After months of planning the day finally arrived and I was stuck here in Deadmonton, at the zoo no less. Today marked the third annual Adoptee Rights Day. This year the National State Legislators Convention was in Louisville Kentucky and so were the fabulous bastards, amazing natural mothers and stellar supporters of all. While I am sad I couldn’t make it I am more proud to consider myself part of it at all, even if it was just going out and about in my Bastards Unite shirt. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of others each year gets bigger and better, it is only a matter of time before people across America know what A.R.D. means!
Thank you for everything guys and gals!
I did want to share something I wrote last year after the A.R.D. in Philadelphia;
I wanted to share my trip with everyone, the good and the bad, highs and lows.
I spent Saturday night packing and repacking, making sure I had everything I could possibly need. I finally fell asleep on the couch at 1:30am with half of the contents of my suitcase scattered on the living room floor beside me. I woke up in a daze at 3:48, my alarm didn’t go off and I had 12 minutes to get ready, oh dear. I shoved my junk into the suitcase and rechecked my carry on, Dad was in the car outside already but we were off!
I got to the airport only to learn that I had been bumped off my flight from Denver to Philadelphia. Ok, I can deal with this, I’ll just go standby in Denver. The flight is uneventful until we land, then we are held up on the tarmac for half an hour, no chance of making that flight now, crap. I deplane and run to the United counter, nothing leaving until 7:30, won’t arrive until 1am. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Fine they will move me to a Frontier flight leaving at 5:30. Not great but better. I try to sleep and fail so I sit in the smoking lounge on the computer while my excitement mounts. Finally it is time and I am off, high above the world speeding toward Philadelphia and a huge gathering of some of the best people I will every meet.
Once we land in Philly I run to the baggage claim and then run outside to smoke. My mind is reeling as I text Kate and Linda to let them know I arrived safe and sound. The people around me are catching my excitement and it seems like even the grumpiest of Gus’s are smiling back and stepping lightly. The luggage starts is journey around the carousel and of course mine is dead last lol. No matter, I am in the shuttle and making my way to the hotel!!!!
I cry on and off in the shuttle. I am nervous, excited, overtired and very proud to be able to consider myself involved in such a monumental event. We stop at the hotel and I rush out, almost leaving my purse behind! I don’t want to wait to get my bag, I want to feel the company and comraderie of these people who share intimate details of my life. I am about to meet friends I’ve never seen and other’s I haven’t seen in a year. HOOOOOORAY!
I walk up to the hotel and the hugs begin. I am not a huggy person, almost never touching anyone aside from my children and lovers but here I am hugging damn near everyone I come in close range to. I love this feeling! I feel like me, no reason to hide, they know who I am and they like me anyhow! Amazing. I am in the presence of Adoption Celebrity and they have gathered me into the fold. I am truly blessed! A group of us stand outside, smoking and talking about the year behind us and the great day ahead. I am amazed at the beauty around me. Damn! Us bastards are a gorgeous bunch! I hear Michelle’s voice, almost in a daze I think back to the first episode of The Adoption Show I heard and how her strong and sure voice, so full of reason and passion, brought out emotions in me I had never heard. I look and see Linda talking to Scott and think about how she effortlessly combines our truths with wit and humour in a way that makes you laugh while you are outraged, pushing people to think about our cause. I meet Theresa and see the joy in her face, this beautiful glow that comes from acting on your beliefs and making huge things happen! Mimi goes to get me a coffee and I am again shocked at how soft spoken she is and the way she makes me feel totally at ease, I recall her heavenly voice singing kareaoke in Edmonton, I love this! Suddenly Diane is outside and, just as last year, I am in awe of this tiny, beautiful woman who is such a powerful presence, so full of energry and passion. Of course Matt is with her, I just can’t get enough of his strength and his passion for a cause that is not his own. The love him and Diane share is what I will forever base my own relationships on!Jim is there with his wonderful outlook and sunny smile. I meet a new friend, Jack, and of course we have LOADS in common since we are both adoptees. Once again I’m amazed at how one singel life event can bring us all together so perfectly. I am in love with these people in a way that I can’t describe! But it is late and I need to sleep, plenty of time tomorrow to chat it up so I go to the room where Linda and I talk like teenagers at a slumber party. Sharing our secrets, dreams and fears, long into the night. My soul feels at peace.
In the morning some of us take the shuttle to the park and others walk. Of course I walk, I will always take any chance to see an unfamiliar city. As we walk America’s vast history hits me like a ton of bricks. I too feel excited to be American, if only for a few days a year. We get to the park and I find myself stepping back. There are other first moms here and I am afraid. I’m not like them, I have this other side of me that whispers in my ear. I am afraid I won’t be accepted, that my views will put them off and I will be shunned. I push my fears to the side and start mingling. I see Heather and her Mom, just reunited a few days before. As I search their faces for the similarities I know are there I feel such joy to see them both. My phone rings and it is a message from Kate, she has parked at the convention centre but isn’t sure how to get to the park so I offer directions, my heart racing in anticipation. I offer to walk up and meet her and take off almost running. Scanning the people walking down this busy street I am sure I’ll miss her and of course I do. A short phone call later we are walking toward each other and I want to cry. How on earth am I lucky enough to be here??? Meeting people I admire so very much, embracing people from across this magical country, fighting for something we all believe in so strongly! We walk back to the park and talk along the way, little things, how was your trip?, did you find parking ok?, who all is here? Suddenly the park is in front of us and we are talking to everyone, laughing and sometimes crying. The joy fills my heart. I meet Mia and we take a few photos, such a beautiful woman, inside and out! Jeff and I greet each other and just like online I am warmed by his presence and easy going ways. I spy Dory and walk over for a chat, just like last year I love to be near her, drinking in her fire and beauty. I spot Nicole and her gorgeous sign, a perfect replica of her tattoo, it embodies our cause perfectly, we all deserve to know our roots and I love that she has made her body a canvas for it, first you see her outward beauty and then you see her passion in great flowing branches forever stamped on her leg. I introduce Kate to some people and watch as she waits for Claudia to finish an interview, seeing the misty look in her eyes and realizing that I am in the midst of giants. I am part of something so much bigger than each of us individually, I am humbled and happy. I meet Cheerio and have a little chat, stunned (though not surprised) at her perfection. Soon it is time to march. We start to head out and my heart is light and singing in spite of the gravity of our cause. I am here, I am with my people, my tribe and I am empowered.