Friday, October 8, 2010

Southwest Regional FSA Conference, Day One

I learned my lesson with the national FSA conference - if I don't blog about it right away, it's not going to happen. I've still got three or four drafts of posts I started about the national conference, and I've pretty much given up on them - it's been two months, it's just not going to happen.

So I thought that this time, I would blog about it as soon as I could. I should probably go to sleep instead, because the conference starts bright and early tomorrow morning, and I am not at my best and brightest at 8am even if I've gotten a good night of sleep. But I have never been good at doing things because I should. Let's face it, if common sense was a strong point of mine I wouldn't have faced an unplanned pregnancy.

I digress.

Tonight was the first part of the Southwest Regional FSA conference. The dinner and decorations were western themed and it was suggested that we dress "country casual." I don't own boots or a hat but I did dig up a cowgirl shirt and decided that constituted dressing up.

The events of the evening took place outdoors, on the roof of the parking garage adjacent to the building we'll be in tomorrow. Phoenix weather is unbearable in the summer but the fall makes up for it, particularly in the evenings and today was no exception - it was perfect.

Before dinner, there was a slideshow about the adoption triad featuring an adoptee, a birth mom, and an adoptive couple. I should mention that I was the birth mom featured. Can I sound cheesy and braggy and say that I loved my story? I did. I thought that Sarah, who put the slideshow together, did a great job with my story and the other two. The other two were really amazing too, because the adoptee is also a birth mom, and the adoptive mom is also an adoptee. And I'm the daughter of an adoptee. I love all the little connections and coincidences there are in adoption. It was so cool to see the adoption overlap in the slideshow.

The evening felt like one big happy adoption reunion - I swear, I got to say hi to every person I've ever met with an adoption connection. It was great to see so many of them again. I saw adoptive moms I've done outreach with, birth moms I've met and lost track of, couples whose blogs I read, and both of the couples I met with and considered when I was pregnant. I was surprised at how many people there I knew. I thought, this must be what it's like to be Tamra - I felt like I knew nearly everyone!

It was also fun to meet people I've only ever encountered on-line. Tonight I got to meet Michelle, Kelsey, Jessalyn, and Lindsey, a.k.a. Mrs R. I met Lindsey once before, at the national conference, but it was at the end of the day, in an elevator, and I was tired and greasy and could barely see out of my contact lenses because I'd been wearing them for 14 hours, and it wasn't a proper meeting.

I got a more proper meeting tonight complete with something at which I excel; the awkward hug. I should tell that to people when I meet them - "Hi, it's so good to meet you, if we hug it'll probably be awkward." Oh well.

She (Lindsey) said she liked the slideshow, and then she told me I have soft hair, which was delightfully random. I'm stealing a few minutes at the end of one of her classes tomorrow on adoption advocacy; I'm talking about doing school outreach. I suppose I should probably figure out what I'm going to say ahead of the time, but really, where's the fun in that?

Assuming always that a lack of preparation equals fun. But whatever.

The food was yummy, the music was entertaining, and I had excellent dining companions (hi, Nicci!). All in all, it was a great night. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. This promises to be a great conference!

And now I'm going to bed.


LeMira said...

I'm so glad you posted about the conference, although I'm extremely jealous. Personally, I love your story - it's one of my favorites!

MrsPerrbear said...

Love it Jill! It was fantastic to get to meet you too. And in all honesty, my favorite part of this post was, "I should tell that to people when I meet them - "Hi, it's so good to meet you, if we hug it'll probably be awkward." Oh well.". That's why I totally did my mini wave and a handshake. I feel the same way!!!
You're right...your part of the slideshow did rock, was amazing, and I was so confused to realize that the people in it actually had real! I laughed about that confusion for a good five minutes!
It was awesome to meet you. Even if I wasn't brave enough to touch your hair. We live pretty close to each other, so maybe one day in the future! Keep telling your story! I love it.

Tamra said...

i loved your story too! you gotta way with them words girl!
i loved seein you again! and yet again, these things are never long enough!