“Anna-leis, I can’t promise you a child, that this adoption will happen, but I can promise you I am going to fight to make it happen, and I can promise you that I’ll love you until my last breath, and beyond that.” Clarence promised, as he held Anna-leis supporting her as she stood.
“I know.” Anna-leis said. “And I am grateful, but I don’t know what I was expecting, this all of this is harder than I imagined. I thought I would be stronger by now.”
“There’s more than one kind of strength sweetheart.” Clarence said, breathing in the scent of Anna-leis favorite shampoo.
Anna-leis nodded, but honestly she didn’t feel strong as people pried into her life, asking invasive questions. She could handle being asked questions about what happened to her, it wasn’t easy to talk about, but she could. The questions about her childhood were far more invasive.
Clarence wrapped his arms around her, letting her lean into him, as they stood, the day was beautifu, and it felt good to be outside. But even the most beautiful of days could not wipe the scars of Anna-leis past, it couldn’t give her a better childhood, but he could give her a beautiful now.
“Am I ever going to move past my childhood scars?” Anna-leis asked, resting her head on Clarence’s shoulders.
“Sweetheart, I can’t give you the answers, but I can be here for you to lean on, while you try to figure them out. I really wish I could.”
“I know Clarence, you’ve been great. I couldn’t face any of this without you.”
“And I couldn’t imagine life without you Anna-leis. I am just so glad you said yes, and we are husband and wife now.”
“Me too.” Anna-leis said softly, being married to Clarence was something she thanked God for everyday. She regretted being stubborn for so long, but as Clarence reminded her, it was now that mattered. “I am glad we are husband and wife, grateful for you being there for me throughout all of this. I don’t feel broken when I am around you.”
“You aren’t broken Anna-leis.” Clarence said gently.
“I’m a double amputee.”
“That doesn’t make you broken Anna-leis.” Clarence said gently. “It makes you strong.”