It was over 20 years ago that I placed my first born into adoption. It was the late 80's/early 90's and adoption was still seen as a shameful act that many did not understand, and more so, they did not WANT to understand. It was a very lonely time for me, I did not know many other women who did what I did. I knew of a couple of other gals who placed for adoption, but my circumstances were so different from theirs (I fought to have an open adoption and they were more or less forced into a closed adoption) that my feelings and thoughts could not be fathomed by them ... they did not have the opportunity to communicate with their own children. I felt as if I were on a little island of my own, that no one could ever understand what it was that I was going through.
Fast forward some years to a beautiful weekend in Arizona on the campus of The University of Arizona in Tempe last month. FSA held a conference called Linked In Love that I decided to attend so that I could touch base with a group of people that I had only met on the Internet. I had no idea just how much the weekend, and the people that I met there, would touch my soul. I was so excited to go because I was going to meet a kindred spirit that I only knew in cyberspace, others too, but I REALLY wanted to meet Michelle! She had never been to a function like this either, so we could hardly contain ourselves waiting for the time to come when we would go and mingle with so many who embrace adoption.
We met so many beautiful, graceful and powerful voices on the birth mother side that I think I was overwhelmed with the prospect of talking all weekend so freely about a topic that not only touches my daily life, but the lives of so many others like me. I know a ton of adoptees, just a lot of them in my daily non adoption life. But to be around all of those wonderful, broken, healed and surviving women made me feel on top of the world.
I am not Mormon, I do not practice their ways ... but that did not matter to them. They did not see religion, color, creed or differences. They only saw someone like them, a woman who chose to be brave in the face of life unexpected, a woman who knew without speaking of it what life has to offer those who have truly broken their own hearts. It was like sitting in a warm blanket just after it is taken from the dryer; snugly, soft, comforting and all encompassing.
I have walked for a long time telling my story, speaking my truths as I know them, trying to help others along the way see that life can not only be unexpected, but also so very rewarding. I have usually done that by myself, been the only one in the crowd who had walked that path. But that weekend, that glorious weekend I was not the only one. I was among sisters. I was among others who knew what my heart was capable of. I was among kindred hearts who with one look made me feel welcomed and respected. I was among birth mothers ... and it was inspiring!
What a feeling to not have to explain myself. What a feeling to hug and smile with others who know. What a feeling to see where I was in all of the new to adoption mothers and know what I have been able to accomplish in this life I walk. What a feeling to laugh, cry, think out loud and share in something that I have not been able to share with a LARGE group before. Words cannot begin to explain what a giant lift it has been for my spirit since being there. Thank you to all who I met, it was a weekend that I will surely be talking about for a long, long time!
So ... when is the next one and Who is bringing the KOOL-AID!?!?
dont miss out on kelseys amazing voice! follow her blog!