, has opened his heart. In the middle of all the worries about time, commitment, age and major life changes, he said these words: Don’t we have enough love in our hearts to love another little boy?
Talk about clarity.
This family, my family, rocks me to the core and fills me with joy. And ever since we knew there was even the tiniest idea, the smallest seed of a thought that adopting might be an option, Don and I have been cheering them on.
Easy for me to say, of course, but I knew. I knew this boy was meant to be with them. I had only to listen to Meredith’s words, her voice, as she spoke of him. At first, he was a patient, a child that needed Meredith’s loving therapy. But soon, Little Z came up in many a phone conversation. He stayed with her family when his foster parents went on vacation. He became more and more a part of her life and the life of her husband and sons. They fell in love.
Falling in love isn’t just a romantic thing. Falling in love happens when you open your heart. When you let go of your walls of defense and say yes. When you realize that love is not finite, but infinite in its capacity. When you realize that, in the end, love is all. Love is truth. Nothing else is real.
It’s a funny thing. When I look at photos of Little Z, my arms ache to hold him. It’s always been that way, since the first time Meredith sent me a photo from her phone. I can almost smell him. Somehow, the DNA that Meredith and I share is so strong that my response to Little Z has always been visceral, that of a family member, an aunt – long before this decision was made.
I remember one of my nephews, long ago, hugging me when I was taking care of him while his parents were away and saying, “You feel like my mommy.” It comforted him. DNA, touch, scent, bone structure, or a sense of belonging…who knows? But he knew. Just as I know that Little Z is my nephew. There’s no denying it.
I hear his sweet voice on the phone, calling me Aunt Claudie. He sings to me. I cannot wait to meet him in person and hold him in my arms.
With all the negative news we hear, all the self-serving and selfish actions that seem to permeate our society, it’s important to remember all the good that is out there.
I have only to look at my sister and her family.
Meredith has asked me to thank all of you for your wonderful comments on her post. She responded to the ones with an email address attached to the comment, but not all of them had one. So thank you from Meredith.