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 biggest take-away from the conference for me were the stories.
So very many different stories.
Adoptees, mothers, and adoptive mothers ~ even a raised son of one of the mothers presenting on Saturday morning spoke a little.
I am a people watcher, and couldn't help but watch and
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...