This past weekend I flew to Boston to be part of the American Adoption Congress Conference. I've gone three times now. The first time was eighteen years ago when Kate and I were just coming out of reunion's honeymoon and stumbling through the chaos of the dark phase. The second time was last year, where we read from our memoir together for the first time.
This time was my first time without Kate. It was still connected to writing, but with my fellow adoptees in Lost Daughters.
There were a few things that were the same. Every time I've gone, the morning of the the conference I've felt uneasy, even a little queasy. It's one thing to understand why my experience has been, but coming together with others who've had similar experiences, having it all out there, exposed, is a little terrifying. Each time, I start with questioning why I'm there. What am I hoping to get out of it?
In everyday life, adoption is just part of my story. People may know I'm adopted, but for the most part, that's not why we know each other. We might work together, or share a hobby, or have someone in common. At the conference, it's the one thing you know about everyone there - adoption is part of their lives. Most attendees are adoptees, then there are birth moms, a couple birth dads, few adoptive parents, and then people who work in adoption. Adoption is front and center.
Having gone with Kate in the past provided a bit of a buffer. We could be separate, retreat off by ourselves. This time I didn't have that. I had my fellow Lost Daughters. And, while I'd never met them before, I knew their writing, and so knew a little about them. It gave me a new level of connection.
But I missed having Kate there. I missed having that buffer, our unique story, our connection.
I've realized, that I may go to the conference without knowing why, but with the trust and understanding that there is something that will come out of it. And it's okay if I don't know what that is when I go. In fact, it's a lot like being in the dark parts of reunion, actually. It's at that time that you don't know why you're doing it, but you're going to come out the other side as something more than who you were when you went in.
to view my birthmother's blog on the same topic, go to mothertone
Thoughts? Reflections? Opinions?
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