creating a timeline
Our 16 year old daughter doesn’t live with us. I supposed there are many parents who live this ugly reality, although for different reasons. It wasn’t the way things were supposed to go.
We adopted her when she was four, from foster care. There were all kinds of fiery warnings that came with her, along with her sweet six-year old sister.
Sometimes I wonder if people think we were just naive, thinking we could save the world. I know this isn’t the truth, though. The truth is we had a long list of reasons why we should NOT adopt this sibling group of two young girls.
The problem was this: every single reason on the list began with I…
I don’t want to adopt a child in kindergarten…
I don’t want to adopt a child with anger issues…
I don’t want to adopt a sibling group of girls.
It was a selfish list.
The more we considered the adoption, the more we realized that it didn’t matter how unreasonable it seemed, the fact remained that it didn’t feel right to say no.
There is a quote that keeps spinning in my mind, much like the obnoxious lyrics of the childhood song, This is the song that never ends…it goes on and on my friends…
The quote fills the quiet space in my mind…
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
— Soren Keirkegaard
It taunts me.
And it teaches me.
I’ve realized I need a timeline to attempt to chronicle and understand the events between saying yes to an unreasonable adoption and learning to still be a parent to a child who doesn’t live with you.
I’ve been going through pictures and after being overwhelmed by the memories, finally decided to simplify and only allow two or three photos per year. It is my hope that by putting together pictures + words from each year, I will be able to understand more than I do now. At the very least, perhaps some of the story will become manageable enough to write with more clarity than what I have now.
At first, I thought I would start at the beginning, but then I really listened to Keirkegaard’s words — life can only be understood backwards…
I’ve decided to create this timeline by starting now and working backwards to the beginning. I’ll be working between the most current photo and the first first photo. If you want to follow along, I’ll be posting some wisps of each year, just to try and sort my thoughts. In the end, if I’m lucky, I’ll have a timeline.
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