Many years ago, I had the strangest dream regarding the woman who I know now as my wife, and you all know as the Sane One. I dreamt that we were in our familiar role as best friends. I was in an audience of a game show supporting her because she was a contestant. The show was Celebrity Jeopardy, and as the Sane One is one of the few people in this world who can regularly beat me in trivia-related entertainment activities, I was very confident that my best friend was going to crush it. She was on Celebrity Jeopardy because she was married to Steve Stricker, professional golfer. The standards of Celebrity Jeopardy apparently have fallen as low as the standards on Dancing With The "Stars" has. Only something odd happened. She was doing very badly. I mean, worse than Paris Hilton could do, or Honey Boo Boo's mom, whatever the hell her name is. And I remember in my dream being absolutely stunned that she was doing as badly as she was. It wasn't supposed to be this way. She was supposed to be a 5 day Champion and the world could get to see just how amazing my best friend really is and how lucky Steve Stricker was to have married her.
Why am I sharing this crazy dream? Well, first of all, I wanted to make you all jealous regarding how awesome my dreams are. Seriously, my dreams are terrific. That one was almost as good as the dream where I was coaching a high school wrestler how to beat Jason Derulo on the mat and I gave him really good advice, which he promptly ignored and Jason Derulo pinned him in like eight seconds. I don't even know who Jason Derulo is. I mean, I clearly have heard his name mentioned before, but if you lined him up with a bunch of KPMG consultants, I wouldn't have the slightest chance of telling you which one of them he was. And how interesting is it that even in my dreams I can suffer such spectacular setbacks, like having my words of wisdom be completely disregarded? I am lucky enough to have great and interesting dreams, but that isn't why I mention Mrs. Steve Stricker getting her ass absolutely handed to her by Alex Trebek on what is quite literally the most remedial version of Jeopardy ever created.
The reason why I mention this dream is because even subconsciously, I view my wife with such incredibly high esteem. She is one of the most competent, wonderful, and intelligent people I have ever known. And it made complete sense to me that she would annihilate the competition. The fact that she wasn't crushing it was more distressing to me than it was to her. As the class act that she is, she probably would just continue trying her best and not be phased by the negative balance growing larger and larger. She would probably be relieved that her husband, that lucky bastard Steve Stricker, was off playing in the Folgers Fresno Open and so he wouldn't have to see her embarrassing performance while trying to help her selected charity of choice, teaching feral cats how to play golf.
What I remember most is the feeling of helplessness that I had watching her implode on television. I wanted to jump up and shout "She's a lot smarter than she seems right now! She's probably just really nervous! She knows all the answer that she got wrong! She knows that bagpipes weren't invented in Baghdad!" I wanted to shout out all these things because I knew that the audience was coming to conclusions about my best friend that just weren't true. And that one horrible moment doesn't define the remarkable person I know and deeply love.
Adoption issues are pretty lonely. They are often an introverted process where we have to internally deal with things because the belief is that other people just cannot possibly understand. Because it is so difficult, we often focus on the struggles and ordeals that we are going through. We make it all about ourselves. It is only natural, but suffering is one of the most egotistical things that human beings can go through. We sometimes lose sight of the effects of our pain and discomfort on the ones closest to us and how horrible it must be to watch someone you love go through something and not know the best way to help them. As helpless as I felt in my dream, I often wonder if the Sane One feels that same helplessness on such a larger scale in real life regarding what this year has brought upon the two of us.
There are momentous occasions in our lives that shape the people that we are. Some would say those moments are defining moments. I used to agree. However, because of what has happened, I do not want to be defined by those circumstances. I want to be judged and viewed with how I react to them. I am not alone in this path. I have incredible support. The reason why this blog exists is to help share some of that support with you and perhaps give you all an occasional chuckle or two as we deal with issues that are larger than one person, one family, one society, and one nation. In our toughest moments, it is easy to think that we are alone. But we aren't. We just have to let the people who care most about us in. We have to also take time to appreciate that as difficult as our problems are, how awful it must be to watch it happen to someone that you love more than anything else in the world. I remember that helpless feeling in that dream. It hurts me to know that many people who care deeply about me can feel something even remotely similar in real life.
I don't know how much more difficult this journey would be without the therapeutic process of writing these thoughts down and sharing them with anyone who is willing to subscribe to this blog. Thankfully, I don't have to find out. This blog came to be out of one of the most traumatic events that a person can go through. I wouldn't have stopped being Mrs. Stricker's best friend because she did so poorly on Jeopardy. And the people that are really connected to us aren't going to stop being in our lives because of what happened to us or continues to happen to us. We are an accumulation of many, many things. And one event or one aspect is not enough to dissuade the special ones that come into our lives from accepting us as a complete package. For those of you who are reading who are adopted, I would say this: we might think it's a solitary process, but it effects others around us deeply, too. So let them in, share, and check in on how they are doing as well. If you are a team, then truly be a team. For those of you who love someone who is adopted: thank you for your kindness, patience, and attempts at understanding. I think often times, your support and pain goes unrecognized and unvalidated. But without your constancy, I know many of us would succumb to our self-destructive natures and our lives would be so much poorer because of it. Almost as poor as those wild cats who will never be able to play golf because Mrs. Stricker is such a dumbass.