Last month was an ordeal. Our microwave broke… again.
There was weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I told my husband to suck it up and be a man.
Poor Glen. This is our third microwave. Not the sitting-in-the-middle-of-the-counter, edges-encrusted-in-crumbs, easy-to-replace version. Oh no, not us; we have the fancy schmancy over-the-stove-top-built-in-hood-fan model. Which requires a tricky installation, risking the sanity and daily bliss of anyone who is not married to Bob the Builder.
Glen the Good-at-Everything-Else had trouble facing ANOTHER installation debacle, and who can blame him? In fact, this microwave had been installed amidst many not-suitable-for-young-children outbursts only 7 months ago. Which is when we realized that it fell into that glorious category: Not Our Problem Due To Warranty!
Except it still was our problem, since we had to track down receipts, visit Home Depot, fax the documents to the manufacturer, connect with a local repair company, book a visit, and then wait 3-weeks-to-forever for the necessary parts.
In the meantime, we found ourselves in the dark ages of food preparation. Not a good place for our family. How to defrost? How to reheat leftovers? How to make popcorn in under 2 minutes?
Never have I been more cognizant of the fact that my culinary life revolves around fast and easy. The most glaring difficulty was my almost daily lunch option – the nuked potato. Throw it in the mic, add some veggies and a bit of meat – et voila, my favourite meal. There is no fast or easy way to cook a whole potato without a microwave.
In the meantime, we were wading hip deep in adoption angst. We’ve found a child we very much want to adopt. The social worker is on board. His foster mom is on board. The guy at the checkout in Safeway seemed to think it was a good idea.
We had asked the questions, heard the stories, explored the issues… We poured over every e-mail and revisited phone conversations late at night in bed. We have prayed about it. We have discussed it as a family. We have painted the pink room green. We’ve figured out a timetable for the transition. We’ve adjusted our plans for the summer.
But, there is no fast and easy way to adopt a child. Social services is not a microwave-esque industry. Nor should it be. The paperwork has been held up a number of times. Glen had a business trip. Meetings are hard to schedule. There are more questions to be asked and even more stories to be heard. And we can’t even see a picture of him, until everything is official.
So, his other family is tucking him into bed at night and singing him songs and teaching him all the important little lessons a toddler learns each day: how to hold his fork, how to pet a dog gently, and a thousand other things I can jealously imagine. And it feels like we are missing out. I’ve never met him. But I miss him.
In the meantime, I discovered something amazing. Potatoes baked in the oven for a long time are the BEST! I suppose I always knew that. I imagined my Mom was just a better cook and Wendy’s had a magical potato machine. Despite the wait, the crispy outer skin and the soft, even, potato-y goodness of a truly baked potato is SO much better than one nuked in the microwave.
How often are the most important things in life easy and convenient? Things like love, and learning, and parenting… They require something of us. Some patience. Some commitment. Some risk.
And maybe it won’t turn out just right. When I throw something in the microwave and it bombs, it’s easy to scrap it and start again. But where I have invested myself in a wait… there is no easy out.
In the meantime, I am learning that waiting is not such a bad place to be. I had braced myself for a great deal of frustration during the uncertainty. And I’ll admit, it’s not easy, but it’s not the waste of time that I had imagined.
Our pastor gave a sermon about “Waiting” just last week. It’s a powerful spiritual concept. Because this time between what is and what is promised is important. It is a time to learn, to trust, to prepare and to dream. And I’m better for it.
But those who WAIT/HOPE/TRUST in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (from Msg/NIV/NLT)
Waiting is a Baked Potato. No shortcuts. No quick and easy. No fast forwarding the process. But worth it in the end.
So here’s me, in the meantime. Turns out, that’s not a bad place to be.