Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

In which I overcame my fear...

Sort of.

So, have I ever mentioned that standing up and uttering actual words in front of people is second only to being forced to cut my own arm off because it is wedged between rocks like that guy in 127 Hours on my list of least pleasurable activities? It is. By a narrow, narrow margin at that. After all, there are lots of things I could still do with just one upper limb! But, if I had a harrowing event like that occur in my life, people would probably ask me to speak about it, in front of others. And well, that would surely add insult to injury...

When my friend Lisa initially asked me to come to the Embracing Orphans Retreat and share my story, I answered "Sure!" Then after taking a beat to think about it, I called her and said, "No! You really don't want me to do that!" I knew it wouldn't be pretty. I knew I couldn't get up and champion the cause of adoption without mentioning the deeply heart wrenching ethical questions it has left me struggling to answer, and expressing the reality that bonding with my adopted children has been a terrifically slow and truthfully rather painful process for me, and for them. She said that's what she wanted. My story. Including the challenging and the ugly and the burdensome and the difficult. The one that shares our actual, honest to goodness reality.

Friends, that is hard to tell. It is one thing to write it down, in the privacy of my own home, where my keyboard is my trusted confidant that allows my mind as much space as it requires to freely process as my tears tap the keys alongside my fingers. It's another whole bag o slimy worms to get out of your chair, show your face, and speak your truth when you know it won't be flattering.

I had to summon every bit of bravery I hold to not make light of it, to not try to enhance and angle and spin the way I really felt so that I would appear more acceptable, a better mother.

No one wants to be judged. I've laid everything I've got to give, every gift I can claim, on the alter of motherhood. And adoption has shook and rattled the very foundation I rested upon. It opened up the terrible in me like nothing else has.

It also has grown my compassion and heart for others and forgiveness and respect for the relentless nature of sinfulness by leaps and bounds because I've come to truly understand, I am no one to judge anyone.

That's the immense beauty in my less than beautiful story. It's what I tried to share. It's the truth that made me feel more raw and open and exposed than I ever have. It's what I felt the women there would really want to know and benefit most from hearing.

So, through no shortage of trembling and tears, I looked into their faces and owned what I would rather hide, standing up and speaking when I would rather sit quietly. Gratefully, I received lots of affirming, encouraging feedback. Women are wonderful that way.

I hope it was a blessing to some. I hope And I hope to never, ever be asked to do that again....☺

Here are a couple shots my (amazing!) friend Lindy, who so graciously offered to go with me and be the best, most supportive roommate I could ever ask for, captured. (Thank you, Lindy!)


Holly said...

you're just hot...that's all ;-)

(deep, right?)

seriously, you look amazing and I so wish I could have been there - I'd have made a fan poster - no joke.

Tisha said...

Ha! You're funny Holly. Thank you. :)

Erika said...

You spoke so well! I would have never known how nervous you were. I've learned so much from you and your story. Thanks for overcoming your fear and speaking publicly.

Tisha said...

Well, that's nice of you to say, Erika! Thank you. And it was such a pleasure to ((finally)) meet you!!

Lisa Stucky said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being honest and real. Thank you for not holding back. I loved hearing you tell your story ... even though I've read most of it right here. It was a joy to have you there! Thank you for coming.

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