Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Families Supporting Adoption

Nathan and I are part of an adoption support group called Families Supporting Adoption (FSA)...in fact I'm co-chair (with my awesome friend Christy) of the Illinois Chapter of FSA.  Every year the National Board of FSA hosts an Adoption Conference.  We planned on going last year, but the twins were due the week after the conference so we never bought plane tickets to go...and then when that adoption fell apart the last place we wanted to go was somewhere where we would be reminded of what we had JUST lost. 

We made plans - long before Miles came along - to attend this year's conference.  But then we found out that the Illinois Chapter (read: Christy and I) would be receiving an award for all the work we've done with the chapter...to we knew we had to be there.  An award!  Yay!
The conference was Fri-Sat August 12-13th.  It's all day, with keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a banquet Friday night and it all ends with a birthmother panel Saturday evening.  

It was beyond fantastic to be surrounded by hundreds of other people who GET IT.  Who get the heartache and frustration of infertility and waiting to be chosen.  Who also bristle when people ask things like "why did his real mom give him up?" (If that doesn't make you bristle...PLEASE, PLEASE read THIS)  Who also have beautiful multi-racial families.  We learned SO much and filled our adoption cups...so to speak.  The transracial adoption classes were something I looked forward to the most and I was not disappointed.  We learned a lot about what it's going to be like to raise Miles in a world where he will experience life differently that what we experienced growing up.  It was also great to {finally} meet some of my online adoption peeps...to prove to Nathan that I they were real and not imaginary.  I plan on attending every year that we'll be in the US (I cannot even tell you how many tears I've shed knowing I won't be able to go again for three years...)  

Here's the part you were all waiting for...the photographic evidence:

Friday morning the keynote speaker was Sister Julie Beck:

My mom and Miles at the banquet...Miles sure charmed all the ladies in his bowtie. 

Me and the hubbs at the banquet:

I got this necklace from the r house couture...LOVE it. 

The three of us ended up at the back of the room during the Transracial Adoption Panel.  All three of these beautiful babies were born in May.  Miles was OBSESSED with the little girl...he's already such a ladies man. Miles is the youngest...but the thickest and the one with the least amount of hair.  

Here are Christy and I with our fancy schmancy award:
And here are all my adoption peeps :) You should recognize quite a few of them from my plethora of posts last November for National Adoption Month.

Jill, me, Brittany & Brie

Me, Miles, Mary, Natalie & Kara
(We met these ladies at the conference...they were enamored with Miles.  I felt like if I had sisters...they would be like these ladies.)

It was a FANTASTIC couple of days...if you are touched by adoption in ANY way I highly recommend going to this conference.  My mom went and said she learned a lot of valuable information.  It's usually held in August and you can find information about it and just FSA in general HERE.


Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal said...

I was so glad to see that you were real, too. :) I loved seeing you and Miles at the conference! I'm glad you got to meet Liam's birth mom, too!

Ashley said...

I actually just moved to the area from Pennsylvania. We're not adopting again but I want to get involved with FSA because of my daughter and the appalling lack of... well... anything... in this new ward. *sigh* I need some adoption friends here.