(This one’s just for fun. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously.)
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
“I’m just doing my job, ma’am.”
Honestly, I wasn’t at all interested in Hector’s job description. I had a plane to catch. And this uniformed dude at the end of the security line didn’t seem to care about that in the least.
Although seldom at a loss for words, I did realize that none of the ones I was thinking about would be helpful to my goal. And visions of being hand-cuffed and carted off to jail as a national security threat if they left my mouth fueled my self-restraint. So I gave Hector “the look”. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the one perfected by mom, recognized by dad and feared by kids. It’s the one that says to our kids:
As I watched him tear into my carry-on luggage I remembered my husband’s words as he finished packing it earlier that day: “boy, I sure hope they don’t go through this bag!”
Voila. Out came children’s toys with movable parts, brightly colored building blocks and a beautifully wrapped birthday gift for our grandson.
“What’s in this package, ma’am?” Hector asked with the seriousness of an espionage interrogator as he pulled the questionable object from my bag.
“Two elephants,” I replied.
“It looks suspicious to us,” he said, frowning at the box in his hands as he gingerly carried it back to the scanner for a second look.
Of course it does. And we look like your typical terrorists.
And then I remembered my husband as security officials began to pat us down in places even my doctor can’t touch. He looked like a science project, wired and ready to explode. Having recently experienced a heart “episode” his cardiologist suggested he wear a thirty day monitor…the kind that came with diagramed directions, colored plugs and wires attached to various parts of his body, a monitor that dangled like a necklace around his neck and another contraption attached to his belt that talked to a satellite somewhere in the universe.
Swell -the perfect accessory for this adventure.
I guess it was a slow day through security because Hector now had seven of his best friends on the case of the suspicious pachyderms. They struggled into blue latex gloves, ripped open my package, carefully studied the whimsical stuffed animals, pulled out their handy-dandy chemistry kit and tested all our possessions for whatever they test for and, of course, reminded me that they were just doing their job.
Thirty minutes later eight security personnel held a committee meeting and allowed us to proceed to our gate.
My travel advice?
Never try to sneak an elephant through airport security…and, as you travel through life, heed that inner voice that sometimes reminds you to be quiet.
I received an email this week from an adoptive mom who struggled in silence for years. She had just read the first chapter of my book, A Place I Didn’t Belong: Hope for Adoptive Moms; someone had left in the break room at work. This was the first time she felt understood and not alone. Her email began a dialogue between us that included the following from her. I share it, with her permission, knowing it will resonate with many of you.
“I would like to share a few thoughts with you. I am sure none of it is news to you, but I want to express what I see in my community.
MY EXPERIENCE: After we brought our daughter home and I started to realize that reality wasn't matching up with my expectations, I thought something was wrong with me. We were in contact with a pretty sizable community of couples that were adopting from Ethiopia at the same time....we traveled with many of them. They all seemed so happy. They didn't talk about problems or disappointment, so we didn't either. She came home in February of 2011...it's been HARD. We have two biological children, ages 9 and 7 and our daughter from Ethiopia, who is 5. It's been hard for the older kids too. There is much to say about my story, but that is a very long email ;)
OTHER ADOPTIVE MOMS: Over the years, I have encountered a few "honest" adoptive mothers who have shared their experiences with me. I have come to the realization that adoptive parents (moms especially) live in isolation. They are afraid to talk about their "ugly" thoughts and feelings.
WE NEED EACH OTHER! We need a place to express ourselves honestly with people who get it and won't be horrified by the things we say. How do we get this?
we need a safe space
a respected, knowledgable, experienced person
to bring us together
to say outloud
the thoughts, the feelings
that we experience in our isolation.
There is a sea of emotion locked up in the hearts of so many adoptive moms. If we create an atmosphere in which that emotion can flow out uninhibited, we would need A LOT of kleenex! I know it would be powerful a tremendous blessing to so many people. Your book is doing this for me. There is so much stuff inside me that spills out in a unique way when it is evoked by feeling understood.”
My response is prayer: Oh Father, hear our hearts. Heal the broken places. Help the church, our friends and families understand the unique calling on our lives. In the name of Jesus, and for His sake, protect our children, our families and the souls of these precious warriors we call “mom”. Your arm is not too short to rescue…come to our rescue now! Protect us from the lies of the evil one. May you strengthen, comfort and renew our hope as we entrust our broken hearts to you.