Diving in

It took me a long time to learn to dive off the diving board. I didn't have a problem diving into the water from the side of the pool, but something about that extra 3 feet really freaked me out. I'm pretty sure I may have climbed back down and given up at least the first time I tried. I distinctly remember a series of jumps from the board where I lost my nerve at the last minute. I can still remember the feeling, though, of standing out on the edge of the diving board, looking down at the water, and being momentarily paralyzed.

I don't know what it was about the diving board that freaked me out. Perhaps it was the fact that the water was so deep. I wasn't (still not) the world's strongest swimmer, so maybe I feared something would go wrong and I'd drown. Maybe it was a fear of "doing it wrong" while others were watching. Or just that I really wanted to get it right the first time.

We are about to "go in the pool" for the adoption - meaning, all our paperwork will be checked off and we will be "waiting" for someone to choose us to parent their child. I feel like I'm on the edge of that diving board again now, looking down at the water, paralyzed.

Except this time, I'm acutely aware of all the things that are freaking me out: the water is deep, maybe I'll drown, I want to get it right.

As a kid, I couldn't stand on that diving board forever - there was a line behind me, waiting their turn, after all. So, finally, I took a deep breath and dove in. It wasn't pretty. I made a loud smack. It hurt. But, then, I came up for air. Swam over to the ladder. And got out to do it again.



So, Shelley and I just got back from our "Last Hurrah - Sort of a Honeymoon - Adventure" to Ecuador and the Galapagos. It was amazing. Truly trip of a lifetime -wild kingdom - animals up close- Darwinian stuff. And of course now that we're back, we're tasked with one of my very least favorite things to do - unpacking our luggage.

So, of course, because I hate unpacking (not a big fan of packing either, I always say I want to just hop on a plane without anything and then buy what I need once I'm there, but that'll never actually happen) I'm procrastinating. Thinking about baggage rather than dealing with my own. Well, at least not the physical suitcases in front of me.

The emotional baggage is another story entirely. Since we've begun this adoption process, we've really done a lot of examination of our baggage. I know a lot of people can be resentful of the "intrusive" questions that are asked of pre-adoptive parents - the hoops we have to jump through that other folks don't. But as uncomfortable as it can be at times to have to take a really close look at our lives and think about how we want to be as parents, I'm really thankful for the process.

Am I saying it has prepared us to be phenomenal parents? Of course not!!! But in my mind there's absolutely no way that actually taking a long hard look at our own stuff can't help in the long run. And not necessarily just to be better parents, but to be overall better people in the world. That's the goal, anyway. As far as I'm concerned, though, it's a work in progress.