My wife is reading aloud The Lord of the Rings to our youngest now, and I usually manage to hang around near the living room while she’s reading, so that I can hear it too–that story, and the Chronicles of Narnia, are ones I never get tired of hearing.
She just started into The Two Towers (the second book in the trilogy), and was reading the chapter about the riders of Rohan. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas have been tracking the pack of orcs who kidnapped Merry and Pippin, but they aren’t able to catch up to them in time. After several days, they happen upon riders from Rohan, who inform them that they slaughtered the band of orcs but did not see any hobbits among them. Downhearted, the three trackers come to the conclusion that Merry and Pippin were killed and burned along with the orcs, and thus their quest has failed. The following conversation ensues…
“We can do no more,” said Gimli sadly. “We have been set many riddles since we came to Tol Brandir, but this is the hardest to unravel. I would guess that the burned bones of the hobbits are now mingled with the Orcs’. It will be hard news for Frodo, if he lives to hear it; and hard too for the old hobbit who waits in Rivendell. Elrond was against their coming.”
“But Gandalf was not,” said Legolas.
“But Gandalf chose to come himself, and he was the first to be lost,” answered Gimli. “His foresight failed him.”
“The counsel of Gandalf was not founded on foreknowledge of safety, for himself or for others,” said Aragorn. “There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark. But I shall not depart from this place yet. In any case we must here await the morning-light.”
“There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.” That line from Aragorn encouraged my heart. I do not know what will come from our adoption of Anah, or whether that end will be dark or light, but our choice to adopt was not based on us having a comfortable life, and I believe that this adoption was better to begin than to refuse, even if it doesn’t end in the way we imagined or hoped.