Some mornings, I crave a fast-food egg and cheese muffin from a certain place, even if I could prepare one at home. I won’t mention the place, except to say it has yellow arches and it’s near Fort Detrick on Rosemont Avenue.

Regardless of the day, as I sit and enjoy my breakfast, I see at another table a foursome, or more, of senior citizens, having a good time telling stories, nodding, smiling.

(2) comments

Jo and Bob H

It’s true isn’t it, even in our crazy divided world some wonderful exchanges, no matter how ‘trivial’, still take place around tables everywhere. Overheard from the next booth in a breakfast place in the wilds of Arizona ranch country some time ago: ‘He’s a nice guy, but he’s tighter’n tree bark.’ And awhile later from his companion—you could tell by their outfits that they were both cowboys—“You know, I’ve been giving something to my cows that was recommended to me by the Extension people and they’re not getting sick or dying anymore. I’m thinkin’ of taking it myself!”


“Yes, we do have social media to keep in touch, but there is ultimately no substitute for the immediacy of face-to-face conversation in groups.” That was my mantra as an adoptee when I also became an adoptive parent at the advanced age of 44. Join an in-person support group. Attend adoption workshops. Connect with peers personally. I wrote on it. I was published. I was reprinted. I’m told I was a handout to adopting parents. I was insistent because I grew up anonymously adopted in a vacuum of information or support. In fact what I liked about adopting from China was, (1) you can’t pretend they’re not adopted if you are not Asian and (2) adoption was done in groups. Instant extended family in a similar situation. And if you ask why I stress the importance of feeling accepted while different, situations can provide this. Not the fawning “oh you’re so cute I can’t stand it” acceptance (no avoiding that, though) 😆 just a normalizing in-person influence. Online support groups don’t bring that. Lots of parents stayed online or dropped out when parenting got serious and replaced it with nothing. Because when you become a parent you become all-knowing. I segued to in-person support groups and events. 25 years later, the relationships that I have with adoptive parents are the ones that I met in person, even though many of the relationships I developed online while waiting to adopt were quite intense. I even met some of those people in person. Their daughters are our daughter’s closest friends, and that for me was the biggest reason to make those connections in person. They don’t remember a time they didn’t know each other, but I do. Sometimes even parents who aren’t adopted can get a sense of how lonely it could be. They reached out through a support group and are still my friends. That happened online too, but I don’t always have a keyboard. I do have a hug.

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