I saw a picture of my son’s birth dad today, and I grieved. It wasn’t a recent picture, it was from when he was a child, just like my son. The eyes. The mischievous smile. It was as if I were looking at my own son. And I grieved.
I don’t know much of what happened after that picture of the smiling elementary school boy was taken, but I know it wasn’t just one thing. Maybe he made friends with the wrong people. Maybe he wasn’t afforded many opportunities to succeed. Maybe that smile was already hiding a lifetime of hurt and grief wrapped up in a little 8 year old boy.
What happened, 8 year old boy, that set you on this messy path? How did the smile surrounded by loving family deteriorate into a scowl, anger towards the world, and no family in sight for support?
I just don’t think this is the life that little 8 year old boy envisioned. At some point, you wanted to be a good dad. You wanted to give them every opportunity you never had. You wanted to provide safety and security and stability. Looking at that picture, I just have to believe you wanted more than what this has become. And so I grieve. I grieve for my son, who has a momma and daddy who love him deeply, but will never look like we’re related. I grieve for us, the ones tasked with telling our son the truth while still choosing to honor you as the one who gave him life.
But mostly I grieve for that little boy in the picture…and how much has changed.