Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On the tarmac....

We are heading into 19 weeks of waiting.

I didn’t think I could ever wait this long….

This reminds me of a traveling experience a year ago. We sat on our plane on the tarmac at O’Hare for 7 hours. When we related the story to friends and family, they gasped such things as, “I could never have done that” or “How did you not go crazy" or “I would have demanded to get off” or such variations.

When we got on the plane destined to Germany with final destination to North Africa for a missions trip, we were initially told about some mechanical difficulties that would delay us about 30 minutes. I kid you not; the captain kept announcing similar statements about every 45 minutes, of course injecting nuggets of hope with each announcement that the part has arrived, the testing is almost completed, the problem is in final stages of being resolved, etc.... Well, 7 hours later we had to march off the plane, as the flight had to then be cancelled as the delays caused the flight crew to be beyond the legal limit for an hourly shift. Unbelievable. We (all 500 of us) then sprawled out at the gate for another 3 hours waiting for a promised flight out very soon until we were told a new flight would not be going out that night as there were no other flight crews available. We were instructed to come back the next day. This was at 2:30am. Shockingly (or not so shockingly as the trip was going so far), they ran out of hotel vouchers, so many of the travelers got to cozy down at the airport. We, luckily, met up with a very nice businessman (or angel?) who lived in Chicago and was able to assist us in finding a hotel even though most other passengers found no vacancies (Little did we know we really needed that sleep in the hotel, as the next several days of travel and on land had plenty more exhausting twists and turns. But that is another story...). The next day, we finally got off the ground and on our way, as a new flight was created to accommodate this whole group.

But…. some amazing things happened during that time. While sitting in the plane on the tarmac for 7 hours, we were able to walk around and, strange and "corny" as it may sound, this group of people really began to bond. We got to hear stories of many other passengers and share our own. Who does that??? A little small talk is typical, but we got to hear life stories several times over. Again, while waiting at the gate another 3 hours after disembarking from the plane, we were able to share, laugh, whine and bond some more. Finally, when our plane took off the following day the take off was muffled by all the loud cheers and whistles. Again, during that long flight we were able to connect with many passengers we met during that first fateful tarmac meeting. Our flight crew also pulled out all the stops. We were offered unlimited cute little drink bottles and extra meals and snacks (unlike domestic flights, international flight food is usually quite tasty). And lastly, when we got to Germany, there were signs up all throughout the area, directing those of us from flight #1044 (which we were) to a specific location. I think this may have been my one and only glimpse of "star" treatment. We were directed to immediate service at customs and at that point gave our final well wishes to the several hundred co-adventurers on 1044 that we had the privilege to spend time with. It was unequivocally the most memorable flight ever. I smile as I remember those hours and literally say, “What a blast”.

Well, all that is to say, I see this as a picture of our current adoption journey. Yes, it is difficult, yes, I just may have gotten off the plane immediately if I knew what was in store (or never booked the flight in the first place), but God didn’t allow us to know that, and that is for the best. Because the journey is long and hard, we are drawn to connect with others on this same journey for comfort, encouragement, laughter and a limited amount of whining. Basically, we know what you are going through, and you, us, who are all on this flight/journey together. What a blast!


Kristy -Mom to 4 and soon to be more! said...

What a GREAT perspective! Thanks so much for sharing that insight. This process is definitely about growth and refinement, which will make the end product...our sweet kiddos and a closer walk with the Lord....all the more sweeter.

Angie said...

Awesome post. We're hoping to see your referral post soon too, but in the meantime, have a blast!

The Roberts Family said...

You should really get some kind of "happy attitude" award! :) So maybe we'll get to travel together and you'll keep me busy so that I forget that I'm claustrophobic! Ha! Praying your call comes soon!! Blessings, ~Shelly

Chris & Jess said...

I love this post! It's amazing how much comfort and encouragement I have received from new blogger friends and adoptive families who have had similar experiences. I think you have the right perspective, and your faith is inspiring!
Praying for your referral,
Jess :)

Keva said...

I commend you for your attitude. God IS in control of this journey and who better. Be strong. I hope your wait ends soon.

Denise said...

I enjoyed reading that story - what a flight! It would be awful to go through this process without others to share in it and lean on each other!

emily said...

Great picture of the Lord seeing the big picture, desiring so much more for us than we can ever imagine. Our flesh will always pick the easy way out and risk missing out on great blessing.

Was that story on the news? I feel like I have heard that before-

Waiting does stink though but by HIs grace we endure:) Praying for a referral soon for your family. I know once we "meet" our kids it will all make sense!!

the albertsons said...

hello sweet family!
I'm with you... never thought we'd wait this long for a court date. Am I just ignorant? who knows, but there's NOTHING we can do about it, but wait on the Lord.

Ted and Lori said...

One of my most hated things in the world is being stuck on an airplane that's not moving. The worst was sitting for two hours on the tarmac in Memphis during the summer when the electricity wasn't working on the plane. I was starting to panic from breathing the stale, hot air. I just tried to stare out the window and pretend I was somewhere else so I wouldn't have a stroke. Kudos to you for having this great attitude!I doubt I could have done it.