In the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked to speak in public. In April I’m going to serve on a panel of parents who’ve adopted domestically, at the RESOLVE Great Lakes Conference. It feels a little funny to be on this side of things. I attended 2 or 3 of those conferences several years ago and got a lot of great information, as well as the boost from meeting people who “get it” when it comes to infertility. Now, I’ll be answering their questions about what it’s like to adopt. I hope I don’t scare the crap out of them. I also hope I don’t feel pitied – I have this sense that to someone who’s still holding out hope that she’ll get pregnant, I’m her worst nightmare: I tried, it didn’t work, so I adopted. I am proof that fertility treatments don’t always work. But I’m also proof that if you want to be a parent, and you’re willing to go through a lot of bullshit and pain to get there, you can. I hope they feel hopeful after hearing us adoptive parents speak. I will try to tone down the “pain and bullshit” stuff (but really, they need to know that it’s not all sunshine and roses; I don’t know anyone who’s adopted who would say that the process was easy, that waiting was no big deal, that they didn’t encounter any roadblocks or disappointments along the way). And I am not inclined to give them the “it was all worth it in the end” line, either. Yes, I would go through all of that again to get Lauren, but saying those kinds of things to people who are just now starting to even consider adopting is not helpful. I’m sure many of them are already hearing “just adopt” from their friends and family members, and there is no “just” in that process, trust me.
The other thing I was asked to speak about is related to the last two blog posts, about the new Butler County Children’s Services policy to give preference for foster and adoptive placements to hetero married folks. I’ll be speaking at Nexus Church in May, where I attended on and off last spring/summer. This will be good for me, because as an intuitive-type person (INFJ, if you’re into Myers-Briggs stuff), I “know” things in my gut that I can’t always articulate off the top of my head. I need to write it out to get clear on my thoughts. I’m looking forward to doing it and feel honored to be asked.