Cheerio is on Day#3 at the Adoptee Rights Demonstration (ARD) in Philadelphia.
My original intent this week was to blog about the highlighted events of each day, here at the ARD. But a surprise it was for me as to how quickly time would pass.
Instead of taking time to connect and write, I spent as much time as possible actively listening.
More importantly than mentally jotting down “facts” or ‘statements” that an uninvolved reporter might do, I listened not just with my ears, but with my heart.
I listened as both men and women shared their thoughts, their souls, some of their struggles with me.
With every person I connected with, their words and experiences through their own individual journeys has stitched on my heart a very sacred and personal place for each and every one.
It is only Tuesday and the night is young. Most of the group, and my hubby were heading out to their last event and stop for the day. Oh, how I wish I could go and enjoy the night with them at the comedy club.
But right now, adoption just isn’t ‘funny’ to me.
Even a multi-grain cheerio can only soak up so much milk, and that is where I’m at.
Emotionally I’m full- I’m not maxed out but I just feel like I’ve had enough for a few hours.
The shuttle whisks away the group to the comedy club. As I walk up the stairs to my room, I am alone and the emotions that were on the back burner started to take over and I just feel like I could throw up.
Two days of admitting I am a first mom.
Yes, admitting is the most accurate word.
Each and every time I have to say it, I feel the shame and guilt all over again.
There are BSE (Baby Scoop Era) moms here, and adoptees who know their mothers had no choice about them being taken from her. I feel guilty about how lame my pathetic little “story” sounds.
The grandparents of my son on the father’s side wanted so much for us to parent and offered to help, but noooo
– I insisted
he must be adopted. So many other mothers would have given ANYTHING
to have just one person support them, and I – I refused it all.
As I listen to adoptees talk, whether to me directly, or just conversation among themselves – they experience LOSS. Not only have they lost their natural family and the freebie crazy relatives, but also their original identity and a very real piece of themselves is lost.
The subject of first moms who did not have other children came up a few times. I tried to be appear indifferent, but before I could even speak a word, I know my face showed the pain.
There are two vivid things from the Demonstration that pricks my heart to even recall. One adoptee occasionally yelled out, or asked women as they approached, “Are you my mommy?” I don’t know that I can actually describe in writing how that makes me feel. It made her sound so unprotected and vulnerable to not have her Mommy. That pinched my conscience of how vulnerable and unprotected my own son may have felt at times in h is own life.
The other vivid thing was at the end of the Demonstration. I had already turned in my sign and was waiting for the rest of the group, so we could head out. There was a tall young fellow in military looking attire. His t-shirt said “Restore Adoptees Civil Rights.”
We ended up talking with him briefly.
I have not been telling people I’m a first mom unless they question if I am an adoptee. When this fellow asks if I’m an adoptee, I have to once again admit I am a first mom. I was very interested in talking with him and listening.
But when we hugged good-bye, he said, “Bye Mom.”
I had to hold back the tears. Mom. Someone called me 'Mom.'
So, like a weighed down milk saturated Cheerio, I’ve retreated to my room. I just don’t want to have to hear any more for now. I am here to support Adoptee Rights, but that doesn’t quell the tumultuous reality of my connection with Adoption, with Adoptees themselves, with a boy out there whom I desperately long to find.
Eventually I’ll pull out a garden magazine to read while drinking a soothing cup of hot tea.
But for right now, I’ll just sit here alone in my room, and in solitude I’ll stare at the funky light patterns on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
funky light patterns
Benjamin Franklin Bridge