I have read about some truly incredible people. I’ve been inspired by their stories, dedication, strength, and love. Recently I came across this story on NPR.org, and again, I was touched. (And I always love a good adoption story.)
Though the story is moving, it’s the last quote of the article that kept me thinking.
“I still cry over the ending. But…I would do it again. I loved him so much, and he loved me, too. And so, I was lucky in so many ways.”
I was moved by this father’s love because he is the type of person I want to be. I want to be someone who will always make it through the tough times and then look back and say, “Yes, I would do that again.” And I want to be able to always say that because I recognize the goodness that comes from those trials. I want to be like him.
But what stood out to me was that he said he was lucky. Lucky? See, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that at all. He was lucky? It’s too fickle. Luck, or being lucky, depends on…nothing. When someone states that they are merely lucky, it is a statement that it just happened to work out that way. They had nothing to do with it. It’s a lottery of sorts. The fact that luck landed on them—well, it could have just as easily been any other person.
No, this man wasn’t lucky. He was a man who looked out for others and loved his son unconditionally. And that is what he received in return. He made a choice, and he chose to not just parent this child, but be this little boy’s dad. He stuck by his son’s side through extreme difficulty and extreme sadness and pain. He gave his heart in exchange for another—the love of his son. Luck had nothing to do with his story.
When it comes to adoption, it’s easy to feel like you have no control. Many times I’ve felt like our future family depended on luck alone. However, over time I’ve learned a very valuable lesson: the more support I give to others, the more support we receive; the more compassion I have for others, the more compassion I receive; and the more love I give, the more love I receive.
When I focus on giving my heart to others, I’m not so wrapped up in my pain. Instead, I’m enveloped in the love that others extend back to me, and my future family all of a sudden feels closer, not far off in the distance. It’s a strange phenomenon that I’ve experienced time and time again: When we love and serve others, our own lives seem a little happier and full of more light.
There is no luck involved in the relationships with my family and friends. The seeds of charitable love that have been sown, I also reap. It takes consistent work. And it takes time. Sometimes years. But I refuse to give the credit of something so monumental and eternal—love—to mere luck. Luck deserves no credit. The blessed relationships we have that change our lives do so because we’ve put our lives in the relationships. That takes dedication, strength, and an immense amount of love.
When I read about, meet, or am inspired by incredible individuals, and when they refer to themselves as lucky, many times it’s then that I also get a glimpse into their humility. This man, Bill Jones, probably referred to himself as being lucky because he doesn’t even fully recognize the blessing he was to his son. And that’s a shame. But for now it’s okay because his story on NPR is reaching thousands. And his story will inspire us to be humble, to be full of love, and to no longer rely on luck.