I spent Friday and Saturday at the Together for Adoption Conference.
It was a million things.
My brain and Owlhaven finally met. In fact, I roomed with her Friday night. In fact, I got a signed copy of her fantabulous book (nyah! nyah!). She has also agreed to become an expert on all things "teenagers" and then teach me everything she knows. Okay, maybe I TOLD her that is what she was going to do, but she didn't argue. She was laughing hysterically ... hmmmmm.
Which one of you losers was the chic that said, "You told me to tell you hi," and then kept walking as if I DIDN'T want to talk to you or didn't have time? Hoser. Out yourself, I say. I wanted to find out who the heck you were! I wanted to tell you my kids were in the lobby and to go meet them. I wanted to know if you had kids and why you read my story, and, and, and, and ... I now want to egg your house for not letting me. Come oooooooon. Who are you? I can't even remember your name. Too busy saying, "Seriously ... come back!!" It was like the end of a tragic love story that never happened.
I was able to see my Facebook friend Annee in real life. She's great. Annee, you are GREAT! Thank you for finding me. And Amy Block was kind enough to laugh at me when I said something to Annee akin to, "I'm so used to your tiny Facebook icon, it's so great to see you bigger"
Check out Amy's recap on her blog. Find the pic of Jenn. Yeah, her! Jenn, I never wrote down your blog address. Post it in the comments so we can all harass you for not posting enough. I loved how we kept bumping into one another. I loved how you whispered into my ear when we were both thinking the same thing. I am so very glad you let me be your friend.
All the other gals in Amy's post? Amazing. Truly fun and amazing. Sat up in a room with many of them very late talking about behaviors and intestines and whack-job hair cuts. It was so very good to laugh, because the rest of the time I was a blubbery mess.
There were these fun, new budding friendships with so much connection. Simultaneously, there were those people with whom you already share some sort of history. It was rich and those good-byes sucked because there's no guarantee when I'll see them again.
It was also 48 hours of constant reminders of adoption in our home, in our family and particularly all that has been the last two and a half years of our lives.
I didn't expect it. It kicked my tail. Ours is a story of pain and loss and confusion and healing and hope. I felt every single bit of it. I didn't want to leave, but I had a constant need to be by myself and wail. I think that was important for me. I'm too strong sometimes. So strong that I delay the expression of my own emotions.
That conference was a purging. If you met me for the first time, no, my eyes are not normally swollen shut. However, in the end, I returned home to hope and healing and future. We are doing it together. My kids are rock stars. I'm just now really starting to understand what I have been asking of them, to move forward. I'm not happy that it took me this long to honor the depth of it, and can't believe I ever dared to be impatient with them. They have have climbed mountains ... in the snow ... without feet.
Really glad I went.
(photo by Ivan Prole, used with permission)