“You'll never understand the reason, until you look deep enough into the cut to see the emotional pain that put it there.” – Unknown
I was incredibly, intentionally, consciously avoidant.
My fiance and I arrived in Cleveland on Friday and spent two days doing whatever it is one can do in Cleveland. No offense to Drew Carey or anyone from Cleveland but I am not able to say Cleveland rocks. Its a pretty sad city. We attended an Indians game Friday night. Nice. Right across from the hotel. Saturday we visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Enjoyable. My eleven year old son would love it.
As our driver said that morning, once you have done an Indians game and seem the RRHOF, you have done Cleveland. He was very right. We dined Saturday night at a tavern called The Winking Lizard and returned to our hotel to visit the completely empty bar (remember: Cleveland) to ingest a diet coke and a terribly made Cosmo martini.
While we did all this, others attended AAC sessions, met DMC, saw him perform with Zara, heard great things from Senator Paula Benoit.
And I avoided it all.
I must say this is rather new for me. Years ago at Adoption Crossroads conference, I went full boar into it. Years later, I attended the Ethica/Donaldson conference in DC, same thing. Full boar.
This conference? Emm. Not so much.
I can suggest many reasons for this. My fiance, the state of my reunion, the stage in my own recovery. Any and all may be correct. All I know for sure is that I wanted to limit, severely limit, my adoption immersion. I had to present today, Sunday, with Margie and I was genuinely concerned about my ability to do so. Panic attacks hit me late last week, anxiety of my daughters approval or not of my work, thoughts of days past, and more kept me in a very odd place. I suspect I needed to reserve all my strength for the session with Margie.
The session went well. We were concerned we might not have anyone in attendance as we learned late we were in the same time slot as Dawn and Jenna and also Run DMC's second session.
Our concern was unwarranted.
We had approximately 15 people in attendance. Mothers like me and social workers made up the audience. Yes, I cried. Yes, I got emotional. How could I not? How can one share the agony of losing a child against her will and not get emotional? I apologized several times throughout my sharing. I wanted street cred - not a river of tears. I wanted to show the audience the face of loss. I wanted them to feel it too.
One of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou said "people will forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel" I hope that those that attended our session today forget what I said but remember how I felt and how I might have made them feel. More importantly, the next time a social worker is faced with an expectant mother, I hope they will remember the tears we shed in my session today. Use those tears to wash away the dirty grime that covers adoption truth and support that expectant mother with truth, honesty and ideally, a parenting plan.