Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Today was Almost Different

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Today is January 13, 2014.

A month ago, this very day was a viewed as a burden. A deadline. A day that was coming too soon.

A month ago, we were anxious. Uncertain. We were calling anybody that we could. Not always finding a listening ear. We still needed so much to happen. We needed a visa application to be approved. We needed the approval to travel. We needed an embassy appointment. We needed to buy airline tickets. And it was all out of our hands.

DSC00980The obstacles were more forbidding than the Great Wall of China.

For one boy, today was viewed as a harbinger of what the rest of his life would look like. A life without a family. A life always being known as an orphan. Always using the phrase “foster” before the word mother or brother or sister. And the word father was never used.

For one boy, today only offered a change in labels. Yesterday he would have been considered eligible for adoption. Today ineligible. In the eyes of the law of China, he would never have another chance.

For one boy, who happened to have been born 14 years ago, today was the day he would have to move on. He would have to face the rest of life alone.

For one boy, today was too late.

No doubt they would let him remain in the system until he was old enough to manage by himself. They would continue to provide shelter and food and clothing. But the day when they would open the door and wave good bye would have been fast approaching. Too fast.

But today isn’t that day. Today is different than what it could have been. It is different than what seemed inevitable.

Today is his birthday. And as it should be for every 14 year old, the only thing that needs to be done is to celebrate him.

It is a day to enjoy with his new forever family. A day to be with those who will be with him for the rest of his life. A day to be hugged by those who will always have open arms.

Today he celebrates along side of those who will love him forever.

And to think, this day was almost different for him. Almost.

Regardless of what happens next, regardless of what his 18th or his 25th or his 40th birthday looks like, we will never regret having said yes so that today could be as it is.

We want to thank everyone who played a role in making today possible. Laura and Mary and Ming at Adoption Associates, Inc. Our social worker. Countless people in China whose names we will never know.

Our son may never know you or know what role you played in making today different. But you did. Without you today would have been very different than what it is.

Thank you.

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About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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15 Replies

  1. That’s an exciting birthday to celebrate! So glad that God made a way. I look forward to hearing more about how your growing family is doing.

  2. bethbaird

    This brings such joy to my heart! As an advocate, i watched as this precious child approached the aging out point. I was thrilled when y’all stepped forward and moved with such haste in order prevent this child from aging out. I held my breath as the deadline approached and breathed a sigh of relief when I knew he was in your arms. Happy birthday to your dear son!

  3. Amy Jo Akin

    You keep making me cry! Happy Birthday and Happy Family, Sean!!

  4. Elaine

    Happy Birthday, Sean, a very brave young man! What a wonderful day to celebrate your family! Blessings!

  5. DanKnight

    Jeremy, Today is indeed a day to celebrate Sean and give him a hug; but reading these posts this last month, has been a blessing to us and reason you’ll get a hug when we meet some day.

    Well done brother! Well done, good and faithful servant.

  6. Sharon Cicardo

    Praising God with you how He orchestrated it all to make this happen. Happy Birthday to your new son!! Thank you to you and your wife for stepping up to the call.

  7. Daphne Yeo

    I’ve been following this uplifting story. Now Sean is the luckiest, most blessed Chinese boy, a boy who is part of a family in heaven and on earth. Filial devotion is a Chinese value rooted in Confucian thinking; may his filial devotion be multiplied in him and may he bring you much happiness in years to come as you have brought happiness to his life in the past month. Thank you for your story!

  8. I am a lucky and blessed man that he is now part of my life.

  9. I look forward to that day.

  10. It is often overlooked, but you are right. He has been incredibly brave through this process.

  11. It still amazes me how many times people tell me that they were watching and hoping and praying for Sean. Thank you, Beth.

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