parenting · special needs parenting

What That Door God Just Closed Really Means

They slammed the door right in front of my husband’s face. We had run clear across O’Hare airport with our new baby tucked into my front carrier to catch the last leg of our flight home with him, and they slammed the door on us.

There was no recourse. The door would not be opened no matter what we did.

As we set out to adopt Ben, the doors flew open as if by supernatural command. We had a match in mere days, and as it played out, everything fell into place. We were giddy with nerves and anticipation that day that we planned our untramarathon trip to bring our baby home, with 5 flights a handful of subway rides, and a bunch of adoption paperwork and a new baby smack dab in the middle of it all. All proceeded as planned until that door slammed.

After exhausting any hotel or rental car options and finding out there would be no more flights until morning, we retreated to a quiet corner and watched Salvation Army volunteers set up cots.

And in those hours of waiting I questioned everything.

I had no idea that the slamming door would soon be a symbol to me of our new normal.  Maybe there is no reason, it might be just coincidence, but doors slam on us; specifically on Ben.

I wish I could step back in time and put an arm around the 32 year old me who was so stymied by that door slam.  I would have so much to tell her, but I believe that I would keep it to these two things, as not to overwhelm her.

  1. Don’t believe the adages about closed doors. There’s no one meaning to a closed door. It doesn’t necessarily mean that God is opening a window; it doesn’t demand that you break it down; it doesn’t always indicate that you should give up and walk away. There’s no perfect response to every setback, so use your head and figure it out. (You will achieve expert Ninja Batwoman status at this!)
  2. You will develop deep reserves of strength, endurance and resilience. More than you would ever believe. 

As the clock moved toward midnight, my husband called his lifelong best friend who grabbed an infant car seat, hopped into his Ford, and drove into the night to rescue us. We learned our first lesson that night about creatively dealing with closed doors when our knight in blue jeans, riding a red SUV saved the day and our tired butts.

We have spent much of the last 12 years staring, dazed, at doors slammed in our faces. I wish I could say we have adjusted to that dreadful feeling, but I’m not so sure it’s something you get used to and since you never really know when it’s coming, it’s impossible to truly brace yourself.  However, you can use creative strategies and move forward in whatever direction you choose. So be prepared to choose!


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