A few years ago I read a book by Brian Tracy about procrastination; the book, Eat That Frog, is written by Brian Tracy. Tracy raises the question, “If every day you knew you had to eat a frog when would you eat it?” The book encourages the reader to think of the frog as the biggest task and to start your day by tackling the biggest task right away. In other words, eat the frog and eat it right away! If you start each day by eating the frog then you won’t have to worry about pushing the task aside because it will already be done. Although it’s a silly example about dealing with procrastination, it really does make sense. Here is one excerpt taken from Tracey’s book:
“The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is for you to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of eating your frog before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.” (Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy, 2007)
I try to live my life in an “eat that frog” way. When a problem or task presents itself, I try to solve or fix the problem and do it quickly. I don’t deal well with unresolved issues and when something is left unsettled it drives me crazy. Although my habits of persistence have proven to be a great skill for me, the truth of the matter is that in the world of open adoption, the biggest tasks and challenges need to be handled with patience.
When I learned I had a son who was given up by his mother for adoption, my mind went into overdrive. I felt determined to start the “wheels in motion” as quickly as possible. I needed and wanted answers as fast as I asked the questions. I became upset with the challenges put in front of me and dealing with others who seemed (at the surface) to be procrastinating. I didn’t expect to wait and I certainly didn’t expect anything or anyone to get in my way. I had absolutely no clue where to start, who to call, or how I was going to deal with the task ahead of me.
In trying to help the time pass more quickly, I decided to read books and articles on open adoption. I joined a birth parent support group www.ohiobirthparents.org/ and shortly after joining, I started this blog. The birth parent group helped me so much. I had people I could communicate with and they showed an understanding to my situation. They validated the emotions I was having but helped me channel those emotions in a positive way. They recognized my passion and their support was strong from the start. Their encouragement, support, and knowledge of the adoption world, helped me discover that I had no direct control over the situation. This was a difficult mindset for me however, I refused to give up and remained optimistic, while developing more patience and not experiencing such a sense of urgency for answers.
I am very happy to end this post with a positive update. About two weeks ago I finally met with the adoptive parents. The meeting went better than I imagined it would. The parents were warm and receptive to my emotions and questions. They surprised me with a photo album they made for me with pictures ( a sort of timeline) of my son’s (G) first seven years. When the meeting ended the adoptive mother gave me and my wife a hug. We are meeting again this month to continue our discussions about how to go ahead with the challenges facing us. As the meeting drew to a close, I thanked the parents. I wanted them to know how appreciative I was for the chance to meet with them.
I realize that this first meeting was a small step but it gives me hope for what the future might hold. This was a situation where I learned that “eating that frog” might not be the best solution. Sometimes, it is better to look before you leap.