28 October 2008

it's long-trust me.

Did you see this comment from Jim on the slideshow post?

There's nothing quite like the feeling of doing something God made you to do, is there Kate?

It is very, very true. God has been generous in His gifts to me. My favorite ones are the ones I get to use in theatre. I just love it! I'm more alert, more alive, more fully me when I'm doing theatre. I feel like more of my brain is being used--that connections are being made and all those right-brain left-brain highways are open and traffic is humming! I just...love it. I like teaching. But, I love theatre.

So why am I not doing more of it?

Well. (Settle in. Make sure your tea is hot and you have something to nibble if you're going to stick around for this one.)

I have been doing theatre for longer than I can remember. I was very fortunate to have parents who let me have lessons in all sorts of things--horseback riding, art classes, dance classes, voice lessons, soccer, swimming, skiing, clarinet, French horn, piano, drama classes...and I'm sure there are more. The skills that stuck are the ones that relate to the performing arts (I'm soo not a visual artist) and the horsey ones.

When I graduated from high school, I went to college to get my fall-back degree. (I was a psych major until I realized that all I could do with that was go to grad school and incur more debt. That's when I switched to education. Teaching is a no-brainer for me--it's easy and instinctual. I have so much babysitting, camp counseling, Sunday School/vbs/Bible study teaching, youth group leading, etc. experience that it was an easy switch. And, I have minors in psych and youth ministry.) BUT, since I went to a private, Christian college out of state I had to get a teaching job to pay off my debts. I could be an actor and starve, but I couldn't imagine being an actor and defaulting on my debts. Oldest child? Virgo? Just me?

When my debts were about a year away from being paid, I started looking at drama schools in England. I wanted to act. I wanted to live in England. (I thought.) What better way to cross two items off my list than to go to drama school there? My theory about single life has always been that I live it--and not sit around and wait to be spotted by Mr. Right. I think people should live so that there aren't things to regret in the future. This theory worked out well insofar as I have checked all the "selfish" things off my I'd-like-to list...but I'm still single, soo...there's a flaw in there somewhere.) I auditioned for a drama school, thinking I'd just go and scope things out to see how auditions for drama school worked and then the next year I could go and really nail the auditions...and got accepted to The Oxford School of Drama.

So I went. I left the best school a teacher could imagine and went. Drama school...that would be a blog of it's own.

I came back to the US and was able to support myself acting for four years. It was amazing--and hard. The hard part isn't the rejection. That really isn't something you take personally. It was exhausting constantly selling myself and constantly looking for a job. As soon as you land one, you need to start looking for the next one. But, I loved it.

Towards the end of that four years, I was talking to a friend on the phone. He was talking about how he had a new client whose Constitutional rights were being ignored. He was fired up and ready to slay dragons. He asked what I did that day.

I told him that my agent and I had been trying to decide how best to describe what color my hair was.

Now, that actually was an important thing. I am (or was when my hair still saw the sun) a natural blonde--albeit a "dark blonde". A big company wasn't hiring blondes for their tv adverts, but they really meant they weren't hiring BLONDES. They were in a non-blonde phase. So, having "dark blonde" on my cv was keeping me from auditions. But, putting "honey" as my hair color (an apt description) was too clever and too...twee. So, dark blonde it stayed.

But the juxtaposition of Constitutional rights with hair color highlighted how small my life had become. Everything in my life was about me--how I looked, what I wore, what I ate, where I went, how I sounded, how I felt. And, that is too small a life for me. I was feeling selfish.

Just as those niggles started, I landed the absolute best job of my life. The very best, BEST fit for me. I was working for a history museum. They paid me to read! I was immersed in social history of the early twentieth century. (I love social history.) I was developing living history programs for the summer. I was putting together programs to take into schools. I was a historical interpreter. (This is a person who speaks to you in character. I played two different roles. One was Sally Lane, a reporter. I had a bicycle and got to talk to people in general and children in particular about how my brother thought is was inappropriate for a girl to ride a bike--bicycles, fashion, women in the workplace, changing roles in society all at once. I got to interview people and tell them about the Wright Brothers. (I could do a whole post about the social implications of the bicycle.) The next summer I played Rose, a factory worker who won $10. I had a Sears catalogue and solicited opinions about what I should buy with my winnings. Being Rose was fun, but Sally was my favorite.) It was everything I loved and everything I was good at doing. I was acting, teaching, reading, writing, organizing...

That's when I felt called to adopt. Now, this isn't like Samuel being called. I didn't sit bolt upright in bed and hear God's voice audibly saying, "Kate, sweetheart, it's time to adopt. I know you love this acting thing. And, you're good at it. I made you that way. But now it's time to do something else. I know, I know--you thought that you'd be married first and then go adopt, but that's not what I want you to do. I don't want you to wait. I want to you start on that path now." But, I knew that was what I was supposed to do. It's both a complicated and incredibly simple thing. I don't know that I can explain it, but if it's happened to you, then you understand. It took thinking and talking and praying and I knew--I was supposed to get my ducks in a row and adopt.

So, I did. I went back to teaching to provide some financial stability. A part of me, a big part of me, was so sad to give up my perfect job, but I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I still miss it. I hope someday to be able to do it again.

Starting to adopt wasn't a big, emotional decision. It wasn't because I had a child-shaped hole in my heart. Yes, I wanted a family, but I didn't have the desperation, I wasn't at the breaking point that seems to send so many people towards adoption. I just knew that this was what I was meant to be doing. So, I did it.

My friend Lara says she gets great joy from being obedient. I can't say that that is true for me. I wish it were! Instead, obedience leaves me with an absence of guilt. That's good. And, I think, it gives me a peace and a security. When people marvel at my patience, I try to explain that I'm not being patient. This wasn't my plan. I am doing what I was told to do, so I trust that it will all come to fruition at the proper time. So, I'm not patiently waiting...I'm trustfully waiting.

Do I understand WHY it's taking so long, WHY I had to start when I did? No. Do I like being in this limbo? Not particularly. Do I feel patient? Not really. Is it even harder now that there is a possible d2b and I have to imagine her waiting day after day without her family when I feel so incredibly ready? Big yes to that one.

But I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. And, until I'm told otherwise, I'm just going to keep doing it.


Tami said...

The rewards for being obedient are absolutely amazing. Without having listened to God's call to adopt for a fourth time, we wouldn't have Maddie - and that is something I can't even begin to imagine. She has changed our lives completely...and all for the better.
Kudos to you for being obedient. Even though the timing is not your own...your child is ready now - just as God knew she would be.

Heidi said...

Beautiful. I'm not "patiently" waiting for your d2b to come to you either! But I know it will happen when it is supposed to.
And how fun are you?! Wow! You are brave (to this dull and boring girl anyway!). When do we get a picture with you in it?

Maggie said...

How interesting to learn another piece of your life. I never knew you were a working actor.

I got in touch with a high school classmate of mine on Facebook. She's a working actor in NYC. I mentioned how awesome that was. Her response was "Yeah. Well. I'm poor." Cracked me up!

Lauri said...

What an amazing life you have...

I enjoyed learning more about you

Annie said...

I'm so glad you shared all that! We have so much in common. You described so well the lure of acting. I felt just the same about it, except for me it was different. I came to love God and realized that I was getting peak experiences from acting that I should be getting only from Him. Obviously, this is not the case for everyone - But for me the message was clear.

Rachael said...

I love your outlook on life.

Andrea said...

Thank you for that post :) I have such a hard time sometimes telling people that I know God has told me I will be a mother, but He's never told me if I'm going to be a wife. He hasn't said I _won't_ be, but it hasn't been promised the way children have. And while I do not crave the experience of pregnancy, while I don't even crave the experience of parenting an infant, but rather simply desire the experience of parenting, period . . . I have to admit I'd prefer being married first!

But then again, when it comes to His ways vs. mine . . . what comparison is there? Really? Absolutely none.

Love this post :) And I can't wait to see what He is faithful to reveal to you next.

Anonymous said...

I miss you Kate. I gotta call. Bear with me and be patient while I find that early nap time...quiet time to BS for an hour or so. ahhhh

Anonymous said...

We miss your days at Carillon, too! How many field trips have we missed because this adoption journey has taken you so far away? Sigh. But we can't wait until that lovely day when you call and say, "I've got her!!!" Love to you, and we miss you much.