I’ve always known that Christmas means different things to different people, and to some people it means nothing at all.
But I’ve always thought Christmas is for kids, and the younger the kid the better the Christmas.
Ford Hamilton will be 14 months old in 11 days. He was born in Florida last year on November 5th to a mother who couldn't keep him and a father who knew he couldn't either. It was a hard choice to give him up but a hard choice they made. But he has parents now who realize how lucky they are to have him.
I told Sean Hamilton, and he told his wife Stacey, that little boy won the lottery when you decided to adopt him. Sean looks at me and says, “actually we won the lottery.” And I won the lottery when Sean came to work with me 17 years ago.
Little Ford Hamilton probably doesn't know it yet but what an amazing mother and father he has now. And a long line of grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles who will be a big part of raising little Ford to be the man he has the chance to be, a chance he didn't have 14 months ago.
I don't think there's anything we do in life that matters more than giving a child a chance to compete in his life, and Ford Hamilton has that chance now.
We can't choose our parents, but we can choose to open our hearts and our homes to those who need us most. Little Ford needed Stacey and Sean to make a better life, and Stacey and Sean needed little Ford to make their lives a little better too.
It takes a big heart to adopt a child, and a big commitment that many of us can't make to raise a child. Maybe even a little bigger when you have to fly to Florida to bring your child home.
But Stacey and Sean know, and little Ford Hamilton will learn, what so many parents have, what the author Jodi Picoult says, “being a parent wasn't just about bearing a child, it was about bearing witness to that child's life.”
And what a life Ford Hamilton has now, thanks to Stacey and Sean, who won the lottery when he was born 14 months ago.
Thank God for kids