Wednesday, April 6, 2016

American Adoption Congress Conference 2016

After attending AAC 2016, I have too much to write about to fit it all in one post.  Here is a summary of the experience, more to come in the following days:

The Week of Firsts

  • I attended my first ever "real life" adoption event ~ the AAC 2016 Conference.  
  • I traveled alone for the first time, which I surprisingly actually enjoyed.
  • I was a presenter on a workshop panel ~ the first time I've ever spoken out loud to a group regarding adoption loss in my life.  Another thing that I very surprisingly enjoyed! 


The Stories
The biggest take-away from the conference for me were the stories.

So very many different stories.  

Different stories, but all rooted in loss and covered in confusion.

Adoptees, mothers, and adoptive mothers ~ even a raised son of one of the mothers presenting on Saturday morning spoke a little.  

Not only stories of the keynote speakers and the various workshops I attended, but also many people attending.  The questions and discussions from the audience after the keynotes and workshops were also insightful.

I am a people watcher, and couldn't help but watch and eavesdrop listen to the many stories being told all around me at various times throughout the conference.


The People
I thought that my favorite thing about attending was going to be meeting some of my adoptionland friends in real life.  It was awesome meeting Suz & Amanda, as well as seeing and meeting others that I "knew" through various blogs and forums.

The thing that most effected me about the conference though was the experience of just being with so many people who "got it".

The son, who was about the same age as Christopher, and his natural mom.
The daughter, also about the same age as my son, and her adoptive mom.

The moms.  Oh, the moms.  There were some amazing, strong, beautiful women of many ages, a few years to decades of loss, in or not in various stages of reunion with their (now adult) children.  All so supportive and caring.

The adoptees, who were so open to sharing their own reactions in reunion.
Who spoke of the times they pulled away from their original mothers and couldn't even explain why. Who were so open with helpful advice or caring, supportive words.

People who didn't look at you with pity, or reply with "what a wonderful thing you did" or...  


1 comment: