For those of you who read my blog and think "Wow, I wish I could travel like she does" -- well, you do, and you don't. I had an amazing time being away. Time with Bart in Nashville was fun. The time I spent with Cindy was awesome -- really good food, great conversation, a ton to learn and share. And then being in Central, SC always centers and settles me... being with people who I know beyond the shadow of a doubt have, and have always been, on my team of supporters since I was in my early 20s. We have had deep, authentic, encouraging, mutually beneficial (I hope) relationships for all of my adult life. Just being there provides me with a great deal of peace.
But when I come back the re-entry is so hard -- I have work to catch up on, things in the house need attention, the kids are wanting more attention than usual AND I have to clean up all the messes that were created while I was gone. So many things from so many different directions make me feel overwhelmed and it takes a few days for me to recover. When I travel back to back without enough time in between then I'm really messed up.
So, you ask, why do you do it? Why do you work in adoption? Why do you keep traveling around speaking when it's so exhausting? Why do you keep encouraging people to do this when it is hard?
If you have these questions you should meet Yolie. She explained to others in my training on Monday afternoon that she came to Georgia with her younger "Kicking and screaming" not wanting to be adopted AT ALL. Fast forward almost a couple decades and there she is, beautiful, super smart, wife to a great guy, mom to two adorable kids. a huge support to her mom Cindy, and a Master's Level Social worker who works for All God's Children. Her transition to adulthood was not smooth. Her life as a teen was not pretty for her mom. But she made it through.
Each time that I support a parent or write a book that helps someone decide to stick with a child or adopt one int he first place, I could be part of a story like Yolie's Those are the stories that keep me going. But you know what? I could plug in the name of a whole bunch of other kids who haven't yet "Turned out good" like Yolie and the fact is that they need parents too. They need to have someone in their corner as a child and as an adult as they figure things out.
And even the worst possible case scenario - the horror stories you read about -- do we really know what might have happened had those parents not adopted those kids?
I realize it's risky. But as Cindy pointed out, 1/4 of her kids are incredible young adults, contributing to society and living well. I have to believe that those kids would not be where they are as adults had Cindy not been their mom. It gave them the chance they need.
I believe it was Regina Kupecky who posted this on an online message board a while back. She said something to the effect that love alone does not heal children but that someone who loves them they cannot begin to heal.
More on this soon ...