One afternoon last week, my mother was taking care of Daniel and my oldest sister’s four children. While my sister’s 3-year-old was sleeping upstairs, Daniel closed and locked the sunroom door, trapping his grandmother and three older cousins on the other side. I was at work and received a panicked email from my mother.
I ran to the car.
On my drive, I imagined our 2-year-old swinging from my parents’ chandelier. I pictured him dancing through shards of shattered crystal in their dining room. I was sure he was somersaulting down the staircase or emptying the kitchen cabinets or – perhaps, as I sat at yet another red light – pouring grape jelly over the piano keys.
In a best-case scenario, I figured I’d find myself apologetically offering to replace some treasured family heirloom. In a worst-case scenario, I imagined I’d be speeding next to the emergency room.
I arrived and unlocked the front door. There was no blood. The house was absolutely peaceful. In fact, Daniel was sitting placidly next to the sunroom door, looking through the door’s glass windows, grumbling because he couldn’t get to the other side where his fun cousins were.
As we drove home together that afternoon, I couldn’t help but feel relieved that Daniel was safe, that my mother had access to email from the locked room, that she hadn’t chained the front door earlier in the day, and that my nieces and nephew were laughing about their grand escape. I don’t know whether it was Daniel’s guardian angel who kept him sitting quietly on the other side of that door – or his cousins and grandmother who tried to keep his attention with books on the other side – but I tend to give that guardian angel, and Leo’s, a lot of credit.
During our waits to travel to China to adopt our sons, we didn’t know much about the people caring for our sons – other than that Leo was with a foster family and that Daniel was living in an orphanage. We felt confident, however, that each of them was in God’s hands and that he had placed a guardian angel by their sides. The idea that God had made sure an angel was with each of our sons even when they were far out of our reach – when we didn’t know whether they were sick, eating or sleeping well, or receiving attention and love – was so comforting.
Of course, when your 2-year-old son has a fascination with doors, his guardian angel doesn’t get a break just because his charge is home with his forever family. After last week, I’m thinking that it’s probably time for us to add the Guardian Angel Prayer to our boys’ evening prayers.
Ever this day, be at their side, to light, to guard, to rule, and to guide. Amen.