Tuesday, July 23, 2013
And yet another post with a tapestry theme...
I am very much a people person. I have a strange personality, a little gruff sometimes, way too harsh most of the time, and I probably make some people have neck hairs standing on end every time I walk into the room. But I like myself quite a bit (my parents fault for overdone self-esteem cultivation efforts they undertook during my childhood) and I also love people.
However, I don't like small talk, mingling, or simply meeting people for the sake of networking or with some goal in mind. I like getting below the surface and having interchanges that impact me and others on a deeper level. I love to hear the stories of people... not just their facts... but the ways their lives have been shaped by their experiences.
So that's where this whole tapestry thing comes in. Sunday Bart was preaching about foundations and was talking about individuals who impact us. And I started to think once again about how incredibly grateful I am for the now thousands of people who have been a part of who I am. I see my life as a tapestry and every person is a stitch in that work of art, forming the person I am continually becoming.
Adoption has changed the kind of tapestry I may have had without it because it has introduced me to a lot of people who are nothing like me. Up through college I was surrounded most of the time by people who shared my values and ideas. We were part of a secure and very comfortable subculture and I could have easily chosen a life where I surrounded myself by people just like that.
And while there is a certain amount of beauty in a weaving made up of only two or three colors, the most striking and beautiful tapestries include multiple bright colors. While I am referring to race and culture to a certain extent, I'm also talking about socio-economic status, value systems, religion, etc. The more people I let in my life who are different than me, the more colorful and beautiful my tapestry becomes.
Because of adoption I have met foster families, guardian ad litems, and social workers of my children. I have met some of their birth families. I have met fellow adoptive parents, special ed teachers, probation officers, mental health workers, residential treatment staff, bailiffs, and others. The people my children have chosen to be friends with, or even have children with, have introduced me to so many others much different than myself. And I am a better person beacaue of these people.
I was reminded of this again yesterday when I met with Nasreen Fynewever for a few minutes. She is a beautiful, delightful, intense, talented person who lives her live intentionally. An adult adoptee from Bangladesh, she has a unique pespective. I loved hearing her story and I learned a tiny bit about a country I knew nothing about. Now I want to learn more regardless of how and when our paths cross again.
We met for one hour -- both of us very busy people -- but now there is a new stitch of a different color in the tapestry of me. And I'm reminded to celebrate the ways that God has used adoption to provide me with a more colorful weaving than anything I could have planned or imagined myself.
Adoption isn't easy. It's complicated and messy and stretches us and hurts us and enlightens us and develops us and settles us and heals us. It's an amazing journey not for the faint of heart. But regardless of its hardships, it is also one of the most amazing ways that God uses to create a stunningly beautiful tapestry, rich and deep, that is the person we each become. And for that I'm so very grateful.