Today was a special day for us. We journeyed to Petersburg, VA to attend an adoption reunion. This is the first adoption celebration I had been to in such a long time! There was great food, good friends, and most of all people who get you.
Most everyone knows some family who has adopted. Or are going to adopt. But unless you walk a mile in my shoes you don't know. I know it sounds cliche and silly, but you don't understand it fully unless you live it. Add to the fact that I am an adopted child and have adopted a child and I am adopting again, it gets complicated. But these people knew all about it. We swapped social worker stories over lunch. We laughed. We cried. We left feeling uplifted and supported. Really supported.
We had an amazing speaker. He talked about the importance of showing up wherever your child was. He showed up at his children's schools randomly. He knew where they were. He cared enough to take time out of his work and do this. He stood up for his children. He was their champion and advocate. He also spoke for them. He spoke out against his daughter's first grade teacher when he walked into her classroom and saw her lifting up a child BY THE EAR and dragging them around the class. He also warned of the danger in raising a child as a friend and not your child.
Speaking as a teacher myself, I worry about parents who don't do these things. If you don't speak up, stand up, or show up, who is your child going to feel protected by? There were some other alarming statistics, but most of it was positive. Knowledge is power was the theme today. I learned more today than I have learned in a long time. I recommitted myself to speaking up and standing up for my child. Sometimes I don't do such a hot job of it. I let myself be influenced when I know in my heart of hearts that it isn't right. My husband and I are a good team and together we can make the best choices for Marvin.
We also saw Marvin's old social worker. She said Marvin looks just like me. Scary. I told her he acts like me too. I wish he was a little more mellow, like daddy. Shannon said he wished that too. We had a good laugh over that one. She also is up to something. She was asking a lot of questions about how soon we were going to be certified, how old so we want the next one to be, that sort of thing. I am getting more excited about a new little person. So is Marvin. He is driving me crazy, but this journey is teaching us patience.
I am glad we went. I am glad I learned so much. I am glad I was able to offer support and be supportive. Knowledge is power.