A Brazilian dad’s beautiful message to his adopted son
Deberth Araujo, who adopted William with his partner Guilherme Gatto in the same year that his father died, thanked the child for “saving him”.
The post has attracted around 100,000 reactions and been shared more than 23,000 times.
Deberth, who lives in Rio Grande do Norte in the northeast of the country, wrote that after he heard about the orphan’s fate, he knew he had to help.
“When I learned that you lived between orphanage and hospitals, alone, without family, so small, already with 11 hospitalisations for pneumonia and various allergies, I felt a mixture of a calling and fear,” he said.
Deberth told his son that he was torn between being “your hero and saving you” and “the fear of the greatest responsibility of my life.
“But in the first hug I saw it was I who would be rescued and saved. We were being chosen. It’s inexplicable.”
Attached to the message was a photo of this first hug, capturing all three members of the new family grinning happily.
Three months later, after health scares and seemingly endless worry, the pair could take their son home for good.
And now, Deberth has no fear.
“You were our best choice,” he wrote.
“But you are the one who chooses us every night when you only sleep if you hold our hand, or when you wake us up to sing for you, or when you run into our laps when you are afraid.”
He tells the child that one day, he “will see that the world is not as beautiful a place as it should be.
But, he promises that “we will do everything possible for you not to see this side of life until you are old enough to understand it and see that people often put their conventions above character and love because they’re limited.
“You must forgive them, but never change based on what a society full of contradictions says is acceptable.
“Most of all, you must always respect yourself as you are, because the worst violence is the one we commit against ourselves.”
In his most emotional passage, Deberth tells his son: “Will, you came in the same year that I lost my father, your grandfather.
“Now I understand that unlimited love, from a man who told me that I could be whatever I want, not to be afraid, and hugged me when I thought I would be rejected.
“This letter is for you to learn that speaking the truth out loud makes us free, and being who we are is the greatest act of courage,” he added.
“For a while I forgot that, but you rescued me, saved me in every way possible and taught me what it is to be a father.
“Never forget that family, of blood or by choice, is who loves you without clauses.”
He explained: “Family is not only who tolerates you, it is who understands you and welcomes you; family is who will be there when the floor is missing.
“We will always love you for what you are, and if the world insists on hurting you, our embrace will always be a safe place where you will never feel alone again.
“Build a world where love and character are worthy, where differences do not separate people. It’s what I want to pass on to you.
“I love you, my son!”