Thursday, September 02, 2021

This {Odd} Beautiful Life

Sometime this past year, our five-year-old Silas and I first watched The Odd Life of Timothy Green. The movie is almost ten years old, but I can never clearly recall if I saw it before this time. There is a vague memory that perhaps I chose not to watch it originally because the theme felt too tender. Perhaps then it was still too close to wounds that time had not fully healed. Or perhaps we had yet to come full circle in parenthood, having gained the perspective to acknowledge our fumbles and failures with some laughter and grace.

Whatever the case may be, watching it with Silas was sweet because of his innocent awe and delight in this story which weaves realistic emotion with fanciful imagination. Having personally faced the heartbreak with which the plot opens, I can attest to the actors' believable portrayal of the raw emotions of infertility and the grief of missed parenthood.

Tonight we watched this movie again for the now umpteenth time. I found myself admiring the relationship of the husband and wife whose marriage withstands the harsh winds of loss. It feels like they are two against the world, alone in their mutual sorrow but united by hope in the face of the impossible and improbable. I can relate to this as well, looking back on our own winding journey of joyful peaks and bitter valleys along the way to welcoming our children. There are losses that only Pedro and I know, as well as moments of heart-bursting exhilaration that only we two share.

"Look, Mommy, it's me!" Silas exclaimed excitedly the first time he saw the film. It was an honest mistake: indeed slender Timothy with his brown hair and eyes and sudden appearance mirrors our own surprise child! Whereas the interviews behind cold desks; the sense of having to earn an approval that others achieve naturally; the nervous uncertainty of being deemed "worthy" of parenthood were all too real reminders of the adoption process we went through time and time again. At least seven times that I can recall, Pedro and I and our home were "studied" to determine our aptitude to become and/or remain parents (pre- and post- placement.) Yet I would do it all again for each and every one of our precious children.

"It's okay to be different. A little weird, even." In the story, Timothy is not like other kids in many ways but he is better in all the ways that count: honesty, kindness, sacrifice, gentle humor, friendship and faithfulness. As I was writing this post, I came across the picture and quotes included above. I appreciated and wanted to remember them. Sometimes a movie can be more than just entertainment. It can remind us of some important things in life. Personally, it reminded me of all God has done to answer our prayers and dreams not just for one child but six - "exceeding abundantly above all that we [could] ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20.) And it reminded me of the treasure I've been given in the man who has patiently hoped and jumped hoops and held babies and toddlers and now big kids and college students with faithful commitment and love. Finally, it reminded me just how precious is this {odd} beautiful life God has given.

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