If I believed in reincarnation, I’d come back at least 12 times and try each of the lives I’ve chosen away. Here’s the dilemma: If I couldn’t log them in one giant journal, each life would seem like the only one. Arriving at life number 12, I’d choose things I’d already done, not knowing this was my final chance to try something new. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but like the days before TV was on-demand, I can’t resist reading the guide to see if the unwatched show might have been better.
Perhaps quantum physics offers a better solution. I could pop into parallel worlds until I found the alternate me and see which track she’d followed. Two weeks ago, I stepped out the airport door and felt I’d done just that. There was my daughter, waving in tuxedo pants and a vest. She looks like me, and she has style. We embraced tightly enough to bruise our hearts. Thankfully, nature gave us identical safety features to protect against such danger. This is a good thing, because in two weeks we had to catch up 28 years of missed hugs. Many times during my visit, her round blue eyes would gaze at me silently, her hands would come up beside her developing grin and her shoulders would wiggle just before she launched a hug attack. Describing it makes me giggle.
She took 26 hours to be born, and I wonder if perhaps she was trying to stay with me. When she was 3 days old, we left the hospital in separate cars. Last year, I received her first letter, and Friday I returned home from our first visit. Once 21 inches long, she’s now an inch taller than I am. She’s only 5’2”, but that extra inch makes her proud. “Look! There’s someone shorter than me!” she told her husband.
She’s far surpassed me in education. That’s what every parent wants, right? Perhaps I mentioned it once too often, because she said, “I’m not all that amazing, okay?” She’s wrong. She’s magnificent. I love the life I’ve chosen, but this incredible girl is taking the trains I skipped to destinations I’ve contemplated. At the age of 17, while I prepared for the state French competition, I told Grandma Roberta I’d love to learn several languages and work at the UN one day. Instead of language, I pursued music, drama and education. 28 years later, my daughter has traveled to Europe and Asia and made a career of being multi-lingual. I’ve written songs, poetry and devotions. She’s written several novels. In the used book store, I was inspired by memoirs and art; she excitedly described several of her favorite Manga series. Her life is the series I most want to read. Is this how every parent feels? I’m surprised my parents didn’t get arthritis from gripping the OSH (Oh Shoot! Handle) white-knuckled while raising me. I assumed parenting was similar to being a passenger in a car chase. You hang on tight, try to help, but spend most of the time yelling, “Watch out!” or praying with your eyes squeezed shut. I’m praying, but mostly prayers of gratitude.
On Highway 1 the other night, after she drove an hour and a half to meet me for dinner, I stopped the car in Indian Springs. In much of the US, streetlamps and neon hide the stratosphere, creating the sense that we’re totally alone. On that untainted stretch of highway, flecks of light crowded the sky, gifts from stars billions of miles away. I stopped the car and received them, reflected them in tears of joy until they blurred together and the scent of pine and moss was muffled by my stuffy nose. “Thank You, Lord.” I repeated at least a dozen times. It feels unfair, to be blessed this way when I didn’t do the work. I am grateful for the woman she’s grown to be. I could have kept her, preventing the struggles she had with her adoptive family. I gave her up to protect her from the mistakes I knew I’d make, but parenting brings out the weaknesses in everyone, even those who pass the rigorous adoption approval process.
There’s a type of faulty thinking called “Hindsight Bias.” It’s natural to look at events and consider how they could have turned out differently, if we’d made different choices. When normal hindsight becomes “I should have known,” or we decide the end result was obvious, we usually aren’t thinking accurately. Life is an experiment with far too many variables. It’s healthy to decide how we’ll do things better in the future, but giving into Hindsight Bias leads us to regret, and regret strands us in the terminal, waiting for a train that’s already gone. Psychologists recommend overcoming this bias by considering several ways a story might have played out. I recommend gratitude and trust.
In between flights that first day, I began crying from a combination of joy and regret. I feared I’d never stop, and I’d freak her out the moment I met her. God sent a seatmate who kept me chatting until I chilled. Once my Valentine hugged me, I grinned for two weeks. On our last day together, she and I and her supportive hubby pried our eyes open at 5:30 to go watch the sunrise on the beach. It was cloudy, but it was the best sunrise ever. Am I biased? Probably, but I’ll take gratitude bias over hindsight and regret any day.
What a gift you have in writing and expressing yourself.
What a beautiful time when time stood still for a few hours and you held your lovely daughter in your arms.
Life will never be the same now……for a restoration has come and God does all things well.
I am so happy for you both, what an amazing daughter she is and you too are so very amazing with so much gifting and love.
I rejoice that God gives us so many chances in life and he walks with us and brings us into life eternal. ??
Thank you for sharing this memory with me! God is so good to give us second chances!
What a wonderful experience for you both.
God is good!
Thank you! And just to clarify–she drove to meet me for dinner, but I stopped on HWY 1 by myself, as we were in separate cars. The rest of the times we spent together 🙂
Dear Kristi, you have touched my heart. I’m grateful you and your daughter were gifted with reunion and that it occurred while you are both fairly young. You have beautiful memories to make, share and treasure. Many sunny days..
Thank you! We need to do lunch again!
Lovely..Loved to ride through the tears with you….Tears of joy & gratitude trump regret any day!? Yay!
I’m so very very thankful you found each other!! I’ve prayed for this for years!!! Crying even as I think of it!
I love you soooooooooo very much and I’m so glad you and your daughter can experience that love too. God bless you both as you grow in love together. I love you two!
And no! No white-knuckling for me, just a whole lot of prayer! I’m so very proud of you and have ALWAYS been! You are my precious daughter!!!
Thank you for supporting me–I know it was hard to do. I’m so glad you got to talk to her and I can’t wait til she meets you!
Thank you for sharing this part of your journey so beautifully written, I was able to sense so many emotions: your tears past and your tears of joy, love and deep gratefulness…I praise God for restoration! God bless you dear friend and blessings over your beautiful daughter!
Thank you for reading it! God is soooooo kind!
Hey I am so glad I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a remarkable post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.
I’m glad you like it!
Hey! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours take a large amount of work? I am brand new to blogging but I do write in my diary daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!
I’ve been writing in diaries for years, an de I re-read them on every in awhile for ideas. I began by using a free WordPress blog, and I still maintain it because the community is so friendly. If I may offer two very helpful tips that earn respect for a blogger: 1) Use your own pictures or those you obtain with a proper license–Pixabay is a terrific source for free images. 2) Check your facts in more than one place. I almost published my book with an incorrect “fact” that I’d read somewhere. When I double-checked the information, I learned that “fact” had been proven wrong. I’m glad I verified before publishing!
Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It’s the little changes that produce the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!
You’re right! And thanks for the tip on where to get my camera supplies.
I seriously love your website.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own site and would like to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Kudos!
Thank you for the compliment! I’m using a WordPress theme called “Brown,” along with some pictures I took and others I obtained from Pixabay. My web designer, http://digitalventuredesign.com/ did a terrific job.
I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The website style is great, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers
Thank you for the compliment! Keep coming back!
I got this web site from my friend who shared with me concerning this site and now this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative posts at this time.
That’s good to hear! Keep coming back.
I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Cheers
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but
I find this matter to be actually something
which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post,
I will try to get the hang of it!
Kristi, reading this again today, I’m praying that you experience this joy over and over again!!! Don’t let the clouds form and rain on your parade! Life is eternal and our joys are a part of showing us that. Live on! Keep on loving! The best is yet to come. In God we have hope!! Remember, only He is able to keep that which we have committed to Him for the day of Jesus Christ’s return. HE IS ABLE! I love YOU!!!
Amen to that! I love you!