Black and White… Sweet and Sour… Yin and Yang… There’s an age old theory that opposites attract and it seems to be an ever growing theme in my life. You, my dear blog readers, are privy to a very personal part of my life, and I’m happy to report tonight that things are FINALLY moving in the right direction. However, my professional life, as an elementary school teacher, has turned tumultuous. My union is on the verge of striking. Putting all dollars and cents aside, the emotional toll it is taking on myself and my fellow teachers has been harder than I ever thought imaginable. I could start a whole different blog with my thoughts and feelings, facts and figures about the unrest clouding my district but this blog is my chance my focus on the positive. It is my chance to leave the war against us teachers until tomorrow and reflect upon our hopeful “someday” that is taking shape.
Even the story of our Tiny Human Project has a dark side and a light side this week. A few days ago, as I was heading up to bed I happened to glance out the sidelight windows next to the front door. A package caught my eye. My first thought was, “I didn’t order anything, I wonder if Mr. Something did.” But within a moment I recognized the pink flowered mailing envelope that I had lovingly packed and sent away over two months ago. The package was intended for Mr. Something’s cousin, the daughter of his cousin whom we met on a trip to visit his family. A little peanut of a girl being reluctantly raised by her grandmother since her own parents had given up on her. She put a face to our mission and after meeting her I was desperate to do something… anything for her. I took an inappropriate amount of time picking out books to send to her. I found the perfect card covered in sparkles and butterflies. I read the message over a hundred times to make sure it was “just right” and I sent it all on it’s way two months ago.
We hadn’t heard anything from Mr. Something’s family, but that was usual so I was going on assumptions that the package had been delivered to his family’s P.O. box and had been picked up weeks ago. That was until I found it sitting dirty, battered, and worn on our welcome mat. “Unclaimed” was stamped across the address with an old timey finger pointing back to my return address. She never got it. There was never a smile and a squeal of delight as she was presented with the pretty pink package. There were no bedtime moments spent huddled around the books I picked out. Suddenly she felt like a ghost and every emotion I felt after meeting her dissipated into mist around me.
“Unclaimed” A one word clue that I am left to puzzle out. What happened? Didn’t they check their mail? Did they get a claim ticket and not know what it was for? With weeks unanswered phone calls to agencies and now an unclaimed gift on my porch I felt more than ever that my wheels were spinning and I was getting nowhere.
The sweet to my sour came the very next day. I was well on my way home from work when my cell phone rang. I recognized the city area code and knew in an instant that it was the call from the agency I had been waiting for. Hoping that I could handle the call while driving I pressed the answer button on my steering wheel and the cheerful voice of an agency intern filled my car. She was calling to share information about her agency’s orientation meetings that are held once a month. She confirmed that they could take us through the foster care licensing process and help with various types of adoptions. Exhilarated and frantic, I’m surprised that I didn’t drive off the road! I scrambled in my purse to find a pen and something to write on. Why is it that purses become bottomless pits the moment you need to find something in a hurry? Mary Poppins’s bag indeed! I pulled free a Target prescription bag and found my pen just as she was sharing the dates of the orientation. I wanted to capture every bit of information she had. It was like sighting a fairy or a unicorn, you wouldn’t be sure that it was real so you’d do everything within your power to remember every detail of that moment and, for goodness sake, not do anything that might scare it away!
October 17th. When she told me the date I almost giggled out loud. The orientation was scheduled exactly seven months to the day that Mr. Something and I sat over Sangria and frozen margaritas and tried on our Tiny Human Project for the very first time. Once upon a time that former version of myself was convinced that we should wait six months before pursing the idea. It looks like we were true to that timeline whether we intended to be or not.
This orientation meeting marks a giant step for us. For one, we have been waiting until we were actually doing something before telling our families. We wanted to have something concrete to show for this choice of ours, not just a flighty idea that we’ve been reading about on the internet. After this meeting the light is green to bring the family on board. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. This meeting is also our first actual step toward the Tiny Human Project becoming a reality. Our excitement grows by the day and this shining light did much to diminish the darkness that seems to be following me lately. With light and dark there is balance and with balance one can find peace. Tonight I’m sailing on smooth waters, letting the stressors of my work environment slip beneath the surface as I focus on the beautiful horizon stretching before me.