Wow, this is an exciting time in our lives isn't it? First of all I've had a whiff of fall! The perfect weather in all of nature allows you to wear a t-shirt, sweatshirt and shorts all at the same time...then in the evening you have to pull some sweatpants over and it's just cool enough for a cup of tea or hot chocolate! Or one can take a nice long bike ride without hardly breaking a sweat. What is not to love? Then October comes and MLB Playoffs take flight and then Thanksgiving and....mmm mmm mmm. I've started writing again too. I have a poem or two that I may share sometime soon.
But I'm Very excited this year for other reasons. This year hasn't always been great, but a few weeks ago my little niece could clearly be heard saying "I love you Unca Rick!" She gave me a pez dispenser for my birthday last May, and so now I usually take it with me to their house when I visit them and little Leah knows just what to do. I also got a call some time ago from the children of my Bro' Rob and His wife Jessica. That was awesome. I love a good adult conversation with my siblings. I think I'm lucky to be close with them. I love being a brother. But today, I'm going to love being an Uncle. I'm also excited because the new business we're pushing is on the cusp of being a legitimate start-up.
But I'm really getting excited now because in potentially 1 week my sister and my brother-in-law are expecting a baby! Their gestation period has lasted 3 months or several years depending on how you look at it, but now their time is coming! Halleluja. Halleluja. Adoption is no kick-in-the-pants, it's more like fill-up-the-pants. It's nerve-wracking. People don't always realize that an adoptive parent hasn't felt the baby grow or kick, hasn't been sick, hasn't had to take all the right vitamins or avoid alcohol (hee hee). Some adoptive parents haven't always fully dealt with the fact that they can't have their own children. But they haven't had much time to put a baby room together and they've had less time (none to be exact) to bond with the baby. The adoptive parent has no idea if the birth parent will change their mind even after the birth. The adoptive parent has no idea where they're supposed to go in the hospital, won't go through the birth itself, won't get to bond with him in the first minute of his life, has no idea when they'll get to see the baby, has no idea whether to stand with the birth family or behind them. The adoptive parent has been waiting for this for a long time and yet they have less time to change their lives and their plans. They're used to the life they've lived "just in case" nothing happens. Many adoptive parents have to share their baby with 4 sets of grandparents and another "Mom and Dad" (this is usually not a bad experience, but it's still different). Adoptive Mom's haven't built up natural "milk" and they haven't gone hormonal. Adoptive parents have to deal with courts and they have to deal with social workers. Some adoptive parents have to yet deal with well-meaning but a little bit painful comments like "oh he looks just like his dad..." or "he's got his mother's nose..." Some people don't realize that many adoptive parents have probably lost several children because an adoption fell through...believe me, it's like mis-carriage...and some of us have experienced that too.
Yes, an adoptive parent is a breed stronger and grittier than most Vikings and that's the truth. It takes a mental, physical and spiritual strength that many only wonder about.
Believe me, an actual pregnancy is no picnic either and Mom's and Dad's have some of the same worries. They spend 9 months vigorously and tirelessly doing all the "right" things. They worry, they go to the doctor, they experience pain and angst. They have to also change their lives drastically and they also have to look into a future unknown. And they have to deliver for cryin-out-loud! I'd rather have perpetual heartburn I think. I've the utmost respect for new parents...whew.
But this is about the excitement for the pending adoption for my sister and her husband! I think I can understand what they're feeling right now...jump into a dryer, have someone turn it on...10 minutes later jump out hot, sweaty, sore, dizzy and slightly insane...
But that's where God comes in...no, strike that...He came in a lot earlier than that...I know that too.
And so, I'm so excited for them! I can't wait! My nieces and nephews are all different and all so easy to love. I can't wait to hear his version of "Monique" and I can't wait to Hear his version of "Los Angeles Dodgers..."
Man, this is an ode to the parent. This is an ode to the parent has has had children but can't seem to have another. This is an ode to adoptive parents. This is an ode to those who have experienced grit and ire and who come out the other end wiser but smiling. This is for those who realize that before you felt forsaken He was forsook. Before you felt beaten, He was beat. Before you felt tired, he spent 40 days in the desert. And before you even walked on your own two feet, He was forming them in Heaven.
So your way is dusty and dry. The dirt is hard to swallow and you need water. But what you have to realize is that the dust is the dust from the feet of your Rabbi...and the living water is just ahead.