Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Tree Down

I really don't know what it is about me and trees...
But if you do a search for "tree" on our blog, you get like 4 pages of results.

And over the years, I've had more interaction with trees than I for.
I've climbed trees.
Felled trees.
I've attacked trees with shovels, ice picks, hatchets, sharpened rocks, chain saws...
... and now, thanks for some poor decision making and slippery roads... we can add, the van.

Notice the damage?

How about now?
I was driving home from the store at 7:30 the other night.  A beautiful winter-y night... with soft falling snow... and a sheet of ice on the road.  I slid though a T intersection totally unable to slow down.  I had hammered on the brakes a good while back from the stop sign... but apparently, there was no grip to slow me down.  As the van started to slide sideways towards the ditch, there were many thoughts which started going though my head... these are some of them... in no particular order:

  • Oh crap!  I can't stop!
  • The van is turning sideways - oh no... ditch!
  • If I hit the ditch, I'm toast!  The van is gonna flip for sure.
  • Oh look!  A drive way!  Let go of the brakes, straighten out, run off into the drive way.
  • Oh snap!  2 parked cars in the driveway!
  • GAH!
  • Okay, ummmmm... lets see...
  • ditch...
  • parked cars...
  • orrrrr... TREE!
  • I'm going to take out the tree.
  • That should stop the van too.
  • Oh dang.  This is gonna hurt.
  • *swirve*
  • *bang*
  • Wha?  Why am I still driving towards the house?
  • Did I miss the tree?
  • Oh great.
  • I'm gonna be one of THOSE guys you read about in the paper who "drives into a house", and you ask yourself "what kind of an IDIOT drives into a HOUSE?!?!".  Me.  Thats who!
  • Oh crap!  You know what, this is gonna cost me a crap load of money to fix, and I'm still trying to save up for the costs of the adoption.  Dang it!

When the van finally came to a rest, I had in fact hit the tree.  I climbed out of the van and was immediately releived that nothing was going to blow up - no one was hurt, all ended better than I could have thought.  Yes, the tree then flipped over my van and landed on one of the parked cars.  I did miss the house, and got the van between the house and the water well in the front lawn.  Pulled a bit of a U turn, and amazing, came out of it all without any scratches.  The van wasn't too bad, from the looks of things.  Sure, it was stuck on a big rock, cracked the front bumper, lost the DODGE logo on the front, and took out a tree... but it could have been much... much worse.

Hitting the ditch would have been horrible - and hitting the house or the two parked cars would have been pretty darned bad as well.

But enough about that.  I want to get back to the tree.

As the van was out of control, I was left with a feeling of helplessness, unable to change the situation I was in, yet forced to go through it.

When I looked around at my options, they were all pretty crappy.  I didn't really want to hit a tree with my van... but it was the best option available to me at the time.

I'm sure to our beloved children, who have been ripped from all they know, they must feel like that... only, a thousand times worse!
This helplessness.
Unable to change the situation they are in.
Maybe, not even wanting to be in the situation they are in.
And maybe they do what I did.
They look around.
The try to find a safe(er) place to land.
And sometimes, that safe(er) place isn't even a good place - but the best of a bad situation.

We as parents are sometimes (many times) that safe(er) place.  We're the tree.  Our children are the out of control van plowing into us.

Is that great for us?  No.  It hurts (and it's not really about us anyway).  It sucks when your child plows into you with a van sized "I no love you!  Not today!  I want go back China!"

But I'm the tree.

Can she get back to China?  Can she fix the situation she is in?  Can she change course?  Can she stop this crazy ride she is on?  No.

In the end, after my child plows though enough of my trees, and she comes to a rest... she will climb out of her van, look around and go "you know what, that wasn't so bad - it could have been a lot worse".

Maybe she will look at the smoldering remains of all my tree stumps, and say "Thanks Dad, thanks for being my Tree and slowing me down while I was out of control, even though I didn't want you to".  And you know what, even if she never says that... it doesn't matter.

Sometimes, there are trees in our lives that we have to removed.
Sometimes, there are threes in our lives which we want to remove, but God keeps there for some reason we don't understand.
And sometimes, we are the tree for others who need one to crash into.

* == totally should be me!


  1. Another excellent post Adrian!!!!

    If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. ~Ecclesiastes 11:3

  2. Soo glad you were all ok! Real quick....I emailed you Roberta with the info you needed. Did ya get it? :)

  3. wow, thank, you, so well written, so true, and such a great reminder as we hold our new daughter, on day 6, after a night of having her crying in her sleep grieving her situation. The attachment process is such a journey, we are glad she is expressing these sad emotions, and can be the tree as she crashes and thrashes around. Blessing on ya!