He had a full head of black, unkempt hair, wide and intellegent eyes, and a very active mouth, but rarely ever uttered a sound. When we were told that the child they had in mind of us had Down's, I am embarrassed to say, my heart sank a little. It would be a slog to connect with him. He would be spacey, incommunicative. I would manage, but only just. I saw what was coming. But, I was wrong.
Because those intellegent eyes needed other eyes. He seeks them out. He must be looking at someone and someone must be looking at him. His greatest happiness is seeing us in the morning after he wakes up. He grins, he sighs, and we fall in love all over again. This is Sam. This is my boy.
My wife has a condition called Endometriosis, besides having minor to severe pain sometimes, it also makes getting pregnant almost impossible. We tried, but nothing ever happened. We moved to a new house, but still nothing. We moved to another country, and yet nothing. We considered fertility treatments, but we felt uncomfortable doing it. We would never advise others against it, but we just felt God telling us not to. So, we continued to pray, get frustrated, get angry, apologize to God, and pray some more. Then, my wife got a crazy idea. What about adoption? Am I comfortable with that? Can I see us adopting a little Japanese baby? I'm not crazy about the idea of getting a disabled kid, but that's okay. I can manage. Let's do it! And so the waiting started.
During that time I began to understand the stress that fathers can get under. We were going to drop down to one income. Liz would stay home and take care of the kid and I would be the one working. Well, that meant taking on private English classes; fifteen a month, actually. I worried about becoming like a Japanese father, rarely ever home, always working, a practical stranger to wife and child. I refused to be like that, but here I was turning into one. I now get home around 8:30 at night most weekday nights, long after my son has gone to. It's then a shower, supper, and bed for me. But, I have to take care of my family.
Well, I lie.
I learned through having tremendous college debt, a low paying job, and a lot of bills that I cannot take care of my family. I cannot provide anything for them. I simply have nothing to offer. I began to realize that only God can take care of them. Only He can give them what they need. I still have debt, bills, and a job that barely makes ends meet, but I have hope. I trust God. I hope and trust that this is just for a season.
The coming of Sam has taught me a lot of things, but not nearly as many as his life will. We have had him for a month and already I feel different. I feel taller, thicker, and stronger because I have somone short, small, and weak to protect. I feel more motivated at work knowing that I have a wife and child to take care of, but ultimately I know that I cannot protect him and I cannot take care of them. God can. He has given them to me. They're on loan and one day, maybe before I die, He'll take them back. And that's okay. I will mourn, but not without hope.
So, all of that is to say that the coming of Sam was a life changing experience and I intend to document those changes in this blog. This is not an adoption advocacy blog, although I will advocate for adoption. Rather, this blog will contain the thoughts and observations of a father whose been adopted by an awesome little boy and an even greater Father.