Sunday, March 05, 2006

Waiting For a Star

It seems to me that lately my life has been all about WAITING. Thursday morning I had to meet the Academic Director to go to some silly computer training for my school. She said 10:15. I busted my butt to get there on time. She texted to say she would be a little late and apologized. Then I called her at 10:30, she said she was stuck in traffic in a taxi and would be 5 more minutes. I texted her at 10:45 to ask if I had time to grab a coffee because I was so cold. She called back to say she was almost there. At 11:00 she finally showed the wrong subway exit than she had told me. The only upside of this was that she bought my lunch at Ganga's, a great Indian restaurant.

In August 2004, after much discussion, AnTaek and I finally started working on immigrating to Canada. We knew better than to try to do it alone so we got help from people in the business. It was a ton of paperwork and documentation collection. Our application was all done in February 2005. We were told that it would be better to apply to the Canadian consulate in Buffalo, New York because there was a processing time of 1 year as opposed to the Seoul Canadian consulate, where the wait is 2-2 1/2 years.

This summer we prematurely tried to move to Toronto so we could do other things while waiting for this application approval. That included lots of waiting for AnTaek's student visa applications to be processed. When we were unsuccessful, I got a job in Seoul and flew to Sydney to wait for my work visa from the Korean consulate there. Then I moved in with AnTaek and started working at a private English language school.

As you know, February has come and gone. It's now been a year of waiting and still there is no word on our application. Every day this past month I've woken up wondering if maybe today I'd get the email that said "Yes! Yes! We want you!" Every night I come back to check my email for the same message. Every candle I've blown out, wishbone I've broken, falling star I've seen, coin I've thrown and prayer I've said has had the same message: end this waiting and let us move to Toronto and start our lives.

While we've been waiting, there has been some pressure. AnTaek's family keeps asking him when he is moving and his sister has given us two more months in this apartment. Meanwhile the real estate guy keeps coming by to show the place to prospective tenants. I've been wondering where I'll be in April, when my cousin gets married in Texas or in May when my best friend at SFS gets married. My brother wants to schedule time to help me move our things from storage into our apartment in Toronto. And then my family is making plans to get together at Thanksgiving and I really want to be there for the first time in 5 years.

I've really been wondering what the cosmic lesson to all this waiting is. I reflect on the early Israelites who were told to wait in the wilderness for 40 years before they could settle in the Promised Land. During that time of waiting in limbo, they learned how to fully rely on God. He took care of all their needs. Am I supposed to learn reliance on God?

Sometimes I think God answers our prayers not with a yes or no but with "not at this time," in otherwords, wait. I got an email from a friend who has been waiting to adopt a child she and her husband love very dearly. Clearly it's God's will that this child be with her, but it does seem cruel to put them through all the heartache and waiting. Is this supposed to make them appreciate the adoption more? Develop more patience they already have demonstrated?

But things could always be worse. I recently received another email another couple also immigrating to Canada. They have just found out they have to wait five years to apply for immigration because one of them had a conviction of driving under the influence five years ago. That kind of news would really crush my spirit.

So during this waiting God has been sending me messages to keep up my spirits. I want to share them as it might help someone else out there who finds themselves WAITING. First there is this song that my dad often used to sing which I believe is derived from Psalms 37:7-9. It's been playing in my head on repeat! I think it's from the Messiah but I'm not sure.
Oh wait on the Lord, Wait patiently for him, And he will give thee Thy heart's desires.

Another little ditty that's been an earworm comes from a childhood movie, Pinoccchio, surprisingly written by Louis Armstrong.
If your heart is in your dream, No request is too extreme,When you wish upon a star, As dreamers do.

Next there is this scripture I read in my daily devotional on a particularly hard day. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8)

And finally a quote from Confucius that a departing friend gave me:

Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.


lena said...

Dan, I assume you are refering to our adoption situation in your blog. Thank you for sharing the way you have dealt with the pain of "waiting." It's helps me gain a better perspective. However, in regards to my particular situation, I can't help but wonder... is God really the “one” requiring the wait, or is God just as pissed as I am at how messed up the system is and how many mistakes the system and it’s players (humans) have made? I have to believe that God wants Antonio with us forever and ever and I can’t believe that God would ever desire the torture we’ve been through just to prove a point. I hate sounding harsh or bitter, but to tag this one on God doesn't seem fair. Thoughts?

Dannyboy said...

Thanks for that feedback. I agree with you- I think God wants what's best for us (ie Antonio to be with you) but what is the point of WAITING? I guess where I have a problem is putting God in charge of human bureaucratic systems like adoption or immigration. Now I think the reason I unconsciously do this is because these entities are so abstract for me- they actually seem to have "god-like" attributes! So you're right, blaming God is a bit of a cop-out. But then this begs the question- if God is not in control of my situation (or yours) then why isn't He? Why the hands off?

abogado-david said...

Well, gosh. Sorry for giving you grief on a schedule to move your things to Canada! :) I do hope you are able to come back across the sea as soon as God feels that it is right. As with all events/tragedies and difficulties that happen in life, it is almost impossible to know what God has up his sleve at the time. And if one knew, one would probably try to fight against it in order to have things work out in the way that one wants them to at that moment.

Jolie said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on waiting. I find that I'm so anxious to move on that I don't stay in the present. I think it's tied into being a fast leaver. I spend a lot time thinking about the future, even if it's just 10 minutes into the future. I do need to take the time and enjoy the now or I'm never fully living life. Granted, I'm not waiting on a life changing decision, but it's a good reminder to live life instead of wait on life. Does that make sense?

Thanks for you post. It reminds me to breathe and to take things one step at a time.

Mandy said...

I'm gonna go with Jolie on this one. One could stand in line waiting for their turn, grumbling and constantly checking their watch, BUT if they choose to read a book while they wait, it's not so bad and time seems to go by faster. Nothing to say you can't enjoy your life now while waiting for your 'new life' to start.

...can't wait to see you again, though! :)