Have you ever really stopped to consider the surreal nature of watching your friends parent???
This week, the son of one of my college girlfriends turned 9... 9!! Now, I know this means little to most of you, but please understand that I met this woman about 18 years ago, just moments before she went "stair surfing" down the steep basement steps of a fraternity house, cackling her crazy laugh, and giving herself floor burn on most of her body, including her face, the night before parents' weekend... Just months later, now good friends, she would yell/scream/rasp in a way only she could do, "Make good choices!!!," as girls in our sorority house would leave the house on dates... THIS crazy, fun woman has a 9 year old!! In my mind, she is still this cackling, crazy, platinum blonde haired girl who slammed a mysterious concoction and screamed, "see ya at the bottom!," and I am still the overly eager to please, body conscience, BEANPOLE girl who watched her carefree exuberance with envy.... we've both come a long way.
BUT, tonight, as my husband and I sat through a home study review of our autobiography questionnaires with a clinical psychologist, I kept thinking, "don't think I'm crazy!! Like me! Like me! Pleeeaaasssse!!!" I really only hoped that she wouldn't judge me. That she'd think my humor funny and not compensating. That she'd find my husband and my relationship very "opposites attract," and not, "how'd she get him?!?!" That she'd find my breakdown of my ex boyfriends witty, self-deprecating, funny, and not sad, pathetic, or, God forbid, revealing!!
Revealing of what? I have no idea... (well, other than the fact that it is no great mystery why I needed to be set-up on a blind date to find a husband... God love 'em, but few of my previous "loves" were good husband material!!! Fun? Oh my, yes! But, as a husband... oh man!!! No way! Thank God some prayers are, well, redirected!) Anyway, as the interview progressed, I found myself obsessing over the alphabet soup after her name on her desk placard, an article in Cosmo I had read about 20 years ago about nonverbal body language, and what that may mean she was inferring from the fact that for the first twenty minutes I had sat with my leg crossed AWAY from my husband and the fact that Chris, while amazing, can look sort of like he's being paper-cut to death, even at his happiest!! (I love you honey!) ;)
Why was I so anxious? For the most part, people like us. We try to be kind, like able people... we are, I think?? THEN, it hit me, it's that Reece's Rainbow family page!! Have you read it? It reads like a canonization nomination roster!!! These people are saints! A who's who of deeply religious and righteous folks. Everyone's story is different, their journey to this place filled with any number of twists and turns, but all are these amazing, sort of conservative to ultra conservative families. In their facebook posts and family stories they speak so freely of Christ's guidance in this endeavor. They hand sew EVERYTHING. They wear their faith on their sleeve. And, while I consider myself very faith filled, and a Christian devoted to worship via service of my fellow man, I'm pretty sure none of them ever, shortly after coveting a strangers crazy bravado, tossed one back and let loose a half war cry, half plain ol' cry and "stair surfed" down into a waiting, welcoming, dirty basement, filled with the throbbing tones of Nine Inch Nails and debauchery... THAT was me! That was us. My husband lives his life in the most Godly way of any human being I've ever really known, at least in terms of what he does for this world, but he's also human. He used to be sort of a punk. A long-haired, hippy rocker. Now, the bald, stoic, principal in a tie, you'd never know it, but trust me, that punk is still in there!!! Yes, neither of us were nearly as "bad" as we thought we were. We were actually each really good kids, but not perfect. And, massive sinners if you are a Bible literalist... How can I be me in this light of inspection and be expected to pass? But, I have to be me. We have to be.
At the end of the day, we are not perfect. In any way. But man, can we love. We love God. We love each other. We love our kids. We love our family. And, we love our ginormous, diverse, circle of friends who are, in reality, amazingly good people who know how to have one hell of a good time.
So, this is me... imperfect me: I cuss too much; I guffaw too loud; I love a dirty joke; I occasionally over imbibe; I overuse exclamation points, run-on sentences and ellipses; I've got a temper like no other if you lie to me, hurt or mistreat someone just because you can, or, you catch me on a bad day (just being honest); and I have a really hard time forgetting when someone lets me down. I'm a sinner. I'm human. I'm just like you.
Why am I telling you my flaws when this whole process is about hiding them? Because I know those people on Reece's Rainbow are also human. I know you are human. I know that if we make it seem like only "perfect" people can do this, only perfect people will. And, well, I don't know any perfect people. Well, at least not any that I like. (I had a "perfect" boss once... She was actually the most heinous human being I've ever known, but she portrays herself as perfect. Ack!) See, we don't need perfect people. We need perfectly imperfect people with a desire to create and be change....we need perfectly imperfect people who believe that to truly spread the word of God, you need not speak or write a word. Just DO and BE God's vehicle to peace and a loving home for these abandoned children. Stop comparing yourself to those bios, I'm going to, and just DO!!
Moral of the story: if you are reading this blog expecting a wholesome story of a do-gooder...well, oops!! This is a blog about a human journey to help bring home a child who needs a home with loving, imperfect people. A home with dog hair tumble weeds, sippy spill stained couches, dishes in the sink and "homemade" dinners from Stouffers. A home with too much on the calendar, but more tickle time than timeouts. A home.
Tonight's happy ending...the meeting ended with our caseworker saying, "You are the perfect couple to do this. You get it. God bless your journey." ...now, isn't it ironic that my fears were of being compared to perfect and she called us perfect. I do believe she's right...while we're not perfect, we are perfect for this journey!
Happy Thanksgiving!!! In the words of my friend, B, "...MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!!!!!"
(Thanks B, your laughter will forever inspire my ornery nature. Much love!)