I remember the first time I opened my daughter's file. My eyes scanned the page, navigating some pretty turbulent paragraphs. But they landed safely on three numbers – 617.
Her birthday and I were old friends. I hadn't thought of that numerical combination in years, but as soon as I laid eyes on it, memories of learning to ride a bike, chocolate milkshakes, and backyard baseball games at my first childhood home – 617 West 2nd Street in Hazleton, PA – flooded over me.
The adoption process isn't for the faint of heart, especially with older children. The training, home inspection, and case study interviews are taxing, but I found the files most difficult. Each one seemed more horrific than the one before, with detailed accounts of neglect and abuse. It was necessary – full transparency is the only way to know if you're equipped. I just internalized the trauma and lost faith in humanity. But with my daughter's file, I just saw 617.
I've seen 617 a lot these past two years – when I look at the time on my phone and it's often 6:17, when my destination is 617 insert street address here, or when I get behind a car and the license plate ends in 617. I didn't notice at first, but its frequent appearances, especially the past few months, have caused me to pause and crack jokes about playing the lottery.
Two Saturdays ago, after a Dunkin Donuts run cost me $6.17, I laughed and said, "Come on!" aloud and then took to Google. "When you keep seeing the same number" introduced me to the concept of "Angel Numbers," and there is a substantial amount of information online that alleges this is your guardian angels or spirit guides using numerical combinations to communicate with you.
Now I know that sounds crazy, BUT I pride myself on being open-minded, so I continued to read. Apparently, your guardian angel serves up the numbers when they're trying to get your attention, so you should make note of what you were doing or thinking about directly before you saw the numbers.
Repeating numbers are pretty popular and have specific meanings, but if you get a combination like me, you're supposed to add up the numbers. For example: 6 + 1 + 7 = 14 and then 1 + 4 = 5.
6 represents balance and harmony 1 represents self actualization and initiation
7 represents retreat from the outside world to meditate and find your true purpose 5 represents change
Basically I need to find balance in order to achieve my full potential, and I can't do so without taking a retreat from external forces. I need to meditate and reflect on my true purpose, and once I understand it, I will initiate some big changes in my life.
617...do you copy?
My head starts swirling with activity. My true purpose, eh?
I've been struggling with my decision to adopt. The decision to do so came so easily at age 18, when the notion just came to me. But my daughter has been fighting the very thing she's been fighting for – a family, and it's left me feeling hopeless and questioning my lack of questioning what I thought was "my calling."
When I picked her up from After Care a few days later, the Director asked to speak with me privately. I haven't been at this long, but since she's made up for lost time, I know this isn't good. I may appear cool, calm, and collected, but on the inside, I'm in full panic mode and just praying she didn't hit another student. Luckily, I'm told she was cursing with her friends, and that is not allowed. She's getting off with a warning, but next time, there will be consequences.
I exhale relief, but then inhale anxiety and anticipate mental fatigue at the thought of the conversation I'm about to have in two minutes. I start reviewing my talk track in my head and then I catch a glimpse of the tiny black digital clock next to the sign-out sheet, and it says 6:17. I exhale, and I smile, and I let it go.