Camp 3.

I ended Day 2 with an adult workshop.
Which was hard.
For a lot of reasons.
None of which were technical.
But thanks camp fam for getting that laptop/dvd up and running :).

The hard bits.
Were the bits.
About my adoptive parents.
And explaining, to some of the most terrific adoptive parents.
About mine.
And my adoptive parents.
Aren't just adoptive.
They are divorced.
And closeted.
And not closeted.
And single.
And together.
And lonely.
And sad.
And they are mommas.
And not.

And that's hard to explain.
But I said what I said how I said it.
That's real life.
Bits of it are hard and painful.

Anyways, that's off topic here.
I woke up ready to face the High Schoolers.
First thing.

Totally ready.
Actually, I woke up in a panic.
I remember Jami in High School.
And believe me when I say, I wasn't sure I was ready to face me with the same enthusiasm.

I took my We Matter Poster.
And forged ahead.

The 9th and 10th grade group and I worked out.
And they laughed at my not funny jokes.

And the 11th and 12th graders...well...they were 11th and 12th graders.
And what I remember most about 11th and 12th grade, besides how badly I wanted to die, that's real life, was that there was little anyone could do to save me from myself.

So I shared as openly as I could.
And played them a piece of my episode.
And talked about realizing that we matter - NO MATTER WHAT.
We matter because of the color of our skin.
Because of our hair.
And freckles or not.
And we matter because we were loved unconditionally by two sets of families.
We matter.

When I finished one of the senior staff counselors gave me a hug.
And said, what I said was good.
And should be out there for others to hear.

That's not the important part.
"We all have a story," he said, lifting his sleeves to reveal his painful scars.
His pain stung my eyes, so much so that I was happy we were leaving that room.

Because I often forget.
How UN alone I am.
In wanting to end everything.
Of knowing - for sure - that EVERYONE and EVERYTHING would be better without me.

I'm happy that I haven't had one of those days in a long time.
I'm happy that I shed that shame.
To stand alongside people like this counselor.
Who live more openly.
More freely.
With the truth shed.

That hug.
That small reminder.
That I matter because I tried to take my life.
I matter because I learned to live.
We matter because of all it.

After those presentations, I ate lunch up at the lodge.
And some of my favorite middle school girls said next me.
One in particular reminded me SO much of me.
The perfectionist.
Not a hair out of place.
Not a speck of ice cream on her shirt.
And quiet.
So quiet.
As if her voice doesn't know how much it matters yet.

Later in the day, I spoke to her mom.
About helping her realize the importance of her voice.
And her mom, is already doing just that.
It made me so glad I had teachers willing to listen to my burgeoning voice.


I went to THAT session.
The one.
That my poor friends.
Had to listen all about for hours over the last few days.
That session.

"Alba" and Jen had prepared a session on older adoptees, family therapy, and filling in holes.
And I really.
I just.

You wish you were there.
I wish you were.
I wish the world could hear "Alba" and Jen.
Actually, you can.
I have to find out where you can order their sessions.
But dang.

Michael Jackson was performing YOU ARE NOT ALONE somewhere.
I am here with you.
As people - not just camp people - in the great big world - isn't that worth so much?

You are not alone.
You are not alone.
I am here.
With you.
Beside you.
You are loved.
You are loved.
Just as you are.
Just as you are.


Pieces back together.

I commend Alba for turning her pain.
Her perceived weakness.
Into strength.
Speak the shame into superpower.

I left that and went right into an adult adoptee panel.
And guys, cried so many tears.
So many healing,
happy to have met my Biological Family tears.
So many, ME TOO tears.
So many, this room is full of doing the best we can adoptive families.
So many.
You are not alone.
You matter here.
And there-just as you are.

And later that night, of day 3.
We fiesta-ed the night away.
And as I stood there chatting and winning a RAFFLE basket on SPD - which I can't wait to share with fellow teachers.

I had this thought:  What about right now makes me feel so safe?  So loved?

And here it is: HOME.
I was home.
I was home.
I was home.
I was home.

And not home like, Colorado.
Or my cabin.
Or home is where the heart is even.

Home like.
That place.
Where you know you've always belonged.
That place where you stop worrying about it all.
Because, well, you're home.
Among family.
And not the blood kind.
Or even that adoptive kind.
Home among mi gente.
My people.

And here's the way this night ends.
I realized.
Sitting in that word home.
That I, for the first time, in my entire world, needed a place to call home.
And after all that needing.
I found that place among the Rockies.
Nestled between mountains.
And caressed by the wind.
Held tightly by the new members of this beautiful place called home.


    Super moving!
    I feel HOME every year at Camp. I know that feeling. Its great knowing I am not alone in that feeling when I am at LAHC. Because my story to get there is not the typical story, but I truly feel a calling and need to be there every year!

    Sidenote: you didnt mention my attempt at dancing with you at the fiesta.. lol

    1. am I just seeing this comment!? I had to approve it for post! Girl! You rock! So glad we made it home. AND - I adored your attempt at getting me to dance. Ain't gonna happen. <3


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