(first published Sept 2007)
This morning I started reading Have Fun. Learn Stuff. Grow. by David Albert. Part of the preface (and I’m not sure yet what it has to do with the rest of the book) told a story of two men. Two men in identical boats, equipped with the same things, on the same sea, trips identical in every way but one. The first man *planned* to go out to sea for 40 days, to do some experiments on ideas he thought about the sea. The second man was shipwrecked, and did not know when his time on the sea would end, nor did he plan to be there.
Mr. Albert goes on to make his point. The first man came off those 40 days tired but excited and mentally stimulated. He couldn’t wait to go back and do it again. The second man, the shipwrecked man, felt as if he had just lived 40 days of his worst nightmare and never wanted to enter the sea again. At the end of the little story, Mr. Albert says, “Which one is more like your education? Your life?” (I may be paraphrasing here, I don’t have the book in front of me.)
That story really struck me as something that could be included in this blog. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like my adoption makes me much more like the shipwrecked man than the “man with the plan.” Being relinquished by birth parents does give many adoptees that feeling of “being adrift,” of “being at the top of a black hole of space” as if any little loss of connection to your safe world could send one careening into nothingness with no way to stop the free fall…or set adrift on a wild sea with no knowledge of rescue.
I often have those feelings of “I didn’t choose any of this!” even to this day. The last 13 years have been very stressful, with many moves, births, deaths, new jobs, etc. I have trouble remembering in many cases that I’m just “choosing to trust God” (like in timing of new babies) rather than choosing for myself “the plan I want.” I think it is also part of the problem I’m having with relinquishing my control to my husband as the head of the family. I guess my job now is to figure out how to be the first man, the man who *chose* to be on the sea for an adventure. How to choose that while still being a servant to my family, a “second in command” to my husband’s leadership…
Hmmmm…I wish this blog was coming up with a better ratio of answers to questions!