The situation being what it was, when the adoption was severed, I was not able to say goodbye to you, or tell you that I love you.
Do I still?
I wasn’t sure at first, when everything happened. But I think I do love you, now.
I’m still afraid of you though.
You were five when we met, my brother’s long awaited foster son.
The adoption was finalized when you were six and Patrick was four.
Your brown eyes had more hurt in them than I have ever seen, before or since.
We loved you buddy, we did.
Remember how much you loved Brownie, when we came to visit in Myrtle Beach?
After all these years, the love you showed to her still stands out to me.
That sweet little boy, begging to sleep in the garage with the puppy, so she wouldn’t be lonely and afraid.
I finally took you out to check on her. You knelt down on her blanket and whispered, “Shh girl, shhh, don’t be afraid. Mikey’s right here.”
You cuddled right up to her while she licked your face, and you both fell asleep.
I wish that Michael could have been preserved and saved, before all the bad things happened.
I know it was hard for a little boy to come into a family that never understood why you missed your mom.
Being infertile had practically driven his wife into a place of thinking another woman’s child could become her’s and fill the emptiness both husband and wife felt.
That was wrong of them.
But in case you ever wonder, they did love you.
Your birth mom loved you also.
But you know what Michael? Even at age five, you loved and protected her more than she ever did you.
I don’t know if anyone ever told you, but your birth mother was raised in foster homes herself.
I know she caused you and Patrick a lot of pain and trauma. But when you grow up, I hope you will forgive her.
Mostly for your own sake, but also because she just had never been given a fair shot at life herself.
And so we met, and there I was, charged with babysitting two traumatized foster kids for ten days while the foster mom and dad you hardly knew went to Venezuela for ten days.
Supposedly it was a work trip that my brother couldn’t get out of, but his wife could have stayed home with you.
I thought then, “I’m not sure they are prepared for the sacrifices parenting entails.”
And they weren’t.
But is anyone?
My nephew *Michael’s adoption was severed six weeks ago. He is 15.
I don’t know if I have the right to have an opinion about it or even tell his story.
But I feel that his memory, the memory and story of him, and even Michael himself deserves to be un-amputated.
*Not his real name.