Here I am…just a little thing. I think I was pretty cute, though. I like the way I have a smile on my face–I still try to keep one there. My eyes seem to be sparkly and full of joy–I think they still are. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
When I was born, I was born to a girl who wasn’t married and had no relationship with the fella who fathered me. It was a good choice to let me go to a home with a mom and a dad who wanted children and were in a position to provide home and love. I don’t see it as luck of the draw. I see it as grace. Now, I can’t explain why there are tens of thousands of children in the world who have no home, no love, no parents, but I hope that some day I will be able to be at peace knowing that I am playing in my part in the story, doing my part to bring hope. For now, I know that John and Liz Black prayed for a child, and God provided me. They are my parents. My whole life I knew that I was adopted. There was no ‘aha’ moment. And my whole life, I knew I was loved and wanted. No need for an ‘aha’ moment. I am thankful, I am grateful, I am joyful. And no, it hasn’t always been an easy life.
I am certain that I have not navigated life on my own. I want to begin to recount things in my life that most definitely were not mere happenings or coincidences. I am happy believing like I do. To think that any of it has happened just because I’m so brilliant seems not quite right. To believe for a minute that it was the luck of the draw is pretty hard to swallow. To believe that someone loves me so much that they take an interest in guiding me, planning for me–that gives me hope. Really, if I believe that I am in charge, it is too much for me to take in. One of my dearest friends believes quite differently from me. I struggled with our differences for a long time, but now I am pretty much concerned about me. I am helping myself to be healthy, whole, and happy. What someone else chooses to believe is really not a worry for me. Have you experienced this need to let what they believe impact you? As I learned this summer, there is not a slit in my hula hoop, wherein I could encompass another’s life. Nope, they have their hula hoop, and I have mine–their business is theirs, my business is mine. My friend shares her new-found freedom in not believing while I embrace my freedom in knowing that I am not alone. And so, as I write, as I’ve journaled for years, I am able to breathe because I know there is someone bigger than I am leading me through life’s sometimes treacherous paths.
I remember the trips to Indiana and Oklahoma to see grandparents. Those were some long car rides. Who I am, though, is a result of those trips, those relationships. I learned to play Canasta in Indiana, learned to love oatmeal cookies and custard in Oklahoma. Anna Woudema Black and Paul Edward Black were my paternal grandparents. Linnie Gray Whetstone Wiggins and Van Rensselaer Wiggins were my maternal grandparents. They were all such good, kind, loving people. I am grateful for their place in my life.
So, it all started with John Allen Black and Elizabeth Park Wiggins Black. In fact, while my older son was named after his paternal grandfather and his father, my younger son bears a name which reminds me of both of my parents. Who knows what the next generation will do, what they will choose. But do you think it will be easier to navigate the future solo or with a guide?
Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.~ William Butler Yeats
Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right. - Henry Ford
The best way out is always through. ~ Robert Frost
Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~ Theodore N. Vail
Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith
You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi