He was only here for 6 weeks, but it felt like we had known him forever. We welcomed him into our home to provide a bed and a roof over his head. We did it so he could save money to send home to support his family. We had no clue how much we would grow to love him in such a short time.
He was a big brother to our kids and a son to Rich and me. He became part of our family. We laughed together. We watched movies together. We cheered him on with the same passion as we would our own kids. We missed him when he was on long road trips.
Maybe that's why the news of him being released from the team today was so difficult to process. Maybe that's why my heart sank and I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.
As a mom, when your children hurt you hurt right along with them. You want to be there for them to help them understand the difficult times. But what if you can't find any answers that make sense? How do you make sense of how cold the business of baseball really is?
To Mateo, baseball is much more than a game. It is his livelihood. It is how he provides for his wife and children. It's what he's done since he was 17 years old.
Tonight instead of a ride home from the stadium, we gave our son Mateo a ride to the bus station. Saying goodbye and leaving him there was the most difficult thing that I've had to do in a very long time. I don't know what the future holds for him but I do know that no matter where he goes he will always be one of our kids.
For now his bed will remain empty. If God so chooses, we will open our home again to more sons in the future. Sons that we will welcome into our home and our family. Sons that we will cheer for passionately. Sons that we will love with the love of Christ.
I am so thankful for the blessings that God brought to our family through Mateo. He wrote us a note thanking us for loving him and for bringing him into our home. He said that he liked that our family was so happy. He finished the note by saying "Never stop smiling".
So in honor of our son Mateo we will keep smiling through the pain of missing him.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.