Friday, June 6, 2008

Fatherhood, Part III

When I took on the role as part time father to these kids, I had no idea how much I would invest in their lives. Their pains, pain me. Their joys fill my heart with joy. My heart no longer beats in my chest, but inside of them. Being a father is risky business. Especially to these kids.

Almost as soon as I wrote the blog about how special the bond I had with Mario is, God stripped him out of my hands. Last Friday, during visitation, Maria and her husband, the five boys’ parents, came and took the boys home with them. I was not at visitation because it was my day to help clean the house, so I thought I was never going to see those boys again. I went into hysterics. I have never felt pain like that before—not only the quantity of pain, but the type. The type of pain that finds you heart and beats, stabs, kicks it. Pain the doubles you over. Those five boys have more of my heart than any other person in this world—any other group of people. Mario was my son—there were no questions about that. Other people here were commenting on how much better he was now that I was with him. He brought more happiness to me than any thing else. The day before, during nap time, I had him on my side and Antonio sleeping on my chest and I thanked God for those kids. I thanked Him that I finally found the happiness I was searching for. I thanked him that I was able to spend six weeks with these kids. And then He just took it from me. I still don’t understand it. Does God want me to not find happiness? Does he want them to starve? I have never been so angry at God than on Friday. I filled heaven with my screams and my cries of pain. I laid in Mario’s bed and held his pillow and wept. I wanted to scratch his back while he fell asleep again. I wanted to see Francisco’s dimples appear on his face with one of his classic smiles. I wanted to have Antonio running straight towards me with his arms open wide. I wanted to try figure out how Marvin had so much energy for such a small body. I wanted to watch Yovani impress me with maturity. I wanted them back. I want this so badly, I hurt. I am broken.

On Sunday, we had to take all of the boys their stuff, which meant a trip to their house. I got to see the boys again. I saw the happiness that Maria had because she was with her boys after two years. So many emotions filled me. I was happy that Maria had my boys, her boys, but I was still in mourning because they weren’t with me. The boys were so proud to show me the two beds that they share, the outhouse, the pila where they bathe and clean their clothes and swim, and the kitchen without any food in it. They were so proud of it.

I said my goodbyes to the boys one at a time, reminding each of them that I loved them and that I would never stop loving them. I took their parents aside and thanked them for the boys. I told them that I loved their boys and that because they were their parents, I loved them too. And finally it came time for me to say goodbye to Mario. I told him that he was my son forever and that I would never stop loving him. I held him for too short a time and didn’t say enough.

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I know that my life has been forever changed because of those five precious boys. God spoke to me so many times directly through them. I learned that I am such a flawed person but if you invest your love and life into a child, he will love you for who you are. This hole in my heart won’t heal, and I would be ashamed of myself if it did. I don’t ever want to get to the place where I don’t get a little choked up when someone says, “Do you remember when Francisco/ Marvin/ Antonio/ Yovani/ Mario did this.”

There is a good chance that after this summer, I won’t see the boys again. But I will always be a part of them and they apart of me. I mean honestly, Mario holds heart and a man cannot live without that.

1 comment:

Karen Burnfield said...

I'm sooooo sorry. I know the pain that you are describing and it's unbearable. I will keep you in my prayers. Hope that helps a little. Love ya!