#4 of a 4 part series | “Life Lessons from a Little Boy”
This part of the story is so painful it takes my breath away. I think that’s why it has taken me so long to write it. There are not words to describe the pain of losing a child. A piece of your heart is forever missing. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” It is that faith and hope that I cling to every single day. I know without a doubt that I will hold Keaton in my arms again someday in Heaven. Jesus will make everything whole again and the sorrows and struggles of this world will all fade away in the light of His glory.
Keaton very suddenly and unexpectedly went to be with Jesus in February of 2016. He was only 7 years old. We were completely devastated that our little boy was gone. We could not even begin to comprehend why this would happen. We had a choice to make, we could either trust God completely with everything we had, knew, and believed, or we could turn away in anger and let grief consume us. There were moments when grief did completely consume us, but we knew the truth of God’s word and that He would never leave us, especially in our deepest time of need. We needed to remind ourselves that God still had great plans and purposes for our lives, and we needed to continue living for Him and sharing the hope of salvation with others. Our family decided that we had to move forward together and that we would bring Keaton’s memory and the life lessons he taught us to help guide us along the way.
To us, Keaton’s life here on earth was far too short, but God knew Keaton had fulfilled the plan He had for him on earth. People would say how lucky and blessed Keaton was to have our family, but we all knew the truth, that we were more blessed to have him than we could have ever imagined. Having Keaton in our lives changed us for the best. We know the truth in the saying; “It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.” And if we knew before we took the leap of faith to adopt Keaton, that we would only have such a short time with him here on earth, we would go back and do it all over again and again for him. He was worth every second of every day we got to be with him and every tear we cry as we miss him so dearly.
Without ever saying a word, Keaton taught us more in those four years we had with him than most people will in a lifetime. Our time with Keaton was filled with so much joy, love, and laughter we will always remember. Keaton taught us that each and every day is a special gift from God. He taught us to love deeply and always have joy in our hearts. Keaton loved everyone unconditionally, especially his family. He taught us to appreciate the little things in life that we all take for granted. Keaton taught us to be determined and never give up. Due to his cerebral palsy, even the simplest of daily tasks was a struggle for Keaton, but he would try his hardest at everything he did and always had such a positive attitude. Keaton set such a wonderful example for us, he was so kind and friendly to everyone he met and had a smile for anyone who told him hello. He had such a sweet and gentle spirit we can all learn from.
It is amazing to me how one little, once orphaned, special needs boy touched so many lives. It is a story only God could write. Keaton’s story is one of hope, a story of redemption, and most of all a story of love. Keaton’s memory will live on in the hearts of everyone who knew him, and in the eyes of every orphan around the world still waiting for their forever family to come for them. We may never know, this side of heaven, the impact Keaton’s life has had on so many and how God continues to use his story through Keaton’s Angel Homes.