Wednesday, June 20, 2007
If you read my blog entry on Father's Day you saw that my dad and I hiked up an active volcano on Saturday together. It was a great time for the two of us. I can't remember the last time I had some good daddy/daughter time, let alone doing something so unique together. I've had the opportunity to climb it any time I wanted to in the last 7 months but never really was interested until I thought about making the trip with my Dad. We haven't really done anything like that before, but it just sounded good to me. Climbing a volcano with my Dad. Love it.
Anyway, needless to say, anytime you're climbing a mountain, it's tough. Climbing an active volcano presents different challenges. There's the heat, first of all. My pants were wide-leg at the bottom and I kept getting warm air shooting up into them as I passed over each crack in the dried lava. Secondly, there's the dried lava to contend with. It's unstable to walk on and if you attempt to steady yourself with your hand, it's likely that you'll cut yourself as lava dries in to sharp edges. The higher you get, the hotter and sketchier it is. However, the higher you get the cooler the experience. As we went up through the trails, taking many breaks to catch our breath in the high altitude, we got more and more tired. Breaks happened more frequently and lasted longer. Our water bottles were getting emptier with each stop. Why did we keep going? Why would anyone keep going? Because the view from the top was worth it. Once we got up there and were just feet from the active lava, we hardly noticed how short of breath we were. We forgot how thirsty we'd gotten as we shouted over the hissing from the crater on top. We had done it. Through the heat and the height, we had climbed a freakin' volcano.
For me, this is directly correlated to this whole building-a-family process. It has been messy and hard and we've taken breaks. We've tried to encourage each other to keep going even when the peak wasn't even in sight and somehow, that has gotten us to now. We're not quite to the top yet but it's in sight, I can hear it, smell it and taste it. We are just weeks away. Instead of forgetting how hard it was to get here, through all the infertility world, all the paperwork to get an adoption started, and the ups and downs of being separated and living in a foreign country for 7 months, instead of forgetting that, it makes the peak that much richer. Does that make sense? If my Dad and I had taken a car up the mountain, it wouldn't have been nearly as amazing to reach the top but we got there through our own sweat and endurance, together.
I once read a book that said that God isn't as interested in your happiness as he is in your character. I wasn't super excited to read that at the time, being American I have a right to pursue happiness, right? But I think I'm coming around on that one. On this side, I can say that as he's built my character through this craziness, happiness that I've never known has been the result. God knew my heart could experience something so much better through this experience than if I'd had my own way 6 years ago when we started all this. I feel like he's the guide on the top shouting down to the stragglers trying to make it, "Get up here, you gotta see this!" At this point in the process, I can look around at my surroundings and say, "I climbed a freakin' volcano with my Dad, my abba, and the view from the top IS WORTH IT!"