Friday, August 3, 2012

A Dream of Running Finally Gets Some Legs

In October 2009, I wrote a blog post about running.  At that time, I was homeschooling my four children and used to take every lunch hour to run a few miles in my neighborhood.  It was a boring run...literally running a city block around my house time and time and time and time again.  But, as I ran, I would pray about my new son.  I had only seen his face then..and I knew his name...and I had such dreams of what he would be like. 

I just KNEW he would be so sweet - that he would love to cuddle up with me and hold my hand.  I knew he would climb into my lap as I read night time stories to him.  I knew he would call me momma right away..and he would be my LOVE.

Back in October, I wrote this:

As I run, I now have visions of George running beside me some day. I know many parents who have adopted from Ethiopia who have had their hearts suddenly turned to distant running. I was inspired by the Olympics, seeing the amazing dark-skinned men and women race to the finish of multiple long distance races. These same athletes, when they walked into the opening ceremony looked stunned, thrilled, humble and truly blessed to be there. Immediately, I started rooting for them to "win it all"! I do think of George most of the time when I run. Will he enjoy running? Will he want to come out with me to just feel those legs getting stronger? Will this be a way we can bond?
I can remember crying as I ran, so sad about how long we had to wait for our son to come home.  I kept thinking someday, we will run together.

Then, George came home.  And he squirmed away from my touches.  He shook his finger at me and shook his head no when I said I was his momma.  He never wanted to do anything with me.

And I stopped running. 

Mainly because when I was gone, George would try to run away.  Or, he would stand in the front yard, pull down his pants and scream at the top of his lungs.  Another time, he destroyed his room, tearing apart every gift ever given to him.  I couldn't leave the house anymore and get that time to myself.

And then eventually, I just didn't want to run anymore.

Fast forward THREE years.  Three long years.  Three years of heartache, frustrations, disappointments and ultimately, resignation that my son is not who I thought he would be.  I needed to be OK with that.  I needed to trust that GOD, in His perfect plan, brought just the perfect boy to our family.  For three years, I have waited and surrendered and loved and forgiven.

Then...George asked, "Momma, can I go running with you?"

"Of course!"

My heart swelled within me.  I couldn't believe what was happening.  A dream that I had completely forgotten about suddenly began to sprout again.  Does he really want to do this with me?  Does he want to share this experience with me? 

I had Eleanor take a picture because I just knew this was a miracle in the making. 

So, we ran.  And boy, can he run!  He smoked me the entire way.  He was probably 50 yards ahead of me the entire run- but at every turn in the neighborhood, he would look back gesturing "which way should I go?".  When I would point one way or another to indicate a turn or stay straight, he would set his face again toward the "finish line" and run on ahead.  He often looked back...making sure I was still there. I would wave or give him a thumbs up each time.  And when we finally arrived at our home, he walked with me up and down our street to cool off. 

I told him how awesome he was.  We laughed about how fast he much faster than momma!  He smiled and even blushed a bit as we joked about all the sweat rolling down his face.  We hugged.

And then, he ran off to play with a friend...but not before yelling over his shoulder, as loud as he could, "I love you, Momma!"

I love you too, son.


Donna-Jean Breckenridge said...

Joy, Traci! Just joy!

Amy Shaw said...

What a heartwarming story! God gives us those dreams...and just when we give up on them He pulls them out to delight us! I rejoice with you in your running partner!! Praise You, Lord!!

Bryan & Whitney said...

I so enjoyed reading this!!