For the first time ever, I got to meet some of my adoptee friends from the online community. We got together at a restaurant in town, with a number of adoptees (and a couple of first moms) driving in. We camped out for over six hours, drinking and eating and laughing hard enough to scare other patrons into asking to be moved.
(The pictures sort of small. But it's the only way to get it to fit on this page. You can click on it to see a larger size. And more pictures.)
It's a bit nerve-wrecking to meet people you've known for years, but never met in person. My fellow bastards were different (voice, mannerisms) than I might have expected, but they were exactly like I knew them to be, if that makes any sense.
Having this group of people online has been such a life-saver over the last few years. And meeting them in person was an amazing experience. It's how I wish my (in person) support group was. That's a good group, and it is helpful, but it feels restrictive with the presence of a social worker. Meeting my fellow bastards meant being able to be myself (as much as I can be in the presence of other people).
Such a validating experience. I didn't want it to end. Saying goodbye was hard. Even though they are only a mouse-click away, I miss them. We're such different people with different lives, but adoption binds us together. The next time someone asks me if there is anything good about adoption, I just have to remember my fellow bastards. I wouldn't wish this on any of us. But I'm glad, if any of us have to go through this, we at least get to go through it together.