Last Saturday we were enjoying a leisurely afternoon in the backyard–the children playing in fraternal bliss in a scene cut right from some largely unrealistic 1960’s sitcom. I went in the house to get–of course–lemonade. And when I returned Don looked at me and said, “Umm . . . You probably need to see this.”
He brought me over to the south side of our house and pointed up. There it was–precariously balanced on a pipe–a 50-pound wooden gutter, with two dozen or more very long, very rusty nails protruding out.
Definitely not good–and more than a little dangerous.
Fast-forward a few days and two gentleman–brothers–were up on ladders rectifying the situation with a temporary repair. During their lunch break we had occasion to talk, and they shared with me, after we compared notes on where we went to school and what year we graduated, the story of their tortured childhood. It was a tale that was truly heartbreaking. And I shared with them the fact that Don and I were lucky enough to have adopted our three sons.
One of the brothers looked at me, tilted and then shook his head as if he were contemplating and yet couldn’t believe the full weight of what he was about to express, and said, “Man, I wish our mother had done something like that for us–maybe we would have had a shot . . .”
On this Fourth of July weekend, as we honor the bravery of those who have fought for our country’s independence and those who continue to fight, I would also like to salute those birthmothers who, when they realized they would not be able to parent in the way that they would wish, sacrificed and fought for their children’s futures by creating an adoption plan.
Bravery comes in many forms, and sometimes the beneficiary is not an entire country but a single child.
Happy Fourth of July!