Freefall

Tomorrow is Angelina’s gotcha day, the day we take her from the orphanage, the day all our lives change forever.

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Gulp.

People have asked how I feel, how did I prep for this moment? I’m happy to tell you that I have an awesome way to prepare for this day.

I’ve been watching endless youtube videos of people skydiving for the first time.  These people are FREAKING OUT but they still jump out of the plane and then they are free falling into nothingness. You see the curve of the earth on the horizon, the countryside is a patchwork quilt below, and they are falling, falling, falling and FREAKING OUT.  At some point their minds just can’t maintain the stress and they enter a new state, almost a trance, they open their eyes, spread out their arms, and soar.  They are usually still totally FREAKING OUT, but there is no going back, the plane is not an option, the ground below is all that’s left and there is no denying gravity, so they embrace it and fall.

The ground is steadily getting closer, they are still rushing down down down and I feel my stomach in my ears waiting for the parachute.  Every time, even if I’ve watched the same video over and over again, I have a moment where I think, “they aren’t going to pull that parachute in time! ” and I’m FREAKING OUT. Then the snap is released, the chute pops out, with a jerk the free fall comes to an abrupt halt and now the person is simply gliding down.

They are still in the air, still descending, the ground is still inevitable, but everyone is taking a deep breath.  There’s a good chance they are still FREAKING OUT, but more over the fact that they jump out of the plane in the first place, still trying to wrap their minds around the fact that they just voluntarily did that.  I mean WHO VOLUNTARILY JUMPS OUT OF A PLANE?

The gentle sway of their soaring belies the impact of landing; with a jolt their feet hit the ground.  Someone is there to grab the parachute, they unbuckle their harness and then puke, fall to the ground shaking, or stand there in perfect silence looking around adjusting to being grounded.  They are not the same person they were a few minutes ago.  Before that free fall they knew their limits, they knew they couldn’t fall or fly, they knew they could never jump out of plane.  And now…

Now they are someone new, they’ve seen the world, they’ve soared above the earth, they will never ever be the same.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m jumping out of the plane, and so is my entire family. My husband, Angelina, Dellabug, Kitty, Roman, my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, they are all jumping because family sticks together.  We are all going to have moments when we are FREAKING OUT and there will be nothing to do but fall and wait for the parachute, wait for the rocky landing.

I don’t know how long free fall will take – 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, 20 years – really I don’t know.  I do know that when my feet hit the ground again I will not be same person I am today, my limits will have been tested, I will have had moments of totally FREAKING OUT, instances of metamorphosis and surreal calm.

So yeah, that’s my advice for adopting parents preparing for gotcha day.  You will have moments of TOTALLY FREAKING OUT, a time when all you do is live one day to the next making sure everyone is alive, a time when you don’t have time to blog (sorry folks), but your feet will hit the ground, that is honestly the ONLY OPTION; there is no plane to return to, you can’t fall forever, eventually your parachute will open and one day your feet will be on solid ground again.   Until then, it’s totally normal to have moments of FREAKING OUT.

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Angelina’s shirt for the flight home, seems appropriate 

 

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