The words below are what I wrote as I processed the letting go of baby Ian. They were meant to be shared here with our community of friends and family, but because I could not fully articulate myself I held on to them and continued processing quietly.
When I would return home from camp as a teen, I was inconsolable. I attended an arts camp where we sang “We are the World” and I felt those incredibly deep connections that are intimate and unknown at the age of thirteen. I was a camp counselor at Camp Fireside in New Hampshire where I felt such a sense of protection and deep love for my campers, I thought I would never be complete again after I hugged them good bye. It was after two short weeks in August at Ithiel Falls Camp where I broke down and wept for days after saying good bye to campers like Alan Sherber and Brian Nahass, not sure how they would fair in the world, worried for their well being and so sad that I no longer got to be a part of their lives.
It was at the end of those two days that I “had it out with God.” I was so angry that I no longer got to be a part of those peoples’ lives that I challenged the fairness of life and questioned if it really was worth it to love. I came to a conclusion in those days that has stayed with me over twenty years and that has buoyed me up again. I recognized that the gift was the time already given. The gift was that I got to spend two weeks with those people, that I had a heart open enough to love deeply, and a spirit willing to be changed by the intersection and intimacy of those weeks. The letting go was worth it because I was able to grow from the time given. And the rest of the lesson was that I was not on this planet to save anyone. I have a faith that is grounded in the fact that I do not save anyone; God is much bigger than me, and He also is much more capable than I am to take care of the Alan Sherbers and Brian Nahasses of this world. (And he has . . . Alan and Brian have not only done all right in this world, today they are both husbands and fathers and my friends on Facebook).
July was a month that brought these lessons into my life again. And because we have chosen to put our journey out there a bit, many of you have walked down this path with us as we descended into this gift of adoption . . . but the doors all closed and Andrew and I had to let go. It means entrusting Darla and her baby Ian to our God. Entrusting that they will be taken care of and that they will find their way. We have not been given the gift of journeying any father with them, and in the letting go, there is sadness . . . because we loved them and we loved our time with them. We never got to meet Ian. But I believe that we have grown deeper because we chose to allow our lives to intersect for a time.