The Hoover Dam

Originally posted August 10, 2008 on our old Vox blog.

Let me start by acknowledging that I did not want to travel to Las Vegas for our vacation. I wanted to go to the beach, but the Vegas trip fit our budget and came with poolside time. I also had no interested in touring the Hoover Dam while in Las Vegas. You can see that I started the trip with a great attitude. You are probably wondering if I was pleasant at all. I was pleasant, and I did enjoy our trip. I even found the Hoover Dam trip interesting.

So the Hoover Dam is a triumph for the American people. It was built in the 1930s in record-breaking time. The Dam took 24-7 labor from thousand of Americans, and it is massive. The mountains that the Dam spans across support it. The Dam is incredible to look at especially when you realized they built in the 1930s. I wasn’t even born then. I can’t imagine what it was like. For all I know, everyone was educated in a one-room schoolhouse, so I’m just impressed that someone was smart enough to plan the construction of the Hoover Dam.

When I stood at the top of the Hoover Dam, it made me queasy to look over the edge. There is a lot of space between the top and the bottom. Two days after our Hoover Dam trip, we were on a plane back to Dallas. Wouldn’t you know, I saw the Hoover Dam from the plane, and it looked incredibly small.

The Hoover Dam is surrounded by a mountain range and desert. I saw how massive Lake Mead is, and then I saw this tiny trickle of the Colorado River heading south from the Dam. It struck me how minute the Hoover Dam is. So thousands of Americans created it, big deal. Everything surrounding the Dam God created. All the creation around the Dam dwarfs it, but I would never have gotten that perspective if I had only seen the Dam from the ground. (As Scott said, “The Dam is huge when you’re standing on top of it.)

I don’t mean to diminish the accomplishment and hard work of those thousands of people in the 1930s, but for what purpose did they build it. Did they build it to receive accolades? Did they build it to prove the ingenuity of man?

I tend to focus on my accomplishments and immediate surroundings, so when I finish a major task (like the Hoover Dam) I want all the praise and acknowledgement. I want people to know how great I am because I accomplished this major task. I did it by myself. In reality, my accomplishments are fleeting.

I also looked at the Dam a different way. Remember how small and insignificant I said it looked from the plane? Well, imagine that the Dam represents the loss of our Vietnamese adoption. I am so focused on that loss that I can’t see or hear anything else. I can’t see what surrounds or supports us. I can only think of what I can do to make it better or make it end my way to accomplish what I want.

I don’t know what this loss means for me or my husband. I don’t why we had to experience it. I don’t know who our child will be or where our child will be from. I do know that if I focus too much on what I can do, then I will miss everything God created around me. I’ll miss what this experience can become.

As much as I wish I could go back in time and give our adoption process a storybook ending, I know can’t. I can continue to trust in the God who created my baby and me. And I can wait until He says its time for us to meet, though I do hope it’s soon.

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