Saturday, July 23, 2011

Up in the Air

I've always been afraid to fly. I blame it all on the movie La Bomba and the crash scene that traumatized me as child. That pit-in-the-stomach-we're all-about-to-die feeling that I get before I board a plane has now become a euphemism for how I feel when faced with an anxious situation.

So when we met with social services last week and they said we were approved and could be parenting another child within the week that feeling in my stomach returned. When we "bought a ticket" into this program we knew where we were heading..but through all the packing..the long, long lines (and intrusive) security check points our destination seemed out of reach.

But as of today our plane has left the terminal and are on a tarmac. We thought we were going to lift off this week..and we were anxiously awaiting on the runway as the captain came on a said there was a minor delay and the plane (our home) is awaiting a maintenance check (a basement window well needs a cover, storage shed needs to be padlocked, etc.). While these tasks were quickly completed you know how airline time lines work and one minor delay has us stranded on the tarmac for what seems like eternity.

If there is one thing my irrational fear of flying has taught me it's to trust in serendipitous events....(missed flight or cheated death?) so when we bought REAL airline tickets a few months ago for a little getaway for THIS WEEK we had no idea that the week prior our hopes of being placed with a child would be delayed yet another week. We had these same plans last summer but they were diverted when Faith was hospitalized before her reconstrive surgery.

So last week when I grappled with the should we stay or should we go guilt, little did I know that air traffic control was really under HIS control. While part of me wished that we would get our child and then I wouldn't have to get on a plane the other part knew that the fear was not from flying but being a foster parent.

I once heard a psychologist say that it is OK to have a fear of flying as long as it doesn't prevent you from getting on the plane. While I've had too many white knuckled, tears streaming down my cheeks flights to count, I've always gotten on the plane.

Since I haven't traveled since Faith has been born I've felt exempt from my phobia the last few years. While I am still anxious about boarding a plane, I have put the fear into perspective. Turbulence has nothing on what we've been through the past four years...a little loss in cabin pressure is breeze compared to seeing your child on life support. While I the idea of traveling out of state and being away from Faith for a few days causes an almost panic attack we (w/a little help from Xanax) are still getting on the plane. And while parenting a child we know nothing about induces sweaty palms, we are still getting on that plane.

SO there you have it. If my airplane metaphor has confused you to bits the cliff note version is we will not be officaly approved to begin fostering until late next week, which will be when Brian and I return from a much needed trip. So here's to taking flight on multiple adventures!

Jen & CO