Our family had an incredible loss a week ago when my son and his wife experienced a failed adoption, six weeks after a beautiful baby boy was placed in their arms, given their last name and told he would be theirs from that day forward.
What transpired since that first life-changing day resulted in the awakening of such love for this sweet boy and full-on immersive 24/7 parenting until they received word this past Tuesday that they would have to surrender their son to his birth parents. The details are not mine to share other than to say this has been beyond heartbreakingly painful for them to experience – and for all that love them (and the little boy we considered our family) to witness as well as to process our own grief and theirs.
Yet in spite of this pain, regardless of their loss, they have demonstrated such strength, such care for each other and such courage throughout. I am humbled by their determination to understand what they’ve been through, to find the best in each facet of their experience and to look to the future with such hope.
My son married into a family as close as his own – and what sustains all of us, and what I hope helped them most, is how quickly our families came together, both locally and from further away, to offer love, support and even a few laughs, knowing we can’t change what happened but we’ll all get through it together.
Every family has its share of hardships and its share of joy, and as much as we enjoy the best of times, I’ve seen my own family at its very best when the worst has happened. As we came together this past week, it felt very much like smaller pieces of a magnet finding their way to one solid structure again. We’re each powerful on our own but at our strongest when we’re together.
As our family has grown, inclusive now of several extended families, I am reminded of the love and care that has resulted for and from everyone within that ever-widening circle. We have little control over difficult circumstances that come our way but what sustains us each time is what we give to and receive from each other.
And for that, I am grateful.