Monday, November 17, 2008

Wonderful Weekend Workshop

I co-taught my first-ever writing workshop about adoption last Saturday at the fabulous, super-community-focused Big Blue Marble Bookstore. I have taught many, many writing workshops over the last 15 years, but never had the guts until now to do one about adoption, so it was a big step for me. My co-facilitator, Betsy has run workshops about adoption before, so I was less nervous than I would have been on my own--thanks Betsy!!

We had five participants, some of whom were adult adoptees, some of whom were adoptive parents, and one who was an adoptive uncle. Everyone did some great writing and sharing, and it felt really good for me to be in a roomful of people touched by adoption. It can be very lonely to be an adopted person, so being in that room was extremely comforting for me--it was very nice to not have to explain myself in the way I usually do when speaking about adoption. There was a level of understanding, of knowing, that is rare for me to find.

It kind of reminded me of when I was pregnant with my son, walking down the street all humongous and feeling very much on display and very guarded--people I didn't even know said the weirdest things to me when I was pregnant, such as "They're still letting you out of the house?" I know. Anyway, whenever I would pass by another pregnant woman thumping her way down the sidewalk, I'd shoot her a knowing glance, as if to say "can you believe the craziness of this situation?" And she'd smile back at me, seeming to know exactly what I meant with my look.

Even more similar was the feeling I got in my prenatal yoga class where once a week I got to be in a room full of pregnant women and nobody else, and I felt such a kinship with these women who were like me in this very obvious way, but who otherwise were strangers to me. So this workshop was a bit like a prenatal yoga class: a gathering of strangers to meditate on a particular kind of sameness in each of us. It was wonderful.

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