What I Learned in Driver's Ed

I have one memorable moment from my driver's ed experience - a moment which still brings a bit of extra color to my cheeks when I remember it.

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If you've driven about in Lubbock, you know it is hard to get lost. Lubbock is an almost perfect grid with numbered streets leading east and west and alphabetically named streets leading north and south. No roundabouts, only a few streets which end in one place and start up again in another, and the only one ways are in the downtown area. It's a very friendly city to navigate.

Unless you're a 15-year-old kid with a driving instructor hellbent on making sure you know the rules of the road.

For this memorable moment of a session, my driver instructor took us downtown before instructing me to pull up to the stop sign and turn right. I dutifully obeyed - turning on my right blinker, coming to a full stop, looking both ways and then turning the wheel and pressing the gas before WHAM! My instructor slammed on the breaks.

I looked at him like he was crazy.

I looked for the passing car I might have overlooked.

I looked for the grandmother crossing the road I must have nearly ran over.

But there was no one - nothing.

I looked back at my instructor, and he told me once again to make a right turn.

So I checked to be sure my blinker was still on, looked both ways, began to turn and WHAM!

Once again my neck was whipped forward as my instructor slammed on the breaks. My partner in the back seat began to giggle, and I wondered if this were some sort of cruel joke.

Again I was told to turn right. Again I tried with the same result.

Again and again - I can't remember how many times.

Finally exacerbated and feeling the tears welling up inside me, my instructor nodded his head towards the sign I had missed - the sign which read "one way" and pointed the other direction.


There are probably a lot of lessons which could be pulled out of this one experience - pay attention to your surroundings and don't let others lead you astray immediately come to mind. But lately I've been feeling as though I'm back behind that steering wheel. The goal is in sight; I just can't get there.

I see the adoption finalized and Hannah* home.

I see us figuring out life and how to be mom and daughter.

I see us on the first day of school.

I see us celebrating her ninth birthday and her first Thanksgiving.

I see us doing the things which moms and daughters do - watching movies, shopping for new clothes, disagreeing over silly and big things and laughing a lot.

But I simply can't get to the goal.

I'm starting for it, only to be jerked back to idle and wait. Again and again until I'm ugly crying and shouting at my Instructor to just let me go. There's the goal! I can see it!

But the Instructor, he knows better. He sees something I'm missing. He sees a better way to the goal, and I have to trust him.

I have to put my life and her life and our life in his hands. I have to do so every morning and every evening and all the everys in between. 

It's a process where I'm learning to drive. I'm learning the difference between one ways and two ways. I'm learning to watch for signs and signals and to diligently and dutifully move towards the goal.

*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.

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Please consider helping us raise the last bit of Hannah's adoption fees:

1. Buy a t-shirt from AdoptionBug.com.

2. Buy coffee from JustLoveCoffee.com.

3. Send a check to Oasis Haven US: (Your gift through Oasis Haven US is tax deductible.)

    PO Box 28362
    San Diego, CA
    92198

    *Please write "adoption support" on the memo line.