I wish I could say “I knew I loved you from the moment I saw you“. If I did, I would then have to admit the real truth. On the day we met – the day that I first held you – what I remember most was fear. Not run-for-your-life fear, but something close to that. There you were, this tiny creature whose head barely fit in the palm of my hand and I – a man almost 35 times your size – was like a kid scared and trembling in the dark.
You looked at me with complete faith in my abilities to keep you safe and warm. Eleven days into the world, all you knew is that people were caring, attentive and blurry. I should have taken comfort in your unfailing trust, but instead, I felt small and unworthy. Every crack and fissure in my self-esteem suddenly felt magnified and visible to even the most untrained of eyes.
And how’s this for embarrassing? I was worried about my capacity to love you. Somehow, I had it in my head that my heart had only so much room. While I was sure I’d feel love, I thought it would not be enough for you. It might sound like I doubted you, but it was me that I called into question. Thirteen months later – a lifetime for you – and that worry seems almost ridiculous. I know now that there is no limit. The well will not run dry. If anything, life and love with you becomes more full by the moment.
I know love alone will not make things easy for you. The challenges you face as an adopted boy to two gay men – one white, the other black – will be many. Your school years will have some difficult times for sure. You’ll be teased by some. Others might even try to bully you. Does it help to tell you that I know what that’s like? My own school-bus rides were long ago, but the memories – the name calling and ridicule – are still fresh. Kids can be fantastically cruel. Maybe we can swap stories some time?
While I don’t ultimately have control over how life unfolds for you, I do take this day – National Adoption Day and the day of your adoption – very seriously. It isn’t just a day of legal paperwork and celebration. This is the day that I officially commit to raising, supporting and loving you for the rest of my life. It is perhaps the first time that I wish I could live forever. I am so humbled by this responsibility, but I am grateful for the chance to experience you as my son. I continue to be amazed at how blessed I am.
Welcome to the family, Lucas.
I love you.