This blog post is dedicated to Adoptee Connect with a heart full of gratitude.
In September of 2018, a group of 5 people sat around a table. You could feel the nervous energy. This was the first official meeting of the Las Vegas Adoptee Connect Support group. I knew this was the start of something important. I felt it. I know others in the room felt it, too.
I had wanted to do SOMETHING to bring adoptees in my home town of Las Vegas together. I knew that Catholic Charities, at one time, had a support group. And in the same moment I remembered they did, I rejected the idea because, I thought to myself, “Why in the world would I attend a group at the SAME AGENCY who will not even give me my adoption file??” That whole idea sounded backwards.
Then, I remembered about my Facebook friend, Pamela Karanova and Adoptee Connect! I got really excited. I reached out to her and asked what the process was for starting a group. She sent me the info, and , my dear adoptee friend, Pamela Roberts, and I decided to co-facilitate. BAM!! We were OFFICIAL!
I set up the Facebook page and then sent a few messages to a few Adoptee Groups, and I invited a few personal friends who I knew were adopted.
Then, I started to receive some messages from people who were hoping to join. THIS WAS REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN!
I was super excited. You see, I have lived in Las Vegas my whole life. Las Vegas is a weird town. It is hard to meet new people here and build relationships. It is hard to find community. I don’t know my neighbors. People don’t really talk to each other. I have friends, but not many adopted friends. I wanted adopted friends. I knew if I was going to find an person adoptee community in my life, I had to build it myself.
We have had 3 meetings, with one planned for December. It feels good each month to look around the table at familiar faces that I am starting to build relationships with. It is my hope, that there will be friendships outside of group. That the members will find like mindedness and have a desire to be in each other’s lives.
I have been amazed at those who have watched my reunion story unfold, and then choose to search and then FIND their biological family. To say I am humbled would be an understatement. And, I am 100% here to support those in the process.
I have learned a lot about being adopted. I have been doing it my whole life. But, from February 2017 when I found my family to February 2018 when I attended the Beyond Adoption: You retreat, I floundered and struggled. Reunion through me for a loop!
During my first year of reunion, I faced the sudden death of my newly found sister, I was rejected by my birth mother, I could not find my birth father anywhere, I was meeting cousins and others who looked like me. LOOKED LIKE ME! I was also talking to brothers who had only been numbers on a piece of paper prior to reunion. I felt like a kite off a string in a wind storm. I had no North Star. I felt as though I might drown in all the information, emotions and my own going in and out of the adoption fog.
Then, I met and connected with other adoptees IN PERSON in Berkeley and it was like a huge light bulb turned on in my head and I had the biggest AH HA moment!
After the retreat, one of the members who I attended with called me. She said the most beautiful and profound thing. She said, “I have your back. No matter what.” No one had ever said that to me in my life with such honesty and conviction. I was so amazed and touched. This person was going to have “MY” back? Seriously? It was in that moment that I KNEW my life would change, for the better. The people from the Retreat continue to have my back and I will forever have theirs.
Now, Las Vegas has it’s own little group that is growing and connections are happening. It is a work in progress. It is a good thing. We are all in this together. And, in our first meeting, I looked around the room and told them, “I have your back, no matter what.” And in each meeting since, I tell the group the same phrase, and I really mean it, I have their back, no matter what. I really mean it, too. Seriously. And, the best part, I know they have mine, too.
If you are an adoptee, and would like to connect, or really NEED to connect with other Adopted Adults, please click here for a list of Adoptee Connect groups.
If you know a Las Vegas adopted adult, 18 or older, please share this information with them