I grew up in the soft-rock 60’s and 70’s. The poets of that era still touch my heart with their stories in song. I am a poet, but I am not a songwriter. I do not have the skills and gifts to express my worldview in that way, yet I have songs to write.
If I were a Fogelberg or Chapin or Swift, I would write a song you could not forget. When it came on the radio, you would sing at the top of your lungs and then buy the CD and play it over and over. It would be one of those unforgettable songs that expressed all the love and passion, all the doubt and all the insecurity, all the dreams and all the fears you have stuffed inside you.
I would write about foster-care and the almost inexpressible satisfaction in knowing that for a day or a month or a year, you are making a difference that can never be erased. You are writing on the heart of a child in indelible ink, and once you have loved them, they can never ever forget what it means to be loved. You are doing the work of heroes and heroines, and though uncelebrated, it is indeed noble work.
My song would talk about adoption and how, once you crack open your heart, you will know with absolute certainty that you can love any child (every child) as if he or she were born to you. You cannot imagine loving anyone more and the origin of that love is more ancient and deep than life itself. You will understand that all children– born or adopted– arrive in our world as strangers and aliens, and it is our depth of love and caring that bridges that chasm. You will know the ecstasy of watching a child find their source of joy and the terrible pain of not being able to fix all their sorrows and boo-boos with band-aids.
That is my song. It is a song about taking a leap of faith, and loving life where you have landed. In the words of the immortal Fogelberg:
“Too many hearts have been broken
Trying to trust what they see.
But trust is not something that’s spoken
And love’s never wrong when it’s real.
If I could only do one thing,
I would try to write and sing
A song that ends your questioning
And makes you believe in me.”
–Believe in Me by Dan Fogelberg