There are many reasons, most of all of them completely irrational, but they exist and it is a matter of discipline for me to step on to an airplane, buckle myself in, and "sit back and enjoy the flight." This is the part where I chuckle to myself and think how I neither sit back nor enjoy any part of any flight.
If you've ever flown internationally or a long domestic flight, you know there is a certain schedule to it all. There's the take off: a rush of excitement followed by a "ding" letting the flight attendants everything is going according to plan.
Minutes later there is another ding where the pilot comes on the speakers telling us all it is now ok to turn on electronic devices. If he's a friendly pilot, he'll tell us about the weather at the destination and if he's really good, he'll tell us the route and what we will be passing over. (thank you, friendly pilots!)
A few minutes after that, the fasten seatbelt light turns off, we are told it is "safe to move about the cabin", and we're reminded to keep our seat belts fastened in case of unexpected turbulence.
Then the flight attendants emerge with drink and food carts. I watch them approach each row, handing out diet cokes and cranberry juices. We eat, throw our trash away and then about 2 hours into the flight...all activity ceases. Food service is over, people begin to settle in with a book or an inflight movie or a 6 hour game of bejeweled. They may pop a nyquil and snuggle up to the shoulder of the stranger next to them or begin to blow air into their handy dandy neck pillow. And this, for me, is where the most tortuous part of the plan ride begins. In the nothingness. In the silence.
I have loved the entertainment of the last 2 hours - I can see the action and the flight attendants working hard to meet all of our needs. Their visible work somehow represents to me that the pilots are working hard too. But, when they disappear into their little curtained off area and I see no movement about the cabin, I start to fear. (Irrational, yes...I know...trust me, I know).
When I DON'T see action, I question if anything is happening. I feel a bump along the way and I try to peek ahead through the dark aisles but all I see if a big, securely locked metal door. What is happening behind that door? What are the pilots doing? Are they asleep? Did they feel that bump? If I could just see behind that door...
And that is where we are in the adoption process right now. The "action" has subsided. Our paperwork is all in. Now we wait. In silence. There is nothing more to do. And this is when it is easy for the fear to kick in. This is when my mind starts to wander into the "what if's". What if our paperwork somehow got lost along the away, or accidentally buried underneath a pile of more important paperwork?
When I don't feel the action of the process, I often question if things are still moving.
Ultimately, this whole issue I have about airplanes and paperwork roots back to a fundamental belief about God. Do I trust Him? Do I trust that even when I don't see or if I am not a part of the pieces and parts moving, that pieces and parts are still moving? And not just moving at random, but in His goodness and Divine story for our lives, and for the life of our little girl. Sometimes silence and waiting are a part of the purpose.
I like things that are seen. Tangible things I can hold in my hands. But, God brings me back to this beautiful and mind-bending truth: "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
It goes against my nature to sit in row 38F, close my eyes, and rest in the silence of an airplane, trusting that the pilot is working hard on our behalf, even though I may never see him.
And it goes against my nature to sit in my home and find joy with our family of 3, without constantly worrying and wondering if "they" are doing their part to bring our little girl home.
And it goes against my nature to sit in God's presence and rest...and to fix my eyes on the unseen. To trust in His goodness and story He is writing in and through our family's life.
But, it is what He asks of us..and it is for our good. Thank you for sitting in this row with us. For waiting in the silence and holding our hands along the journey. It's a lonely one at times, filled with many more questions than answers. But we are grateful God has given us so many people who encourage us with their words, their prayers, and their financial support. We truly could not do this without you!
So I'm going to try my hardest to sit back and enjoy the ride.
- Waiting. We are coming upon Russia's big holiday month in January.
- Therefore, referrals really slow down at this time due to holiday schedules. Thankfully, we know that and don't expect to hear much these next couple of months.
- For our little girl. That she would be loved, cared for, treated uniquely.
- That her orphanage would do something special this month for Christmas and the New Year
- For our hearts as we wait and go through this holiday season with her in our hearts, but not in our home
Until next Monday...love, Kate, Steve & Dima.