An interesting thread is showing up in my week.

The thread: handing over love and care.  

Our dear friends just adopted a beautiful baby boy. We met William – Will for short – on  Sunday afternoon and he is one lucky little man. He is in the hands of two people who are filled with love and kindness. And he will be raised by a mom and a dad invested in his health and wellbeing, devoted to his happiness and creating opportunity for him, and he will be surrounded by extended family and friends that will embrace him in every step of his journey – including us.

Like I said – lucky little man.

Before we ventured over to their house, I called my friend and asked: Am I supposed to bring a casserole? (That’s my midwestern upbringing showing up…)

I really have no idea what parents need other than diapers and food and I figured they had that covered. So we brought a bottle of wine instead. I figured they could use that too.

Sure enough, we arrived and they had a real live baby. Will was peacefully sleeping in a comfy bed, sporting a green and white striped onesie for St. Patrick’s Day. We looked at pictures and they shared their experience of the adoption process. The story of how this all came to be is not short of amazing and it may be one of the greatest acts of kindness that I ever witness. But that story of how Will came to be is not my mine to share. I can only say that life – in all of its craziness – is filled with great beauty. And on that day, our friends shared with us a little boy and a story that is AWESOME!

After a beer and a lovely plate of veggies, hummus, strawberries, deviled eggs, prosciutto, and cheeses (thanks to Matthew!), my friend asks me if I want to hold the little guy. I rarely take pleasure in holding a baby. I simply don’t have experience holding the little ones and they usually scream and I want to give them back. But with Will, I held him for over thirty minutes (hands down – the longest I have ever held a baby). He laid on my chest and slept. It was perfect and I actually enjoyed listening to his chirping noises, smelling his baby smell, and feeling the warmth of his little body all snuggled in.

Then mom and dad fed the little guy and shared the tasks of warming up the bottles and burping him. The joy we felt was big – for our friends, for Will, and for us too. We knew, from that moment on, that our lives would be changed forever and horse shows would now require a baby carrier.

Fast forward to today…

I get a call this afternoon from a woman inquiring about leasing my horse, Mr. Pi. I’m in the process of looking for my next horse. In doing so, my process also includes shepherding the next phase of Pi’s life – one that includes lots of riding and carrots and love and care. What will be different is the level of work he will be asked to do. No more counter canter. No more collection. And no more work that really loads his hind legs. He will be a great horse for someone who isn’t going to ask as much I did in terms of athleticism. Given that, my task is finding someone to hand over the love and care. The thought of handing over the reins to someone else gives me great pause but I also know that it’s time for someone else to ride him. I’m ready for the next level of horse and Pi is ready for his next phase. We’re ready.

Here’s what I’m learning this week…

Handing over love and care to someone else is hard – acts of great compassion usually are. It’s hard to find the right match. And it definitely doesn’t happen without some tears. But it can be the right thing to do for everyone involved -especially for Will and Pi.