Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Courage to Make a Difference

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

First let me put it out there that I've been trying to decide how much of my adoption journey to share here on The Meltingpot. On the one hand, sharing this adventure with all of you makes me feel supported. I like sharing and benefiting from your collective wisdom. But I also fear I might say too much and the lives of my family members aren't meant for public scrutiny. Because of the potentially delicate nature of the entire adoption process and because of certain circumstances relating to the country we are adopting from, I'm going to remain somewhat cryptic so that I can freely share this incredible journey. So, please be okay with knowing that we are adopting a little girl from a country in Africa.

Okay, so that's out of the way, what I really wanted to talk about was courage. (I'll get back to the adoption thing in a minute). Last week while selecting my new stash of DVDs from the library, I finally picked up Hotel Rwanda. That movie came out in 2004 and it's taken me this long to finally pluck up the courage to watch it. (Note: I still haven't watched Amistad either.) I figured that if I'm adopting an orphan from Africa, the least I could do is try to understand more about the politics that have created the orphan crisis and not just assume poverty and AIDS are the biggest problems.

Wouldn't you know I still avoided watching the movie. It sat there on my self taunting me. So finally on Tuesday night, I sat down with two baskets of laundry and watched the film. Needless to say, I cried and seethed with anger throughout. And while I yearned to bring all of those children orphaned by the genocide into my home, that wasn't the greatest message I came away with from the film. My takeaway (besides understanding the roots of Rwanda's civil war/unrest) was that a single person can do great things when she has the courage to just take the first step.

So much of my life is governed by fear. And I don't mean that I live in a small box crippled by anxiety. I just mean that some of the things I dream about, like our adoption for example, come surrounded by fears of failure or worst case scenarios. I wonder what else I could be doing with my life if only I had more courage. Perhaps I should take a trip to see the Wizard. However, by reading a lot of adoption blogs and talking to a lot of people who have adopted internationally, I have pushed the majority of my fears aside and found the courage to move forward, but sometimes it creeps back in. That's why I loved Hotel Rwanda because it perfectly exemplifies this definition of courage by Dr. Robert Anthony: "Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway."

So, Meltingpot readers, what's the most courageous thing you've done? It sure does help to gather inspiration from others. And it doesn't have to be on the level of Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina. Every day acts of courage help too.

I'm listening.

And by the way, if, like me, you enjoyed the film Hotel Rwanda and want to read more about life in Rwanda after the genocide, you might like the novel, Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin. And you can find out what Mr. Rusesabagina is doing to continue to fight against genocide in his country and around the world at his foundation.



Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

I feel like this is going to sound stupid and trite compared to what you're dealing with, and certainly with issues of genocide. But for me, my most courageous moment came when I decided to trust again after infidelity. Before my hubby and I got married, he cheated on me and it literally ripped my life apart. Sounds crazy dramatic but that's how deeply betrayed I felt. I won't bore you with all the details, but after some time apart, lots of reflection (on both sides), we came back together and hashed out what had gone wrong with our relationship and with us as individuals that had allowed such a breach to happen. And then I had to make the decision to trust him again. And let me tell you, THAT was a leap of faith. It took nearly two years before I really began to trust our relationship and the new foundation of communication and mutual respect we had built. When I consider now how strong our marriage is compared to what it was, I really cannot regret what we went through because what we got was so profound. And I just have to think: sometimes it is what we are most afraid of that is most worth fighting for. If it weren't so.damn.hard. it wouldn't be quite so meaningful.

My next big leap of faith? We're moving to Thailand this fall and I'm going to be working with an advocacy group to help prevent human trafficking and sexual servitude. I've never lived in a foreign country before and I've never been quite so close to this issue and it's victims. I feel I should be more worried than I am, but I guess we'll find out how much courage it really takes once we've actually made the leap.

Anyway, keep your chin up. You have people rooting for you. And have faith that any problems you do come across are not-make-it-or-break-it-deals, but something you can figure out and negotiate as you come to it. As long as you keep an open mind and an open heart, I believe you can work out just about anything.

LT said...


This was the most wonderful story to share. Thank you for that. And good luck in Thailand! How exciting.

ASTRA REED said...

Real a wonderful pictures ... and really a intresting things you shared .. keep on blogging..