I remember vividly the day I realized that we were really going to adopt. Andrew and I were standing in the driveway discussing all the whys and wherefores and why-we-shouldnts, when I leaned up against our mini-van. My eyes got wider as realization dawned and I put my hand on the tail-light.
“If this is what we need to do, I’ll drive the stupid twelve-passenger behemoth, Andrew. I can let go of the minivan.”
Those of you who know me well know that this was a huge concession on my part. I am violently opposed to the Van of Large Size.
And yet, in that moment, I knew I would drive it proudly in order to have my yet-unknown daughter home.
Fast forward to last month. I told you about saying good-bye to my minivan. By God’s grace, that van sold in two days. Fortunately, some friends of ours had an 8-passenger van to spare and we were not left without a vehicle. We even got to ride together as a family for the first time. All very exciting.
The day after we sold the minivan, we bought our van, sight unseen. It was in Texas. Getting it here was the most ridiculous farce ever.
We tried to find a company to transport it for us. That was two weeks of waiting. We tried another tact and had a company agree to transport it immediately. Only they couldn’t leave for a few days… and then a week… and then a few more days. So on Friday, after almost a month of owning a vehicle we’d never seen, Andrew hopped on a plane and headed to Texas.
And then his flight got delayed.
When the folks from the car dealership picked him up from the airport, they had a bit of news: your van wouldn’t start this morning. It’s in the shop. We think it’s the alternator.
Bad news: Andrew was stuck waiting on the van, setting him back six hours in our tight schedule to get him home.
Good news: The van didn’t break down after he drove off the lot with it and strand him on the side of the road.
Better news: We didn’t have to pay for the new alternator.
Only God Could news: The mechanic located the part and installed it on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.
Who says God doesn’t care about the details?
Andrew called me as he pulled out of the parking lot, “This thing is a Beast.”
When he reported in a few hours later, he admitted he couldn’t find where to put the fuel in. He ended up having to crawl under the van, locate the fuel tank, and then follow the pipes to the outside of the van until he could find the cap.
Fortunately, despite Andrew’s mishaps and delays, I was safe at home with the kids and I had back-up. My friend Elle (blog-stalker turned buddy extraordinaire) brought her crew to give me a hand. As the delays and complications piled up, I was so glad to have Elle and her peeps by my side.
Note to self: when my kids get older, don’t be afraid to drive four hours to bless another Mama in the throes of raising little people. This is the greatest mama-to-mama service EVER.
Andrew arrived home safe and sound last night. He mentioned that he had a hard time getting over the small mountain into the valley we live in. So when we went to church the next morning, all of us loaded nicely into our 9-passenger ride, we took the easier route out of the valley.
We smoked like a chimney. And we barely made it up the hill.
We sat through church with a sick feeling in our stomachs, thinking we’d just bought a lemon… A lemon that waited to die until we’d driven it 900 miles from Texas.
After church, Andrew and Elle’s husband popped the hood and noticed that there was some pump completely DISCONNECTED, the mechanics must have missed it when they replaced the alternator. They plugged it back in and Andrew fired up the diesel engine and proceeded to roar around the neighborhood.
Problem fixed. For free.
And on a Sabbath day, no less.
This afternoon, it was my turn to tackle the Beast and drive it to Wal-Mart. We’re taller than any car or truck on the road and I felt the need to channel my inner trucker. “Breaker breaker, this is Mama Hen…”
“… and my little chicks have the sweetest ride on the road!”
So… we need some help. This van needs a name.
Sadly, it is white. And long, like I predicted. And it’s ridiculously tall.
We’ve had several suggestions already, including The Heffalump, Leviathan, the Endeavor (this is Sam’s favorite because it’s a spaceship, only he says is like “the Deborah” which is even funnier), and the Beast.
Which one do you like best? Or do you have another suggestion? Help us out, peeps!