I am, with my friend and colleague Michelle, producing and directing Listen to Your Mother in Indianapolis. Recently, during our first rehearsal, I was struck over and over again by how the common threads of humanity—joy, surprise, feelings of being overwhelmed, gratitude, fear, longing, loss, and love—intertwined in a room that was, at first, mostly strangers.

Connection was quickly established within the first minutes of sharing stories. There was a willingness to be vulnerable, and it increased as more words were heard. It was wonderful to watch the women around the table, lean in to soak up the words of each other. To not judge, only listen. To offer support and strength. Come together. It was a safe place.

This week I travel to Cleveland to attend the American Adoption Congress (AAC) International Conference on Adoption. I expect to connect with and learn from others who travel the complex journey of adoption. There are so many common threads, and I hope that those attending will lean in, listen to and consider others’ perspectives.

I will be presenting on “The Healing Power of Writing Our Truths” with birth mother Denise Roessle and adult adoptee Linda Hoye. We’ll be examining the power of the written word—stories and narratives. Fear, grief, anger and other emotions related to our adoption experiences often keep us from expressing ourselves. Writing our stories can put us on a path of healing.

If you’re attending the AAC I hope you’ll be at our presentation. We will be offering many ideas and prompts to encourage introspection and healing.

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