Holding back so we don’t get hurt
I was talking to a friend recently about our latest adoptions efforts.
The scenario is difficult. We are in the process at adopting a 13 year old boy from China. The only problem is that when you turn 14 there, you are no longer eligible. We have to have all the paperwork completed and there in his city by his next birthday, which is in January.
We find ourselves on an unpredictable, hectic paper chase. We think we can get everything done in time. We hope we can.
But there is a chance we can’t. There is a chance that despite our efforts, we don’t make it in time.
My friend, out of his love and concern for us, responded by saying:
“I guess it’s hard to balance getting excited and holding back so you don’t get hurt just in case it doesn’t happen.”
He was expressing the common fear that if we let ourselves love something or someone, we take the risk of being hurt. The risk of being disappointed. The risk of having our hearts broken.
And nobody wants to get hurt.
I am not criticizing my friend, because everyone holds back. I completely understand his response. I have done the same. I know Iam holding back.
But it makes you wonder what our stories would be like if we let go of this fear. If we loved others with a reckless abandon. If we were the ones willing to let ourselves be hurt if there is an outside chance we could alleviate the hurting of others.
While we try to protect ourselves from the possibility of hurt and disappointment, this boy’s life is full of it. Nearly fourteen years ago his birth parents abandoned him. For nearly fourteen years he has waited for someone to adopt him. For nearly fourteen years he has waited and hoped that someone would love.
The hurt we are trying to protect ourselves from is nothing compared to the hurt he has already experienced. (Tweet that.)
To try and adopt him, to let ourselves hope and love, even with the prospect of being disappointed and hurt, is the least we can do for him.
It makes you wonder how many people in the world are like him. How many are suffering and there is no way for them to hold back and protect themselves from hurting more.
It makes you wonder how much more we can do if we stopped holding back so we don’t get hurt.