Warning Signs

We’ve come across a lot of funny warning signs in our travels.

Glad they warned me, or I might have slipped recklessly . . .

Everybody pretty much ignored this warning sign at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do, but I was worried . . .


We came across this pamphlet lying around after a recent remodel.

PART-Protect Against Range Tipping

I never realized ranges were so dangerous they required an acronym and a pamphlet to protect people from possible tipping. It got me to thinking about warnings in general, and singing that Garth Brooks song The Dance in the shower. “I could have missed the pain, but I’d of had to miss the dance.”

What if life came with warning signs? Warning: you can have three children, but your hips will never be the same. Warning: you can go to New York with your husband but you’ll get really sick on the plane ride back. I would not have missed the dance in either of these instances. I’ve loved having three children (though not my hippy hips so much) and I’ll never forget that trip to New York.

I haven’t read The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, a book many people say is a “must read” for adoptive parents. I’m drawn more to the memoirs. The stories. I think it has a little to do with warnings, and how they kill the joy sometimes. The Connected Child  is a great and important book, but it’s got a lot of scary stuff in it, things we’ll be struggling with when we adopt. Warnings make me worry, and I don’t feel like worrying quite yet. Worrying if she’ll attach. Worrying how I’ll handle tantrums and food aversions and parasites. I know they’re there, waiting on the fringes, but I’d rather focus on the girl right now. The worrying will come when it’s time.

But I couldn’t ignore Clay’s, “Oh no,” this morning when he got into his inbox and read a recent Honduran article. Warning: You can go ahead and decide to adopt if you want, go ahead and make plans for a baby to arrive sometime Spring of 2012 if all goes well, but some morning in late November 2011, you’ll read a Honduran article that mentions Honduras “going Hague.” If that happens, it may be years, it may be never, before you bring home a little Honduran girl. But go ahead. Try to adopt.

I clipped this from About.com:

The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is an international agreement between participating countries on best adoption procedures. These procedures have basically two goals in mind:

  • The best interest of children are considered with each intercountry adoption.
  • The prevention of abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children.

So that’s good. But becoming a Hague country takes a long time, especially for a country who can take three weeks just to walk a document across the street. So it isn’t good for us, if “good” means adopting a daughter soon. It’s times like these I hang on to these words of truth:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.

I’ve heard the illustration that going through life is like holding a flashlight in the darkness. You only step into those small circles of light, you only see what’s just in front of you. We keep taking steps, until the light turns off. But while we wait for more news on the adoption front, I step into a day of Christmas shopping, reading the completed rough draft of a manuscript I just finished, and filling a crockpot with something that will smell good and warm our bodies for dinner tonight. That, even in the face of the scary article, is a step I’m willing to take.

One Response to “Warning Signs”

  1. abwestrick

    Love the signs, Meredith! Made me laugh. The wait for your adopted daughter? Excruciating! Thank you for sharing the journey with us. We’re all waiting with you…


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