"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Friday, January 23, 2009

Adoption Class: The Room Surrounded by Kleenex & The Search for Our Queen

Casey and I were one of the first couples to enter the room and everywhere we looked there were boxes of Kleenex.

I had grabbed a few of my own tissues before walking out the door.

I knew it was going to be emotional for these two days of the Adoption Education Seminar.

As other couples filed their way into the room, I quietly watched them.

I wondered, "What was their story?"

I knew ours.

On May 19th, 2009, Casey and I would be married for eight years. No children.

We went to doctors to be tested. Was it because of me? Was it because of Casey? Was there any reason?

The doctors had nothing to say to us. To them, we seemed fine.

I almost wished there was something said because then there would be an opportunity to fix it.

We had wanted kids since the beginning so eight years seemed like an eternity.

While at the home of Casey's parents, his father mentioned adoption and how some little one may be waiting for us through that way.

Something burned within me.

On the drive home, I told Casey. He said he felt it, too.

Yes, we had heard the stories of people who became pregnant once they started the adoption process. That was not the reason we started it.

We felt that regardless of how we had children--even if we became pregnant along the way--that we would still pursue the adoption process.

So here we were--at this two-day Adoption Education Seminar.

Many things were shared. Many things were learned.

Every so often I flashed to the Colombian story The Gardener's Wife.

In this story you have two women who desperately want to have children: the Gardener's Wife and the Queen.

The Queen is able to have children but, unbeknown to her, the two jealous older sisters, act as midwives and switch her children for either a dog, a cat, or a stick.

Every time the Queen must confront the King. What must he think.

But the Queen never says anything. Instead, her emotions are revealed through a sigh, a grieving groan, or a silent tear.

The Queen does not know that somewhere beyond the boundaries of her kingdom is where her children have been placed. Or at least placed as to how the Winding River carried the floating wooden boxes.

These boxes come--one by one--when the Gardener's Wife is in her deepest despair. She and her husband see these babes as blessings from above.

It was meant to be.

It was a gift.

Warmth and love returns to the heart of the Gardener's Wife. Not that she was cold and unfeeling before, but a certain side of her was unable to function until this moment.

Meanwhile, the Queen is in despair. How could she have these children and yet not have them? What curse had come upon her? When would she have the family she so desired?

Then, as can only happen as time passes, the Queen sees the beautiful garden kept by the Wife. She sees the oldest child. Her child. Something stirs inside her but she does not understand. . .that she is looking upon her own child.

Though, the Queen is filled with a burning. She feels three things are missing and ask the Gardener's Wife if her three children could go on a quest for these things.

More adventures happen but it is not until the quest is achieved that the Queen returns to the home of the Gardener's Wife. The two mothers realize that the three children are their children.

The mother who brought them in to the world and the mother who taught them how to live in the world were together.

And the children loved them both.

Then I thought to my life.

Somewhere was a Queen--the birth mother--for the child we wish to have in our home.

The Adoption Education Seminar shared how there was a time when the process is "my baby" to "our baby" to "your baby".

My eyes were opened more so to this process when we had the Birth Mother Panel. This was a part that was open to our family and friends.

I was thrilled--and tears formed--when Casey's parents were there along with three of my sisters-in-law with spouses.

Then, Holly Robison was there.

Holly would harmonize during the telling of The Gardener's Wife and it was special for her to be there. We both thought of the story as we heard the moving stories from the birth mothers.

We hugged.

Then I turned to my husband.

We knew that out there was the Queen, our Queen.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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