Thursday, October 22, 2009

Story Time, Take Two

I realize this isn't exactly news, but I miss my baby. I got to tell her story twice today, and telling it always makes me miss her.

I did another school presentation today with LDSFS. I spoke to two child development classes at Gilbert High School. I don't feel like I did a great job, to be honest. I think I did better last week at MCC. S said she liked today's better. So I'm not sure.

I think part of the problem is that today I was faced with teenagers. At MCC, it was people around my age, some a bit younger, some a bit older, and some more than a bit older. But teenagers make me nervous. They've always made me nervous, even when I was a teenager. Being on a high school campus made me a little insecure, a little anxious. I felt like I was fourteen again, and I should mention here that I would never be fourteen again for anything in the world.

Teenagers are sort of a tough crowd. I don't know that they got my sense of humor, which just ruins things because I am snark personified. I tried to make things interesting (not that I feel Roo's story needs anything added to it to make it interesting) but I'm still not sure that any of the students were particularly interested in anything I had to say. I hope that one or two thought about it at least. I think maybe a couple of girls got something out of it.

I know I did. One thing I've noticed over the past couple of weeks is that the more I talk about adoption, the more comfortable I feel with it. Public speaking has never been a problem for me, and in fact when I was younger the trickier thing was shutting me up. So I was never worried about that aspect of presenting. What concerned me was the content, the emotion, the freshness of it all. I want to make sure I do the thing properly, that I do Roo and her story justice, and that I emphasize the blessings that come from putting your baby's needs first.

I think I've done that. I don't pussyfoot around the pain and heartache because I think that does a disservice to my audience. Adoption is hard and I don't see a need to pretend otherwise. But I've tried to stress that the fact that it's hard doesn't mean it's not worthwhile or right, and that I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Part of the problem for me is taking God out of the picture. I find it difficult to properly explain my decision without talking about eternal families and prayer and fasting and the Holy Ghost. I hate that that's the hardest part to explain because I think it's maybe the most important part of the story. I've struggled with that. How do I describe how and why I chose P and M without mentioning religion? How do I tell people that I knew they were her family without bringing up my faith?

Fortunately (if you'd call it that) I have the H angle to play up. And he was part of it. I didn't want his problems to become Roo's problems. I didn't want her growing up around alcohol. I didn't want her to be torn between two parents who don't like each other, not knowing where her loyalties should lie or where she should call home. What a horrible thing for a child to go through! I couldn't put my sweet Roo through that kind of thing. I wanted her to grow up with a mommy and daddy who were very much in love, who would keep her safe from the bad things in the world while she is small, who would teach her to be gentle and kind and patient and good.

P and M are a bit more difficult to explain, because that was my Father in Heaven guiding me 100%. I say this with all the love in the world, but I'm not sure I'd have chosen them out of all the profiles I looked at. There was nothing extraordinary about them, nothing to jump out at me and say "Here we are! We're Roo's family!" I'm just grateful that I was in a place where I was able to be so guided in my decision. But how do I explain my choice without mentioning God?

I do the best I can, and if it's not enough for my audience, so be it. Strange as it sounds, I am not doing these presentations for the students. I am doing them for myself, and for Roo. They hurt, but they heal, too. Each time I get through Roo's story, I feel just a little bit better.

I'm speaking again tomorrow. Telling Roo's story makes me miss her. But I think a part of me is always going to miss her for as long as I live. I miss her, but it's nothing I can't handle. It's a pain that I can live with. For Roo, I am glad to live with it. She is healthy, she is happy, and she is loved. How could I not be happy too?

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