Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anticipation

I enjoy riding roller coasters.  Part of that enjoyment comes from the anticipation one feels riding up that first big hill.  Going up that first hill, one hears the clacking of the coaster as it slowly makes its way upward.  That's when the rider's stomach begins to feel that nervous thrill because they know that the rushing downward whoosh is about to come.  It's all about the anticipation of what's to come.

Back during the 70's, Carly Simon had a song entitled "Anticipation," that was later used for a ketchup commercial.  None of us like to wait.  The longer we wait, the greater our anticipation grows.

As a boy, no sooner had the month of December arrived, when I began to anticipate Santa Claus coming to our house to deliver presents at Christmas.  I would count off each day until Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning.  When the former finally came, I remember how my sister and I were practically bouncing off the walls and of how difficult it was to go to sleep that night.  All of this energy was built up inside of us from all the anticipation of waking up Christmas Morning, dashing out of bed and into the living room to see what Santa had brought us.  I remember one year in particular, when this excitement became so feverish, that I awakened in the dark, crept to the living room, and, afraid that if I turned on the light I'd wake my parents up, I tried to make out what I'd gotten in the darkness.  I kept waiting for it to get light outside but it didn't, so I went to the kitchen to see what time it was - 3 am.  I couldn't believe it.  I was so sure it was closer to 6 am and that I could wake my parents up in an hour.  Instead, I had to sneak back to bed.

The English writer Samuel Johnson once wrote that, "No mind is much employed upon the present; recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments."  Right now our family is in the latter.  All of us are filled with expectation at receiving the invite.

It's been 3 weeks since the Ukrainian government received all of our dossier and paperwork.  We've heard from others how long it can possibly take for us to hear anything and, yet, each time I see that there's an e-mail in our account, there's a part of me that gets excited at the thought that it's our invitation to come over there. My son is the same way.  Every day, he asks, "Did we get the e-mail yet?"  I don't even have to ask him which one he's referring to and when I tell him we haven't, in frustration, he grumbles, "I hate waiting."

"But waiting is a necessary step," I tell him.

"Why?"

The best analogy I could think to give Benjamin was about how his Mom had to be pregnant with him for 9 months.  During those 9 months, I was filled with eager anticipation for him to be born, but I knew that he needed to be in his mother's womb so he would develop properly.  "We are waiting now," I told him, "because God is preparing us for this child.  He has His perfect time for us to go over there and we just have to trust Him.  We will go to Ukraine when the child God wants us to adopt is available.  Besides, just like when Mommy was pregnant with you, we are preparing for this child.  Think about how we are preparing a room just like we did for you.  Also, we went and purchased an adoption life book just like Mommy and I got a baby book for you.  The day for us to go over there will come just as that day came when I had to rush Mommy to the hospital so she could give birth to you."

For anyone who's new to this blog, I'm a bit of a dictionary nerd.  I love to look up new words and learn their meaning.  In fact, I'm such a dictionary nerd that one of my dreams is to own the complete Oxford English Dictionary.  That is the ultimate dictionary.  It is 20 volumes and costs a thousand dollars.  That is some serious wordage!

Anyway, when I started writing this blog entry, one of the first things I did was to go and look up the definition for "anticipation."  The first definition read, "The act of anticipating; looking forward to, expectation."  Kind of boring, right?  The second definition said, "Realization; enjoyment or celebration of an event or experience in advance."  I definitely prefer that definition because that is where our family is right now.  We are celebrating in advance meeting our child for the very first time.

I was ecstatic when I first met my son Benjamin after he was born.  He wailed with powerful lungs until I went over to where he was being cleaned up by the nurse and I leaned over and quietly told him, "It's okay, your Papa's here."  And Benjamin immediately became quiet.  We were instantly connected.  Danelle and I truly believe (we have prayed every night for this) that we will know immediately the child or children we are supposed to adopt.  We have prayed that God will stir something deep within both of us so that we'll know. Just as when we first held our son, we long to hold our son or daughter.  And, as we did with our son, we long to bring this child home.


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