A Workshop with Lee Crawford, M.Ed., R.C.C.
Saturday November 24th 2007, saw many members of the Forget Me Not Family Society, new and old, meeting at Douglas College in New Westminster for a workshop to learn how to further deal with our adoption stories. Last year we had Joe Soll, adoptee, therapist and author come to spend three days with us, talking and learning about our journey and how to take steps to heal. This year again we met, to talk more, with Lee Crawford, registered clinical therapist and art therapist, and learn how to further heal. Expectations. Expectations are huge; we all have them, in dealing with our reunions. We don't know they exist until they aren't met. This is what we came together to discuss.
Looking at the notes I made during this workshop, I discovered that we all want to be wanted. We don't realize that that's an expectation, wanting to be wanted. Sounds simply enough, but for those of us affected by adoption it’s not necessarily so simple. Our mother's want to be wanted, we, as adopted people want to be wanted. How do we learn that that's an unknown expectation? By learning to be assertive. By learning to say the words 'I deserve'. I deserve, with a positive spin. I deserve to be wanted, it's okay to want to be wanted, it’s okay to say it out loud. It’s okay to say out loud what we want, need, desire and deserve.
In the beginning of reunion, we don't necessarily know what we want, we may think all we want is medical information, we may think that we just want to know that our person… mother, child lost, is okay, have had a good life, are healthy… it's okay to change our mind, it's okay to want more. It's 'normal' to want more. It's okay, it's okay. The boundary can change, our need to know can change, and the line in the sand can change. This is reunion, the rules are not clear. Emotions are what they are, ever changing.
Mostly what we need to learn as adoptees, as mums, as supporters and professionals is that listening is needed. Those on this journey need to know that they can talk, vent, share, and the ones listening need to nothing more than that. Listen, there may be no fixing, and that's okay. As long as someone listened.
As a participant in the latest workshop, I took away more tools of empowerment. It felt good to spend the say with others wanting and willing to share their journey. It was also encouraging to hear Lee share some of her own personal reunion story, to know that what I've experienced is 'normal', my feelings and thoughts shared. It's empowering for me, to not be alone.