The other evening while getting the mail with my son I heard the ever familiar song of the ice cream truck. My son had never experienced the thrill of buying ice cream from a truck, so its song did not immediately grab his attention. That is, until I told him the truck it came from was carrying ice cream. Once he knew the song indicated there was ice cream nearby, he was determined to find its source. He suggested we go walking in search of it. He was anxious and could barely contain his excitement, yet I made him sit on the sidewalk and wait.

If there has ever been a time that he has thought I was surely out to get him, this was the time. Why would I make him sit and wait for something he could obviously tell was near? We were unsure about which corner the truck was around. If we had left our spot and ventured off for it, we may have missed our opportunity. If we mistakenly thought it was around a corner that it, in fact, was not, we definitely would have missed our opportunity. However, as long as we sat on the sidewalk waiting, we still had our opportunity. Sooner or later the truck would drive down our street, and I could guarantee that to him. If we had wandered in hopes of finding it sooner, he would have lost that guarantee. What a basic, simple concept. It was one I was able to teach to my three-year-old in a matter of minutes. When that truck finally turned down our street and my son walked away with ice cream in-hand, he understood why we never left our spot.

Are we not all this way at times? Are we not the anxious kid wanting to chase down the ice cream truck? I can openly admit that I am one to rush things. I have a lot of questions, and if answers are not coming to me, then I will go find them. Before I met my birth mom, I often found myself chasing my questions, only to come away empty-handed and disappointed. My adoption was closed, and my parents felt I would be mature enough to go in search of my birth mom come my 18th birthday. Of course, being the teenager I was, I thought that I was already mature enough. I thought I was ready simply because I had decided I was. I was willing to leave my guaranteed spot because I thought I could get to where I wanted to be faster. The only problem was I had no real idea of where it was I needed to go.

Far too often the way we want to go is not the way we need to be going. With time, I accepted that waiting and taking the time to learn while I waited was the best thing to do. In that time, I matured, I spent more time learning about myself, and I prepared myself for the day I would finally meet my birth mom.

Sometimes in life we get distracted by our own excitement and determination. We go in search of things that are already headed our way and end up losing them in the process. Do not venture away from your guarantee in hopes to find it sooner. Do not try to find a faster way to get to it. Some of you may be sitting in the same spot I was, waiting for the day when you can be reunited with a birth parent. Others of you may be waiting to be reunited with a child you have placed. Many of you may still not be sure what exactly it is you are hoping to see come down the street.

Whatever it is you are waiting for, it will come. Do not get discouraged. Do not feel alone. Keep sitting on your sidewalk listening as that sweet song gets closer. I promise you: Before you know it, you’ll see it heading down your street, and it will be well worth the wait.

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