I love roller coasters. Prior to neck surgery, it was my favorite part of a trip to an amusement park.
Oftentimes, I feel the journey of adoption is like a roller coaster......
I feel I am in the standing-in-line phase of the ride. As you probably know, the best coasters have the longest line and seem to take FOREVER for your turn. But finally, you are close to the front of the line, and a funny thing begins to happen. In the pit of your stomach it starts to tighten up. You want to ride, but there is some fear of the unknown (and sometimes the known!). Each step tenses you up a little more until finally it is time to take your seat and get strapped in. In no way does the tenseness lessen once the coaster begins to move. As a matter of fact, as the ride inches up that first hill, your heart is pounding, your hands are gripping tightly to the bar, and you can barely breath. It seems as though you hang forever on that first hill before you start down the other side. At this point you're thinking you must be crazy for voluntarily getting on this dangerous thing.
You start down that first hill and the screams of terror become screams of excitement. Laughter erupts. You let go of the bar and put your hands in the air. It is a thrill!!
I willingly get back on that coaster and will ride it over and over, and go through those same emotions again and again ( though not to the same degree as the first time, because I know all those twists and turns now).
This particular 'ride' has taken us a year- short by adoption standards, but oh, the line has seemed so long. We are finally at the front of the line and getting ready to board our seats. The knot in my stomach is there. The unknown ride is about to begin. Yes, many things I know quite well to expect. To be honest, they make me tense up even more. I do not look forward to taking two girls from the only family they have really known. It will be hard for them and their foster families. Grieving is hard, but at the same time, I know that it is a good sign because they have felt love (and we are eternally grateful for those who have loved them these past few years!). Adjustments are hard, and since Erin is blind, I know it will add another layer to that. Each daughter we have brought home has had their own difficult adjustments to make-to a new life and to a forever family. They have done so beautifully, and I know Erin and Meimei will as well. As we climb up that first hill, and before we start down the other side, we will have some tense moments, both while in China and once home. We will all have to discover a new normal. Oftentimes that is not an easy thing to do. Expectations need to be readjusted. Many prayers need to be prayed- day in and day out. My biggest job will be to let go of the bar on the ride I'm holding tightly to. I know that my grip is not what keeps me from falling out of my seat. Actually, it is an easier ride when I take my hands off the bar and relax. That's what I need to do now as well- stop gripping tightly to something I'm not in control of and let God work His mighty works. The journey will be smoother and more joyous.