Monday, April 22, 2013


From Beth:
I used to teach middle school right after Stephen and I got married. One of our most memorable times from that period in our lives was chaperoning the middle school dances. Oh my goodness! See if this doesn't sound familiar to you-- the boys all lined up on one side of the gym, the girls on the other. The music is playing, but only a few are actually dancing. The rest are hesitant, scared, painfully self-aware, or ashamed, embarrassed, unsure..... 

They want to dance-- desperately. But their fear is so real, so big. They doubt they belong in the crowd cool enough to get out on the dance floor. They fear they don't have what it takes, that they will fail in some way- so it is easier just to hang back and watch, acting as if in reality they don't actually want to dance. 

Stephen and I laugh when we remember the inevitable posse of girls moving in a chattering, giggling unit over to a friend, ready to drag him or her out on the floor. The friend would resist, of course, but no doubt was thrilled that the issue was being forced, relieved to have found a way to overcome the barrier. 

A dance is an intimate thing. It speaks of romance and partnership, and fun. There is a dance going on and sometimes I see the adopted children I know struggle like those middle school students. The best song is playing-- the one everyone loves. It is the SONG OF ALL SONGS! It is the music of adoption, of acceptance, of unconditional love. There is no better song to dance to! And the dance is happening right before their eyes, this DANCE OF LIFE

and yet, they hesitate
denying even the desire to dance
 covering their fear of the intimacy of it all with denials
declaring "that's just not who I am"
the voice of rejection whispering (or yelling) in their ear
you don't belong in that dance
rejected, dejected
not a son, not a daughter

and you and I KEEP DANCING
 for we can do nothing else with such a song 
we have been captivated by the tune-- it is beautiful and so very good 
we swing by our child
 extending our invitation to join in with abandon 
and some come with joy 
and some hesitate 
but all desire to join in, secretly loving it when we grab hold and pull them into the longed-for movement of life 
because this is what they are born to do, to dance to this

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