Last week we talked about the restorative nature of forgiveness and letting go. After I wrote that, I learned the story of Jeff and Kirsten Corrigan and their son, Ryan, whom they adopted as a baby after his birth in 2001. They carefully chose a caregiver for their young son, someone they trusted. However, that caregiver ended up shaking Ryan when he was 9 months old, causing Shaken Baby Syndrome, leading to profound cognitive and physical disabilities. Ryan cannot walk or stand, has limited use of his arms and is non-verbal.
Can you imagine what his parents went through? I cannot. Would you be able to forgive the caregiver? That would be a challenge, wouldn't it?
Turns out, the Corrigans have forgiven the caregiver, someone who had also become their friend. They say that their faith allowed them to forgive. They wanted no sympathy and no revenge. They now use the experience to speak out about Shaken Baby Syndrome. And here's what Kirsten Corrigan says about forgiveness: "It's always a continual thing. Forgiveness is as much for you. We had a child who was joyful. We wanted to be happy, we wanted him to see that. To be focused on anger would be to miss days with him."
Yes! It's about choosing life, isn't it? Forgiveness is a choice.