Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Southwest Regional FSA Conference, Day Two, Part One

I meant to post this on Saturday, when I got home from the conference, but I was tired, and I had a church activity at 7:30. And after that, I was even more tired, on top of which I had to find a recipe for funeral potatoes and get to the grocery store for ingredients so I could make said funeral potatoes the next afternoon. Long story.

I digress. Back to the conference. I'm splitting day two into two parts because it's long.

I ended up not going to many classes - I only went to one, in fact. I'm still not quite sure how that happened. I meant to go, I really did. But I got to the ASU Institute building early on Saturday. I had to put labels on the thank-you salsa (long story) and I wanted to make sure I had time to do that before breakfast and everything. And then it looked like a little help was needed at the registration tables, and I thought, hey, when we're helping, we're happy, right? So I helped. I got people signed in, gave out t-shirts and raffle tickets, and directed them to breakfast. Then it sounded like breakfast was starting, but I wasn't that hungry, because I'd had a little Cap'n Crunch before I left the house.

I love Cap'n Crunch. It tears up the roof of my mouth and leaves a film on my teeth but it's delicious. And you can't help but be encouraged by the cereal's old commercial tagline: "You and the Cap'n make it happen!" Of course, they were never really specific as to what, exactly, the two of you made happen. I suppose it could have been anything from breakfast to a nuclear holocaust.

Again, I digress. I wasn't concerned about breakfast on account of I'd already eaten. So I stayed up front at the desk. Then people dispersed to go to the first classes, and I wanted to go to hear Tamra's class on what to expect after placement. But there were still things to be done at the desk, and I wanted to help. I'll go in late, I thought. But the next thing I knew, people were out of the first class and going to the second. Well, shoot, I thought. But I knew I had ten minutes to get upstairs for the second class, Jessa's, on who, when, and how to tell people your adoption story. But I didn't finish with what I was doing until it was too late to politely enter the room, so I gave up. I consoled myself with the fact that I had heard Tamra speak on a very similar topic at the national conference, and that I'd attended a class on who and how to tell at the national conference, although someone else had taught that one. I figured I still had most of the relevant information, and refocused on being useful at the registration desk.

I sat down with another woman who was wearing a super awesome "FSA Conference Staff" button like I was and we sorted and boxed up the care basket donations people had brought. I should mention here that my local birth mom group has started our own version of the well-known birth mother baskets (also, I may or may not write the fluffy, exclamation-point laden blog). Ours are called care baskets, and we took donations at the conference. I couldn't believe how many people brought such nice things - fuzzy blankets an beautiful jewelry and gift cards and books and what looked like half of an entire Bath and Body Works. Which explains my subsequent hives.

"We got great stuff here," I told one FSA volunteer. "I almost want to get knocked up again just so I can get a basket!" I realize my eternal salvation is probably more important than a care basket, but honestly, you should have felt this microfiber and wool throw blanket someone donated. It had to be pried out of my hands.

Adoption-related CDs are on the list of things we would like to see donated. I wasn't sure exactly what adoption-related music was, but I saw it on another donation list and thought it sounded nice. Some kind soul seemed only to have noticed the word "music" and donated six or seven CDs that, when I saw them, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I settled on laughter, and showing the stack to my friends.

The CD on top was the only one still shrink-wrapped - Classic Love Songs of the 60s. The rest of them were clearly used, cases scratched. The next CDs that I remember are as follows:

I know there was at least one other CD but I don't remember what it was. I want to say George Winston or something like that. I shouldn't make fun, really. It's nice of people to donate things. It was just such an odd mix of music that I had to laugh.

I meant to go to the 11:00 class on communicating with your adoptive couple, because although I feel like I do okay with that, I figure I can always do better. I attended a similar class at the national conference but it had been taught by birth moms, and it seemed to me that this one, being taught by adoptive parents, might offer a different, more relevant perspective. But the others in charge who'd been around the registration desk had all disappeared, and I didn't want to just abandon the desk, because even though the day had started officially at 8am, people were still trickling in hours later. I ended up answering a few questions and checking in a few very late people so it was just as well.

By the time I decided I really wanted to go to the class it was 11:20 and I refuse to be that late. So I stayed where I was. One woman kept coming back up front to ask me questions. She didn't have a lanyard so I'm not entirely sure she was in the building for the conference. She asked me a lot of strange, random questions and needed help turning on her own mobile phone. She kept thinking I worked at the institute building. Each time I explained to her I was there for the conference, and that the people who could best answer her questions wouldn't be in the building until Monday. She kind of scared me.

Around this time, my friend Breonna arrived and we talked for a while. She showed me the adoption book she'd won the night before in the raffle. It's called "We See the Moon" and it was a little strange. I'm not sure I understood it. It's a children's book that's supposed to explain to little ones about being adopted. It featured lines such as "The full moon glows heavy in the night sky. A beacon of beauty and truth."

If anyone can explain to me what that has to do with adoption, and how on earth a child is supposed to understand it, please let me know. I'm baffled. The illustrations were neat, though. Breonna and I talked for a while and then it was time for lunch.

Phew. I think I'll end here for now. Part two will be along later.


Danya said...

I'm so sad I couldn't go :(

LeMira said...

Pretty much, I just love you right now. I'm laughing out loud at this post and your comments. Seriously, I LOVE how down to earth you are! Oh, and thanks for not making me depressed for not going. . .

S said...

Sounded like it was worth going to! I have to admit that I like Cap'n Crunch too!

Audra Owens said...

Yeah....those CDs gave us a good laugh today when we were taking inventory of everything! We got some great stuff, but it was crazy that some people actually donated used stuff. Ummmm....what's that all about?!

Mary said...

LIBERACE? Hmmmm. . . Just what every birth mother wants! I LOVE the way you describe Cap'n Crunch. Blessings on your head for volunteering your time to help others turn on their mobile phone while you could have been sitting in on what sounds like some wonderful classes.

P.S. Funeral Potatoes ROCK!

kristinanne said...

I love captain crunch and funeral potatoes! You rock Jill!

A Life Being Lived said...

Maybe you and Capt'n can upload those CD's into ITunes! LOL!!! Linda Ronstadt! Liberace! Steve Miller Band (disclaimer, I own that CD) is quite humerous too. Eclectic group. :) It's so nice that people donate things but....LOL!

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journey said...

Someone donated Liberace and Linda Ronstadt? Hahahaha! Awesome.

And I love Capn' Crunch too. Torn-up mouth and tooth film and all.