We had stopped around the corner from the foster carer’s house. Having left about an hour and half early, we in turn, had arrived to meet our son well before we were due.
I am all for showing enthusiasm, but this was just rude. Instead we opted to park outside a house whose occupant must have thought we were either lost or preparing to break in to her home.
Radio 2 was playing, and I definitely heard some noise, but my brain was far from able to process it.
‘To meet my son’ is a funny phrase. It conjures up images of eye-bagged husbands staring down at their wife’s ‘special area’, as it performs its pièce de résistance and expands to the size of Wookey Hole (as one of my more shameless friends delicately explained).
I was hoping that this meeting would be cleaner, if equally as mind blowing.
We decided that the time was safe for us to go and sped around the corner, to the foster carer’s house. As we walked towards the front door, the large open front room window framed the most beautiful image I had seen since my wife stepped into the church on our wedding day.
The impish little grin that beamed through the window made the hearts of my wife and I simultaneously leap like a well-timed off beat drum duet. We were welcomed into a home full of expectation, and before my right arm was out of its sleeve, the grin had waddled from the window to the base of my own frame.
Arms aloft, and with an ever widening grin, this little boy beckoned me to bring him up to my level. I was surprised that my tear ducts had not started their days labour; fully expecting them, at this point, to be on over time. Instead I was simply filled with joy, and would not wait for a second invitation…
My coat fell to the floor, and I scooped up my son so I could look him in the eye, and immediately felt the love I had already started to harbour for him.
To him, I was at this stage, perhaps another little playmate, but to me, he was the personification of the hard work and sacrifice that so many had put in. The light was a brilliant white, shining brightly at the end of this tunnel.
The story of how we came to be matched with this specific child will remain a private matter, and to say this boy was as lucky as we were would be a heinous inaccuracy. He is in many respects, very unfortunate, and has done his fair share of suffering. However, with the efforts of the most exceptional foster carer, he was now as radiant as he should be. For the next two hours the sole purpose of our meeting was to have fun.
That is exactly what we did.