Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. – C. S. Lewis
I have been away the past five days on personal and professional business.
I am on my way home and attempting to process the many adoption related conversations, experiences, and writing prompts that have come my way in recent days. For example:
- I was contacted by a print magazine and asked to contribute an article on adoption.
- I was contacted by an on-line magazine and was asked to grant permission to them to republish one of my blog posts.
- I spent two days with these lovely ladies doing incredible work.
- I met an adopted cousin who is also a first mom.
- I declined the opportunity to be part of a documentary that will chronicle the painful experiences of mothers that lose their children to adoption.
- I declined participation in a three day retreat with other mothers.
- I walked out of a restaurant after sharing a lovely meal with said mothers and I burst into tears and broke down in my car.
- On my way to my meetings the next morning, I continued to cry.
- I slept for five nights in the virtual womb of aforementioned cousin/adoptee. Her bed was surrounded by three walls that were plastered with pictures of her daughter she surrendered to a kinship adoption. It was eerie in many ways. Equally eerie that father of said child bear s the same name as my youngest son and step sister of said adoptee bears the same name as my daughter (original).
- I struggled at times with said cousin referring to me as her cousin or my uncle as her father. I am and he is, of course, but I was keenly aware that I look at adoption differently these days. It wasn’t as simple as accepting my uncle as her Dad. Every time she said “Dad” something inside me turned and thought “he isn’t your onlyÂ father”.
- I counseled a step mother on the works of Kirschner and discussed the high rate of male adoptee criminals and adoptee suicide.
- I counseled a woman who spoke freely about her own mother who gave birth to a son in the 1940s. She is struggling to understand some of her mothers views to being found. I recommended Ann Fesslers book.
- I read the book titled “An Unquiet Mind”. I was reminded of several adoption individuals I know that suffer from manic depression. I was oddly comforted that while I have suffered from depression and perhaps at times some degree of mania, I am confident my bouts don’t come near the pain the author, and others I know, have suffered.
- I connected through Chicago on both my outbound and return trip and could not help but smile and simultaneously ache at the city I consider my home. As I have written before, my love for this city goes beyond the fact that it is the city that my daughter was born (and lost) in. It is the city in which I found myself. It is the city that gave birth to a brighter, stronger, clearer me. I am eternally grateful.
I have cried a great deal the past fews days often over the simplest things. The comfort of being surrounded by women who have felt your agony is that no explanation is necessary. At one point I just looked at my friend Mirah with a somber face. She pulled me close and I sobbed heavily into her right shoulder. No words were needed.
It will take me a few days to process everything.
No doubt there will be many blog posts to come.