Everything about loving him scared me senseless. He was a flight risk and I knew it. I asked God to reveal it to me, to show me and to guide me, and He did. Once again I felt that risky, head-over-heels love that wrecks you. The one that leaves you forever marked, memories swirl around me as I watch a little boy slurping down his chocolate milk with his mom at Starbucks. I stare at the boy three years older than the one I loved. I smile and hurt simultaneously at the same time. I never really understood the mother son relationship before. But, I do now. I only had four months to fall in love hard and walk away without my pint-size prince. I get it now.
They smell different. They love different. They destroy things and leave a trail letting you know exactly where they have been. And when the mess is gone, you miss it. I know it sounds strange, because I like things orderly and in place. But, I miss his mess. But I don’t miss the chaos that came with the strings attached, court dates, and multiple people wanting to infringe on our safe-haven. All I wanted was him. Throw out all the dreams I had and my career finally starting to go somewhere without interruptions, nothing else compares to my deep desire to mother my children. Nothing else matters.
I used to stand him on my legs, his hands in mine and sing, “One Day My Prince will Come.” At only eighteen months he said very little, but he knew the song and would smile and sway as we did our special waltz.
One day my prince will come and he did. And then he left.
We had found out about Taylor a couple weeks prior; his mom was at a crossroads so we met with her to discuss her options, adoption being one of them. His mother getting her life straight and becoming the mother he deserved was the best option but she wasn’t ready to do that. I was in shock when she called on a Sunday afternoon asking us to take him. By Tuesday we were starting the process of adoption. It was unheard of, but the family found us and felt like we were Taylor’s hope for having a different life. He was dropped on my doorstep with almost everything he owned fitting into two laundry baskets. With shaved head, only a shirt, and a diaper he was fourteen months old, beautiful, and broken.
Love fixed him and in the process it changed everything within my heart and my family. We echoed the heartbeat of Christ, fighting for the orphan and the widow. It was selfless, laying down our comforts to welcome a love with so many strings attached. We gave Taylor a voice and a safe harbor. We gave him our hearts, he became like our flesh and blood with no difference between him and the daughters I gave birth to.
My husband fell harder and faster, but I saw the writing on the walls. One of my strongest gifts is discernment and sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading. I ask and I seek and I knock. I listen, even when it’s not what I want to hear. It was only a matter of time until heartbreak would happen. But, four months changes everything and eventually I started believing he might actually end up with us forever. My first month was a hurricane and I can only compare what I felt to post partum depression.
I was never one to fall in love so easily, but sometimes love is like driving a car fast without any brakes. You brace yourself and hold your breath uncertain of the outcome. What once was invigorating and exciting hits the brick wall of change and you emerge different. The hope is that eventually the whiplash will fade to nothingness and your heart will be mended, even if it’s never the same.
Sometimes we chase boys who are worth it and sometimes we catch them and want to throw them back. And sometimes we never want to let go; we never want to stop feeling a love so tangible and real. We never want it to stop for fear of what happens when life fades back to normal.
Loving the way Jesus does is risky, but with all my heart I believe it’s worth it. Jesus walked this earth with every intention of laying down His life for us, even for the ones who rejected and mocked Him. Laying it all down and living a life of putting others first is risky, but I want to love like that. My heart is full of gratitude for a cross, an empty tomb, and a risky, unending love.