We left by eleven to drive to the Adoptee Rights Protest in Louisville. It looked to be nearly a five hour drive, but that still got us there by four. Plenty of time to check in and eat before the sign-making party.
Plenty of time, that is, if nothing went wrong.
Twenty minutes down the road, and the engine maintenance light came on. We pulled off at a nearby gas station, and I checked everything I could, which basically consisted of the oil level and making sure the gas cap was on correctly. But neither seemed to be the problem.
There is something so typical about this, that I wasn't even surprised. Indeed, I think I would have been more surprised if nothing had gone wrong. It seems that lately all of our trips have some kind of snafu.
This was my grandmother's car, so we called my father, hoping he would tell us that it was normal for the car and we could ignore it. But it wasn't to be. Instead, he offered to switch cars with us. He drove down to meet us, letting us take his car, as he drove the other to get it checked out. (Turns out, it was the air filter.)
So we were back on the road, and on target to get to Louisville by five. The rest of the trip went smoothly and we found the hotel without a problem.
We met other adoptees almost immediately. First it was Theresa, then Jeff. There is something so cool about meeting other like-minded people, especially ones you have such great admiration and respect for.
We were starving and thought we had enough time to eat before the sign-making party. We found an interesting looking Irish pub, and it would have been perfect if the service had been timely. As it was, we got to the party about half an hour late.
I think I colored in one sign over the course of the next two hours. It was too hard to do that and meet people face-to-face who I had known forever online. Jeni, Kara, Julie, Dory, Joy, Elizabeth, Linda, Jim, Diane, Cheerio, Amanda, Spencer... I'm sure I'm forgetting people, but it was so much fun.
At the end, there was a brief workshop for how to talk to legislators. Gaye and Jeff did a terrific job. As a student of strategic nonviolence, it was fascinating to hear others employ the principles in a real training session.
After that, there was much drink to be had. Maybe too much. Though, for me, I'm usually so shy around other people, it may have helped loosen me up a bit, so I actually managed to talk to people. (I hope not too much. And I hope I didn't say anything too stupid.) We had a blast. We had been told the hotel bar closed at ten, but I think the bartender realized how much money there was to be made and stayed open until midnight.
I wish even more of my online friends had been able to make it. There is just something so amazing about meeting some of your favorite people on the planet.
And in just over an hour, we'll be gathering to go do what we came here to do.