Friday, October 13, 2006

Rod Chairs

I'm sure you are asking, what the heck is a rod chair? If you already know, then you must be some kind of home improvement nut, or perhaps you work construction. Until this past Monday, I had never heard of a rod chair. I don't know anyone named Rod, or even Rodney, or Rodalia, or whatever. Everyone knows what a chair is, so perhaps it's a chair made of rods? Or maybe a special chair for hardcore fisherman, particularly those who spend most of their time on a beach or pier?

Nope - these are rod chairs:

They are used to elevate iron rebar rods so they are properly suspended in new concrete. So, what's this have to do with adoption?

Let me explain. Someone at work has gotten me into the habit of making analogies for everything (ask me some other time about the Oracle/monkey analogy). Sometimes it helps him prove a valuable point, sometimes - well, it's just funny. We'll see how it goes for me.

Not to get into a lot of detail, we've got ourselves a new walkway out front. I see the adoption process as being very much the same as the process of creating a concrete walk. Think about it. You talk about it for a while, you discuss it with a few friends and family members. Then, you do nothing - you just put it off for a while because it seem over-whelming. It's totally unclear how much it will cost, so that delays it even more. You do research about it on the internet trying to determine the best methods. Then, finally, you decide to just do it.

The simalarities don't end there. Once you've made the decision, there's a ton of prep work. First you gotta mark off the area, dig it out, compact the existing soil. Then you build forms, which takes forever to get right. Then you lay rebar as the final prep before delivery. Then you wait. You wait for the big delivery. A huge amount of prep work in advance, then you literally wait because you are beholden to the concrete delivery schedule.

But once it arrives, there's a flurry of activity. 40 hours of prep work all comes down to this. It takes literally 20 minutes to pour the concrete out of the truck and spread it through the forms. If any mistakes were made in the prep, the whole thing will bust out and be worthless. Then you're screwed and you have to start over. But if you've prepared properly, the reward is outstanding. In just a few hours, all of your hard work pays off.

The same will be true of this adoption. We've been talking about it for a while. Discussing with a few friends and family, and researching on the web. Now, we're finally getting started. And I'm expecting all the prep work to be overwhelming. We'll have requirements to make changes to the house and yard from a safety point of view. We'll have to undergo counseling and evaluation to see if we're fit to be adoptive parents. We need more life insurance. We'll have to file all kinds of paperwork. There will be meetings in Lancaster and Harrisburg, and possibly multiple trips abroad. Then we will wait, because the delivery will be out of our control.

But the payoff will be a big flurry of activity. We'll finally learn that a child is availible for us. There will be a sense of excitement, and with one final dramatic effort, we'll be parents. If the prep work is done properly, those last few steps will be soooooo rewarding.

Oh, and back to the rod chairs - maybe you forgot!!! Rod chairs are an inexpensive, seemingly simple, but critical step. The rebar rods are worthless without them. If the rebar lays along the bottom, it's not helping, and the concrete will not benefit from them. Propping up the rebar on those rod chairs makes all the difference. Well - that's where you all come into the equation. You are our rod chairs. You might not realize it, but your prayers, advice, and just plain old moral support will be critical for us in during the preparation process. Our own faith and determination will be nothing, if it's not held up by your support.

So, if that all makes sense....

Thanks to you all for being our rod chairs!


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

Hi Greg! Jason and I will be happy to be your Rod Chairs! And by the way, the ride just gets started when you hold that bundle of joy. Hang on, it's a wild ride:)

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

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