About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Starfish Story

Cheerio has a whirlwind of topics and posts I want to write. I think I would need a week off work to get it all out. That is not really an option for me right now. So I'll start by copying something I posted in a private First Moms group May of last year.
Don't skip this post ... one of my future posts, currently one of the nine at the drawing board, will relate to this story. So here it is ahead of time.
 Don't forget it, and be sure to look next week for a new post referencing this one.
 This just feels like the ideal time to just say to all my followers and people who visit my blog often - Thank You! Some of you comment, some of you don't. I'm grateful to everyone. Thank you for the feedback and encouragement. To my quiet non-commenting friends Thank You for the support you show when simply stopping by. We really do need each other. I do believe that together we can and do 'make a difference.' 
I was on the phone with a friend. She is a woman who lost her first son to adoption, as I did. I could tell she was discouraged in this battle fighting against the myths of adoption. And so I asked her a question. It’s a question I ask myself often. I’ll ask you the same question.

“Can you make a difference? Really? Can you make a difference?”

Her response had much of the same doubt I fight off myself. And then I remember this story.
I call it The Starfish Story. You may have read it somewhere, and I apologize for not getting all the details right. My pastor shared this story as part of a sermon a long time ago.

Many of us in this group are in some way speaking out to fight the wrongs of adoption. Sometimes you may get weary or feel like you’re not being heard. And so, I’d like to share this story with you.
One morning following a storm, a little boy is walking along the beach, ahead of his family.
Before him, as far as he could possible see was a devastating site.
Thousands and thousands of starfishes had been beached by the storm. 
Some did not make it, but as the little boy is walking along, he could see that many are still alive and struggling to survive.

It’s such a beautiful morning, the sky is blue with puffy white clouds floating high, seagulls swooping and squawking, and the morning sunrays feel warm.

It is a beautiful day; yes, a perfect day for playing at the beach, making sandcastles and running along the edge of the water. But the little boy notices none of that. His heart seems to be breaking as he realizes the fate of these starfishes strewn all over the shore.

What could he do?
He couldn’t just walk on by and let them all out here to die in the rising sun!
There were so many starfishes. He must do something! .

He bends down, gently picking one up.
 As he is holding it in his tiny hand, it’s as if instincts take over. And like a boy with a stone, he tosses the starfish as far as he possibly could out into the ocean, into the water where the starfish will be able to recover and survive.

It dawns on him that this is the answer. Now he is on a mission. He is moving as quickly as possible, picking up a starfish and tossing it into the water. He picks up another starfish and tosses it into the water. This goes on for quite some time, the little boy working his way down the beach rescuing starfishes.

The little boy did not realize he was being watched by an older gentleman sitting on the beach.
At his age, he’s witnessed this scene many times, of so many starfishes that were stranded and he could not even begin to count them. It’s just what happens when there is a storm like that. Nature will take its course and they will die.

Engrossed in his task, the boy does not even notice the older man sitting in his chair watching.
The boy was somewhat startled when the man called out to him. “Hey, son! What are you doing there?” Then the man lifts himself from the chair and approaches the boy.

Tossing the  starfish into the sea the boy proudly declares, "I'm rescuing starfish!"

The man leans his head back and lets out a mocking laugh.

He is genuinely amused. “Son,” the man says. “So you are rescuing starfish, huh?”
The man chuckles again. Then he reaches out his hand and motions a broad sweeping gesture the length of the beach. “Son, there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of starfish out here, and there is only one of you. There is just no way that you can rescue all these starfish. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this son, but they’re going to die. You should just go have fun with your family instead. What you are doing is insignificant, and it doesn’t matter.”

 Undaunted, the boy bends over and picks up another starfish.
Still following the pattern he had all morning, he tosses it back into the ocean.
Without even turning to look at the man, he says

 “It matters to this one.”
it matters
this one

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful post Cheerio. Something I try to instill in my daughter each and every single day. Thank you for re-iterating it in such a thoughtful, beautiful way.

    Things are hard, I haven't heard from my son in more than 3 weeks. My daughter left him a message yesterday and he didn't return her call. She is broken hearted to say the least. But as I will tell her today, maybe, just maybe that message mattered to him, even if for whatever reason, he just didn't feel he could call her back and speak with her.