Facing Fears

Today I went on a Laurel Highlands Canopy Tour at Seven Springs Resort.

That means I willingly and willfully jumped off of platforms set high atop trees and ziplined through the air to yet another platform set high in another tree.

If you know me, you are probably doing the quick blink thing because here’s a small factoid about Jenna: I’m afraid of heights.

I don’t like to look over the sides of bridges. I don’t like to climb up ladders. I don’t look behind me on escalators. I don’t look out the window on fancy elevators. I don’t lean on the windows of hotel rooms perched high in the sky. Every time I went to the top of the Empire State Building, I had a panic attack.

I don’t like being high up.

Today I was really high up.

And I kept jumping into the air, trusting that the safety harness would do its job, and having the most wonderful time. Ever.

I will do anything to spend time with my daughter.

My daughter’s mom mentioned when we were planning our girls’ weekend, that the Munchkin really liked adventure type things. They had recently gone ziplining on a trip, and the Munchkin really liked it. 7 Springs offers two different zipline options: a four zip trip (more info) and a three hour canopy tour with ten zips. Guess which one we picked?

I was exci-ervous. We made that word up; it obviously means excited and nervous.


But then I just kept getting more and more excited. As we waited for the rest of our group to show up, I realized why I was so excited.

Just Waiting

I’ve had a rough year in a lot of ways. It’s been good too, of course. Running a marathon still ranks as one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I’ve met new people, formed new relationships, done things I’ve never done, and put myself out there more than I ever have in previous years.

Agreeing to a girls’ weekend—without the safety of my sons and my husband—pushed me past my comfort level. It ended up not only being amazing but necessary on so many levels. Explaining to my boys this evening where I went and why I went without them was hard, but they accepted it for what it was, I guess. We don’t always get what we want in this life. Sometimes we’re excluded. Sometimes life doesn’t feel fair, but we are still loved, still cherished, still so important.

And then I jumped out of trees.



I jumped out of trees with my daughter and her mother and two other couples and two guides who made us laugh, made us comfortable, made us believe we were capable of jumping out of trees. I zipped through the Western Pennsylvania air, the sunlight coming and going as we came in and out of the protective shade of the trees, and I thought about what a change has taken place in my life this year—in the past 11 years.

I faced fears today. More than just jumping out of a tree, flying through the air, and trusting that I wouldn’t smash face first into a tree.

Being a birth mother will forever be about facing fears. I’m in. For life.



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6 Replies to “Facing Fears”

  1. “Being a birth mother will forever be about facing fears.”

    Ah. That hit me square in the feels. I didn’t jump out of real trees today, but I jumped out of a proverbial one in my own adoption. And it was scary as hell, but I did it. For my son. Because, I would do anything for him. I so get it.

    Good for you, Jenna. I’m glad you had a good experience this weekend. I’ve been hanging onto every update, wishing that everything went just so for you. You are a brave, mofo.

  2. oh jenna. i love you. so very much. you are a wonderful woman. in so many ways that you probably don’t even know.

    p.s. thank you for the best line i have read in ages: “Sometimes life doesn’t feel fair, but we are still loved, still cherished, still so important.”

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