There is this rock in the room of our family. It is the rock of this complicated adoption case. It sits smack in the middle of the room, has been here for over a year, and in all likelihood will be there for months to come. Weeds of resentment and discontent grow around it, threatening to strangle out the delicate seedlings of this brand new family. It’s huge, and heavy, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. At some point, it will be moved, but we don’t know when and we can literally do nothing about it on our own. But, here’s the thing. Sometimes I pick up the rock and carry it around, obsessed with it. Sometimes I examine every little nook and cranny for a weakness or crack in the rock that might make it easier to obliterate. It’s in the way of a lot of things. It’s really more of a nuisance, but always there and something we all have to acknowledge and walk around. I often kick and punch it in resentment and end up with nothing more bruised fists and stubbed toes. I'm just barely able to lift it, enough to fool me into thinking I can actually do something about it. I pick it up and try to move it. I heave it across the room in exhaustion, but it takes all of my effort and energy to do so. I can’t carry anything else when I’m carrying it. I can’t pick up my kids or even have free hands to help them, hug them, nurture them. I can’t write when I’m busy carrying it around. I complain to my friends and family about the rock. I blame it for all kinds of things. I use it as an excuse for not living the life happening all around it.
Sometimes I'm actually able to forget about it. I am strolling blissfully through the room of our family, feeling normal and whole and legit when bad court news, or a home visit comes up, and I stumble blindly over the rock again, reminded rudely of its unwelcome presence in our house.
Finally, defeated and out of options, I cry on it and plead with it, but it’s unyielding. It offers no comfort and when the tear stains dry, the rock remains. It doesn’t fit out the door and at some point someone will come with special equipment and the authority to lift it out. One day it will be permanently removed. But, until then, when I find myself getting worked up about it, I consciously make a decision to walk away from the rock. It's a choice, and it takes everything in me to choose not to pick the rock up because my hands, mind and energy won’t be available for other things. It’s a choice.