In October H and I were discussing older child adoption. It is a really tough subject for him, and he has really struggled with the idea of opening his heart to a child who possibly might not be able to give or receive love. That is truly, a scary idea, but I have confidence in my ability to blindside myself with a "mission" or a beautiful little face, as I have seen both on the adoption websites I peruse.
On our way to work we had this very conversation. I suggested H look at some of the kids available in Texas. He called me to his office 30 minutes later because he "needed me to see someone". That someone was a five year old child who could have easily been mistaken as our own biological child. I have never been able to imagine a composite of the two of us, and here he was staring me in the face. He was beautiful. His name was Eric. We reverently read about him. I quietly explained to H that he was a white five year old with zero emotional, physical, or mental problems, and he was, in the adoption world, THE GOLDEN TICKET, and we hadn't made one attempt to even license in our state yet. This would be insurmountable odds. My explanation had so much more to do with telling myself those things. We made the call. The caseworker told us that Eric had not been listed more than 24 hours and they had already had 40 inquiries. Disheartened, but still feeling like something profound had happened, and could still happen, we hurried through our adoption classes. It still took nearly five weeks. I wouldn't allow myself to call back until we actually had a chance. We had to have an approved homestudy to even be included in the stack of applications. After the classes were done and we were ready to do our homestudy, H called the caseworker to check. We held our breath. Eric had been placed.
Eric broke our hearts, but I am so happy to have felt something. Through the experience I knew that so many things were aligned so H would see his picture on the one day it was up, so H would believe in the possibility that another person's baby could be his son. So H would know that he had the capacity to risk love. I knew that whether Eric was meant to be ours or not, we were meant to fall in love with him. And we did. I have heard women describe what it is like to mourn a child that was never yours. And I do.