Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Story Time

The adoption academy on Saturday was the first time I have really told my story in front of a group of people. I was a little nervous, but I knew that I could do okay, and I think that I did.

What I was more concerned about were the scheduled school presentations. How, I thought, am I supposed to tell my story without mentioning religion? My faith is such a huge part of the decision I made.

But, I thought, I have time to figure that out. My first scheduled school presentation is in ten days, on the 23rd (which happens to be my birthday). I have sat in on a school presentation and I got a fairly good idea of what to expect, what to say, what not to say, and how to downplay the religious aspects of my decision.

In the past, LDSFS has only done presentations in high schools. But this week they've got two college presentations scheduled at Mesa Community College. The first one was this afternoon. A birth mother I know was scheduled to present, but she got sick. So last night I got a call from S asking would I be willing to speak today?

I said yes. I was nervous, but I figured the only way to get past my nerves was to rip off the metaphorical Band-Aid and speak sooner rather than later. So early this afternoon, I told my adoption story to a social work class.

I think I did great, if I say so myself. Nerves tend to loosen my tongue, and I found myself saying absolutely ridiculous things that made me feel an absolute fool, but my audience seemed to appreciate my candor and honesty. And I actually managed to do a good job of explaining my decision without mentioning God. Fortunately, I had the birth-father-is-an-emotionally-abusive-alcoholic angle to work. And the financial angle. And the I-had-a-great-dad-and-I-want-the-same-for-my-baby angle. And myriad others. Eschewing religion was easier than I thought - although all things being equal, I preferred speaking at the adoption academy and telling a more complete story. I feel that it's a much richer, more compelling and well-rounded story that way. And that's the whole story. I felt a bit cheated having to leave out some of the more awesome spiritual parts of the story, like how I found Roo's family.

But I do feel much more confident now about speaking on the 23rd. And I think that teenagers will be a less intimidating crowd. A college class was more or less a group of my peers. A high school child development class is, comparably, small potatoes.

What amazed me the most was what telling my story has done for me. It is cathartic, therapeutic. Every time I talk about Roo's adoption, it hurts a little less. Every time I tell my story - even just a bit of it - I feel better. Stronger. In every telling I learn things about myself. I come to new realizations about how right this adoption is, about how much I have already healed.

Adoption is a wonderful thing, and I want to shout it from the rooftops! I am so excited to speak again and spread the word. And I feel a bit more motivated to finish writing out my story for this blog. I've sort of left it hanging in November, and I need to finish it before I get too far ahead of myself.


Anonymous said...

Hooray for you that you had the courage to speak at a moment's notice. I'm glad that it went so well for you!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Back when I placed my baby girl for adoption, I was counseled to keep the story to myself. I waited a long time before making it public knowledge via my blog (my daughter was 10 years old when most of my friends and some family members heard). I think that the opportunities that you've had to share your story are going to help you (and others) so much. I'm so glad that you are helping to change the perception of adoption as well...people need to know that it is a loving option. Adoption is so much more open now than when I went through the process as well, I'm so happy for you that you have the chance to see Roo.