Tara and Simon were on cloud nine, thinking of their beautiful new lives with their adopted son Tim. However, Tim was miserable. Would they find a way to work things out?
Whatever the weather was that morning, it felt infinitely brighter and sunnier for Tara and Simon, who were about to start a new chapter of their lives.
As they drove to the group home, Tara visualized their drive back home, picturing their newly adopted child Tim sitting in the backseat, smiling back at her.
Looking over at Simon, the excited 34-year-old woman realized that her husband, too, could barely contain his happiness.
“I can’t believe we’re finally going to bring a child into our home!” Tara gripped her husband’s shoulder.
“It’s been a long journey, but it’s all going to be worth it. Especially after everything that you’ve been through, baby.” Tim teared up a little, brushing his beautiful wife’s cheek, remembering all the harrowing tests, hormone injections, and emotional storms she had to brave in the past year.
He gently wiped away a tear as it rolled down her cheek and promised his wife, “This time, nothing is going to get in the way of our happiness, darling.”
But as it turns out, there was another big hurdle that the happy duo didn’t see coming.
It had been several hours since Tim came home, and even though it was the same sweet-looking shy child, Tara and Simon felt they had brought a different kid home.
Children surprise us with their sincere hearts – in ways that we least expect.
The same boy whose eyes would light up on seeing the man and the woman, who wouldn’t stop hugging Tara or giggling at Tim’s silly jokes, had gone quiet.
Even as Tara’s parents brought him presents and asked him questions, Tim’s demeanor didn’t change. His shoulders drooped, he seemed lost in thought, and there was a sheen in his eyes.
“What’s wrong, Tim? Don’t you like it here?” Simon and Tara sat beside him in bed that night, holding his hands.
It looked like Tim wanted to say something. But all he did was look into the worried eyes of his new parents and burst into tears.
A small part of Tara and Simon’s hearts hoped it was first-day nerves. But the way Tim had looked into their eyes, they knew it was something deeper.
After two more days of dull silence in the house with an evasive Tim who kept to his room, Tara and Simon were sitting at the dining table, wondering what they did wrong.
“Yes, honey?” Tara and Simon ran to their son.
“Take me to my brother! Please, I need to see him!” Tim cried, hugging his parents.
The couple stared blankly at each other. This was the first time either of them had heard of Tim’s brother.
They decided to enquire at the group home the very next day.
“Tim said he had a brother? Here?” the woman who managed the place sounded confused as she checked the records.
After a thorough search that lasted for half an hour, the woman confirmed that Tim had no such sibling.
That’s when Tara looked around and realized something that shot up her anxiety.
“Simon, where’s Tim?”
Luckily, they quickly spotted Tim on the playground outside the office, playing catch with another child.
Simon looked longingly at the joy on Tim’s face. It was the old Tim, the Tim they knew and loved. He was laughing, running around, and breaking into random dance-offs with his friend.
“Mom, Dad! Come meet my brother!” Tim ran toward them, pulling his friend along.
“This is Sebastian. You could say he’s my best friend, but to me, he’s my brother. Sebastian, meet Mom and Dad!”
“Hi, Mom! Hello, Dad!” Sebastian greeted the couple.
The boy’s voice echoed in their ears as they drove Tim home. The staff had told them that Tim and Sebastian’s friendship was indeed very special. Sebastian was a year younger than Tim, but he was the one who got Tim through a lot of dark days, including the tragic death of his parents.
“Mom, Dad!” Tim’s voice from the backseat sounded cheerful.
“Can we please adopt Sebastian, too? He is a very good child, just like me! He should also get the kind of love that I get!”
The parents were shocked by the question that Tim had so casually asked. They tried to ignore it, but Tim asked again.
“I’m sure Sebastian is a lovely boy, Tim. But I’m afraid we can’t adopt him. It’s not that easy, and we don’t have enough to raise another child, sweetie.”
It was like a switch went off, and all the light was gone from Tim’s face again. For the next few days, he was back to his gloomy, silent, withdrawn self. Tara and Simon’s hearts were breaking.
One night, after failing to convince his parents one last time, Tim made a decision. “I’m going to find Sebastian a good family all by myself.”
The next day, neighbors and passers-by were amused and moved by little Tim stopping them to ask if they would adopt “a very handsome, smart young boy who had the voice of an angel.”
Tim also made posters for his best friend’s prospective family. “Loving family needed for amazing boy. P.S. He has the voice of an angel.”
After school, he would get off the bus a stop earlier and start sticking the posters onto walls and trees.
Tim was excited at first, and so was Sebastian.
But when Sebastian said no one had come looking for him in a week, the brothers were disappointed at the world.
“Sebastian, I don’t think my parents or anyone else will understand how much we love and miss each other. It’s all rright. If you haven’t found a family, I know what I need to do,” Tim comforted his brother and hung up.
The next day, Tara and Simon were bustling around the house with the morning chores when something Tim told them shook their world.
“Mom, Dad, I love you. I love it here. It’s only been a few weeks, and you’ve done so much for me already! I’m sorry that I’m still sad. But I can’t live here anymore, not while Sebastian is in the group home, without a mama or papa of his own.”
“I know you said you can’t adopt him – and that’s okay. But at least let me return to him. It doesn’t feel like family without him. We won’t have a mama and papa, but at least we’ll have each other. I’m sorry, and I love you a lot, but I need to go!” Tim bravely finished and cried into his palms.
Tara and Simon hugged Tim and felt a new depth of love and admiration for their boy. What they thought was stubbornness, and a phase that would pass was, in fact, pure love that Tim would do anything for. Even if it meant giving up his own new world of comfort, Tim had chosen to let it all go, just to be with his best friend.
Of course, Tara and Simon would take their time to sort and think things through. But at that moment, the couple looked at each other, gripped each other’s hands, and agreed silently: it was time to bring Tim’s brother home.
What can we learn from this story?
Children surprise us with their sincere hearts – in ways that we least expect. Despite being a little boy, Tim found a way to try and find a family for his brother. He was even ready to give up on his own newfound family for the sake of being with the boy.
When you recognize true love, nourish it at all costs. Tara and Simon were only prepared to adopt one child. But when they realized how much their son loved and cared about Sebastian, they decided to keep that bond going by choosing to adopt Sebastian, too.
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