Love Lessons from Everyday
As much as this four-lettered word is used all year round, it’s at the month of February when we think and feel a bunch of things about love. The beauty of it also comes in different forms and volumes. It can go beyond the one-time grand gestures or declarations and the giddy, excited feeling. Adopting David further opened my heart to this understanding. As I looked at the few months I’ve spent with him, I’ve learned some things about love:
Love doesn’t always come easy.
In an ideal world, I would love my son, and we will be one big loving happy family. But love comes naturally for us when we create something, when we own it; that is not the case when you adopt. Most especially when you adopt a toddler.
The truth is, a truth that not many will be brave enough to say – to love David is to love a stranger because that’s what we are as of this moment, strangers to each other. God put us together, yes, I believe that, but it doesn’t end there.
Love is putting in the work—and choosing to continue.
Adopting is really like building a new relationship—which is my honest way of saying, it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies in our home.
It’s getting to know each other, learning about each other’s likes and dislikes, figuring out what works for all of us, making mistakes, it’s not getting along, it’s making up, it’s all of it and so much more! It’s joy, but there’s also pain.
One time, I was so tired from miscommunication with David. I randomly asked my 5-year old son, “Aman, what should I do with David? Sometimes he just cries, and I don’t know what to do.” Then, Aman said, “just love him, Mama.”
While I’ve been racking my brain for ways to look after David, the answer was clear and simple for Aman, his brother and best friend of four months. From there, I tried to see parenting David not as strategies that I can always whip up, but as a decision to love him.
This decision is not only made once, but it’s something my husband Brandz and I choose to do always and for the tomorrows that will come.
Love generates great impact.
The act of adoption, after all, is about bringing the child into homes that greatly value them. This means making the days ahead better not just for David, but for many other Filipino children now and in the future. It’s not just their forever families that express unconditional love, but our society can, too.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development does its part through the annual Adoption Consciousness Celebration. This month, they aim to further recognize and celebrate legal adoption as an act of unconditional love, and this resonates so much with how I view my son. It’s so important for me to know that he can grow up in spaces that love and protect him, too. There’s still a lot of work to be done not just for my family, but also for families across the nation to see this through.
Adoption’s not going to be for everyone, but this expression of unconditional love isn’t limited to the act itself. Everybody—regardless of different backgrounds—can lend a voice, create a healthy culture around adoption, and forward this advocacy. Every skill and God-given gift is instrumental in creating a loving and lasting impact for our sons and daughters. So yes—legislations and advocacy campaigns are acts of love, and they can uphold generations!
The greatest of these abides through it all.
There are so many complexities in this new season with David, and I’m anticipating a whole lot more as we continue on this journey. But the one thing I’ve seen – that trumps all the hardships, all the tears, is love.
Love is the most important. David, love is putting you first. Love is being patient when I don’t understand all your needs. Love is forgiveness. Love is when you lean in for a hug after a meltdown. Love is holding your hand to guide you, embracing you to comfort you. Love is making you laugh, preparing your meals, playing with you, and deciphering everything about you. Love is enough.
There are days when David is hard to love, but then I’m also reminded how unlovable I can be as an imperfect person yet God loves me anyway. So everyday I choose to love not because I have to, but because I am loved first—and, therefore, have love to give. And this lets me have fun with the easy things as well as gives me the strength to do the hardest parts with him. It’s the love that 1 Corinthians 13:7 talks about:
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.
Stay tuned for the Clasara family’s adoption story, soon on roheifoundation.org!
Photos: Larawan by Amihan
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