It is 2 a.m. and I can tell you, the one thing I want right now is SLEEP! However, after half hour of laying awake I came to terms with the fact that I would not be catching those elusive Z's until I got some of this down on "paper".
Today was day one of the National FSA Conference.
I have attended this conference the last two years and I have loved every single second of it. Each time I have met new people, run into old friends and gained such a huge respect for this amazing world that is adoption. This year I got my Mom to come with me and I couldn't wait to share in this with her. I am sad to say I left today feeling...different.
The last thing I want to do on this blog is hurt feelings or offend anyone, but there are things about this year that I am having a hard time with.
One, I went to an adoptee panel. There were for adults on this panel and they did a great job. However, all four were adopted as infants, all four had closed adoptions, all four have yet to find their birth parents, all four are happy with their adoptions and grateful to their birthmothers. This is wonderful...but I really would have liked to hear another point of view. I know there are adults who were adopted at birth that now share relationships with their birthparents and it would have been interesting to me to hear about how that came to be and their feelings.
Two, one of the women who sat on the adoptee panel also taught the next class I went to. To be frank, I felt as if I were sitting through the same class twice. Don't get me wrong, she was a good speaker and she's funny and interesting, but many of her thoughts were the same. Half way through the second class I was frustrated because I felt like I was hearing everything twice.
I went to a "What Adopted Children Need From Their Birthparents Class" and left feeling like this issue had hardly been discussed at all. I DID gain useful information from this class, but maybe not the information I had been expecting. However, one thing that I thought was very helpful was something Valerie said. She said "the one thing I crave from my birthmother is to hear that she loves me and she's proud of me". I love Valerie, I'm a huge fan. :D
At the banquet, which is always amazing, the table in front of me talked straight through dinner...and the speeches...and the awards. Other than the videos the showed about the AMAZING people that awards were presented to, I know very little about what went on there. :(
One highlight of my day was seeing Jared. Jared was my very first case worker when I learned I was pregnant. I moved home shortly after, but for that small window of time he held me together and made me realize things would be ok. I love seeing Jared every year and this year I got to introduce him to my Mom. Awesome!
I go into tomorrows day of conference with an open heart and with hope. I am praying that I am able to get what I need out of it and more fully enjoy my day. I know the members of FSA put SO much work into it and I love them for it.
Adoption is awesome.