vlcsnap-2013-11-02-19h48m39s45I was having a REALLY bad day.  I was tired, beyond tired.  Those days are rare, so when they are, they are.  I wagged my finger, cocked my head and swore to a good friend, “The next person to ask me for something, I’m saying no.  I don’t care what it is, I swear, I’m saying no.”

Cutting that fleeting moment of silence, my phone screamed out, “Ding!!!”

I had a message.  I sighed and looked down.

The message read:

“Hi Julie, I am the director at Mifflin County Children and Youth Services. We are holding our first annual adoption day celebration on November 2 at the Lewistown Country Club. I am reaching out to you to see if you would be interested in being a speaker at our event as an adult adoptee. Please let me know if you are interested or willing to do this and if so, I can provide you with more information. Many thanks for your consideration.”

I dropped to my knees, and cried, immediately texting her back:

“ABSOLUTELY! Oh my word! I can’t think of something I’d love to do more!!! Count me in.”

And so it goes.  The Universe smacked me up beside my head and I happily ate my words.

A few weeks later I was standing in a room full of adoptive parents and adoptees.

I shared a bit of my story but was really there to marvel at these amazing people who had opened up their hearts and their homes to these beautiful children that needed, and deserved, a place to be and be loved.

When I was adopted we felt sworn to some kind of unspoken, yet understood secrecy.  Adoptees were encouraged to ‘fit in’ and not really discuss it.  Thank goodness my adoptive mother was never one to support that theory, cause there was NO CHANCE I was going to comply, EVER.

40 years later, I was invited to speak at a celebration – a celebration of the being adopted, and being adoptive parents.   No one so much as flinched when I took their picture and everyone proudly walked to the podium after being announced as an adoptive family, BY NAME, in front of a huge room full of knowing, or maybe not so knowing, people. It took my breath away.

I’ve never been a private person when it comes to adoption, but way back when, I was definitely the exception, and not the rule.  Watching these people, today, en masse, openly embrace who they are and how they got there, I realized that how I felt had FINALLY become the rule.

Such simple clarity:

No shame.  Just love.

A moment I will never forget.