I think maybe I should clarify here. My answer wasn't so much "no" as it was "not right now." Somewhere in that jumbled, teenaged brain of mine, I was able to recognize that I couldn't handle any more drama right then. My brain, my heart, my emotions—they were all on overload at that point in my life. And although I was curious to find my biological family, I already knew who my real family was, and that was enough.
The rest of that summer continued to be eventful. My parents and I enjoyed our trip, first south in California to see my aunt and uncle, then north to Seattle to see my brother and sister-in-law. When we returned I started getting ready for college. And then… just a few weeks before I left for school, our house was robbed! It was just the finishing touch on an unbelievable summer. I wasn't kidding when I said I hadn't been prepared for all that God had in store for that year.
Shortly after that, I left for Heidelberg College (now Heidelberg University). Can I be honest here? As you know, I am reposting this story from my previous blog, and this is my least favorite entry. I really struggle with going into this part of it. I do want to tell you the story of my adoption, and nothing happened in that arena at this time… but this is also my story, and I want to tell you what was going on with me in the time before my parents and I had "the talk." ;-) So here is the short version………
The freshman year of college is tough, especially for kids who go away from home. And God is so good—it was so clear that He had laid out a beautiful bridge to ease my transition into this new environment. During my college visit months before, He had basically plopped me into the middle of wonderful connections and opportunities that were awaiting me that September. All I had to do was step onto that bridge.
But I didn't. Instead I kicked off my shoes and went wading through the white water. I struggled and stumbled and plowed through. I knew that at any time, He would lift me up out of the river and put me back on that bridge if I just asked, but I refused. I still got to the other side, but I was exhausted and felt like a fool for doing it the hard way.
Let me sum up my freshman year of college this way: I crave acceptance… approval… affirmation. I long to fit in. It's something that I wrestle with now, but back then I wasn't even fighting it. Unfortunately, I also didn't use this trait to my advantage—you know, by seeking the approval of people like my professors, boss, or God. No, it was my peers whose acceptance I needed, and I worked so hard for it that I didn't have much time for anything else.
I carried that same baggage with me into the summer, when I worked at Sea World. I enjoyed my job (working in the education department), but I was just consumed with being a part of the "in" crowd to the point that it affected my work. I look back now and I am so sad for that girl. I wish that I could go back, take her by the shoulders, and shake some sense into her!
The crowning moment of the summer came in early August. I had been dating someone throughout the summer, and I was head over heels in love in a way that I hadn't known was possible. I had stupidly agreed to his "rules" that we not date exclusively—again, because I was so desperate for him to like me. But I was in deep, after just a few short months. I just knew that at any moment he would "let" me be his girlfriend. (Oy, why are teenage girls so stupid when it comes to boys?)
And then one day… nothing. He would no longer speak to me, look at me, acknowledge me. Instead I found out from a mutual friend that he was now dating someone else—a result of our (or at least his) "non-exclusivity." He told this mutual friend (and anyone else who would listen, I soon found out), "Katy was nice, but I was just hanging out with her until I met someone I really liked." Pow! My heart was shattered, and I hurt in a place inside myself that I didn't know existed.
During the previous summer, I had postponed the talk of my adoption because I felt like I couldn't handle one more blow. This summer, though, I was looking for a fight. I felt like so many things were spinning out of control, and this suddenly seemed like something that I could grasp. I had control over whether or not I talked to my parents about it; I had control over how far I went with the search. I needed to feel in charge of something.
I came home from work a day or so after the breakup (if you can call it that) and told my mom that I was ready. The following Sunday we went to church, we sat down to a nice lunch, and when we were finished eating, they started in on the story—my story.