BETWEEN

Monday, February 24, 2014

Between here and there, between you and me, between now and forever, we are suspended. I am not good at waiting, more than not good, i am terrible. I want to know, want to see, want to have the answer. And if I don't have it, I want to find it. I want to find it now, forge the way, make a path. But I can't. All I can do is wait. I like to think that someday this in between will be a distant memory. That you'll forget this time. I hope you will, I think you will. I never will.

I've never felt so helpless. All I can do is make faces at you through a computer screen with a terrible internet connection. You're confused. You look beyond the screen to the door where I walked out. The door you've waited for me to come back through. I dream of that door, it haunts me. Framed by simple cinder blocks and covered with a colorful wax printed cloth. It flutters in the wind, both in reality and in my mind. Hinting at what is to come, teasing at what is beyond my grasp.

I don't know when I'm coming back for you. Just as the curtain of your front door flirts with the wind, so do the officials that could grant you leave. Your final exit letter is waiting on one signature. After months, years, of collected documents, notarizations, signatures, an act of adoption, an investigation, a passport, a visa, and a b letter, we need one piece of paper to let us past the guards at the airport. Sometimes I still can't believe that we've gotten this close to be thwarted one last time.

I still don't understand this story, but I trust that the thickening plot has made it a better story, a truer story. One that resonated. One that proves our love. Not for the world, but for you. To the ends of the earth and back I would go, a million times, again and again. That's how much we love you. Don't ever doubt that, not even for a minute.

CRUSTY

Monday, February 10, 2014

I've never written about food. But since I live in San Francisco, I suppose its about time. 

My heart feels crusty. I know it sounds weird. But it feels just like it sounds. A little stale, a little hard, becoming less of the inside and more of the outside. Its seeping in. The doubt, the pain, the frustration, the anger, the bitterness, and the jealousy.

The doubt that my baby will ever find his way into my arms again. The pain in his eyes when he hears my broken voice and sees my robotic face on the screen through an internet connection operating like short staccato notes in a flurry of melody. The frustration in knowing I am utterly powerless, something one can't possibly understand reading from American soil. The anger that evil and injustice and corruption prevail. The bitterness that other kids have come home for reasons less sensical than those holding my son captive. The jealousy that others have what I want. These emotions are real, they are raw. 

And while I would give most anything to strip them away, to don a knife and lop them off like I do to the crusts on Sam's peanut butter sandwiches- they are part of me in this moment. And if I were to remove them, I'd be removing part of myself. I'm not sure my emotions are bad, at least not entirely. What I choose to do with them is where I meet my struggle. 

The doubt has not won me over, it just mocks me. The pain is piercing, but we are not the only ones who feel it. The heart of the father gathers our pain into his and buoys it up, like a tiny life raft on a stormy sea. The frustration is appropriate, this is not the way its supposed to be. The anger is even a bit holy, I think. Jesus was angry when the leaders oppressed the weak and helpless. The bitterness rises in the back of my throat, and as often as I swallow, I push it away. I don't want to be bitter, but we are still at war with one another. The jealousy reminds me that my God is jealous. He desires what is his. My desire to bring my son home is only because this is where he belongs. 

Tonight I remind myself that crusty isn't always bad- like crostini topped with brie, a baguette dunked in soup, or toast topped with cinnamon. When appropriately balanced, crispy gives depth and intrigue, flavor and texture, all the good things a mature palette desires. So while I feel like a stale dinner roll at the moment, I trust that I'm actually becoming something much more. Maybe a rustic loaf. The kind you see in those pretty San Francisco magazines on a beautifully reclaimed wood table where friends gather to break bread. The kind that needs a good strong knife to break it open, but the kind that goes with fine wine and fancy cheese after a long day's work.    

In admitting all this, I think I'm helping the inside reclaim what its lost to the outside. Putting the crust to  bread ratio back in its place. Trusting the baker to pull me from the heat of the fire at just the right moment. 
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