Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Forever Changed

After 19 hours on a plane from Ethiopia, CrazyMom, Anna, and I landed at Dulles airport. When we cleared customs and immigration we had to go through security again to get back to where all of the gates were for our next flight. We were selected for a special intense high tech security search. It appeared to me that we were selected to provide some diversity to the middle aged dark-skinned males who were also selected for the special search. We eventually made it through and were off for our gate.

Then it happened. I saw a mom at the bottom of the escalator we were on who was about the same age as CrazyMom. She was cheerily shepherding her four blond-haired birth kids through the crowd. Envy crept over me as I remembered my life with just four birth kids. But those days are gone now and there is no going back.

I have these envy episodes from time to time. As I enter a restaurant and see two young lovers sitting by a window at a dainty table for two engrossed in deep conversation, an envy episode can start. As I stand there with children in my arms and at my feet and multiple waiters around me trying to pull together enough tables for my family to sit down, I remember when it was CrazyMom and me at the table for two by the window. But those days are gone now and there is no going back.

At each stage in life it seems like I have gone through an irreversible transformation that has brought more people into my inner sphere - from being a single to being a husband, from being a husband to being a birth dad, from being a birth dad to being an adoptive dad.

Each expansion of my inner sphere has brought less time for me and it is my selfish side that kick-starts the envy episodes. But after a moment it fades because I look around me and see my wife and all of my kids and I feel the richness and the significance of living for others rather than for self. Yes, it was fun in the early days when it was just CrazyMom and me. But I have been forever changed and the fun of yesteryear has been replaced with the joy of today.


Norah said...

This is a great post. I sometimes feel this way as well, and then I remember how I felt when it was just me, and how much I longed for a family and children. Even when we do get a night out alone, I often miss the kids..and my bed! LOL

Laurel said...

What a beautiful post. It exactly sums up how I feel at times. I love the way you expressed it...you notice the feelings, but you have no regrets. I am going to remember this post the next time I have those envious moments!
Love this blog!

jody said...

I know that feeling well-it is not that I would trade things now for the world, but sometimes it is nice to just take a mental break from them a bit and remember the "good old days"-hang in there with your new transition-your family is truly beautiful :)!!

Sherry said...

Wonderful post. I think everyone has those moments, and it is nice to remember back on them, but I wouldn't change anything. Living for self is not living for God! :)

erika's funny farm said...

Thank you for a glimpse of your heart. Your honesty and humility are beautiful. We also have four birth children, and are preparing to bring home a beautiful little girl from China. Your blog has blessed us on many days, but this one does in particular. God Bless.

Pam and Brian said...

I have been blessed by your post. We are in the process of adopting number 2 and 3 and are just realizing how much our life is about to change. Yet we know this is what God has called us to. Thanks for your honesty. I will remmeber this when those enby moments start.