Our Reading

KC_FiorDItalia_BCathy and I had checked into the hotel and got ready to read for the public. Cathy was worried that nobody would show up – there were six workshops at the same time and this was Thursday, the first day of the conference. I told her not to worry.

“Even if there’s only one person, you can sit on one side and I’ll sit on the other and we’ll just present to that one person as though they were a room full. Whoever is there will be enough. People will come, don’t worry.”

She wasn’t so sure. And then it was time. We opened the doors and walked in to a large room buzzing with people in their seats who waited there for us to share our story. Half the room were adoptees. Half were birthmothers. All stages of reunion were present, from new up to 25 years plus. There was a lot of history in the room.

Sister Mary, birth-aunt and witness, set off to the side to listen and to be present as our support team of one. Cathy and I approached the podium and side by side, read our alternating excerpts from The Invitation, Honeymoon, Going Dark, Therapy, and Integration chapters. It was vulnerable, and it was stunning.

We had never done this before and we stood on each other’s side as we took turns to read. When my eyes came up from the page, the expressions on the people were glued to the words we were sharing. One glance mid-read caught everyone in tears – we were all feeling the story together and there was an incredible bond – between Cathy and me – and amongst all of us in the room as the pangs of truth pierced the heart of what bound us and had brought us together in that moment.

It was scary and good. The response at the end was powerful and one of the conference leads needed to end the Q&A to clear the room for the next presenter. We did it! We did a good job. We were a little unpracticed but it was good practice and now our story was out the gate. People approached us for future interviews, radio and to sign up to hear more about the book. They all wanted more. It worked.

I’m thankful for my daughter’s courage, and for her love that returns to me in spite of my insecurity. She’s beautiful with a great heart and I am so proud of her. We have begun a new beginning together and I will cherish the memory of this first time forever.

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To read my daughter’s counterblog, visit ReunionEyes.
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4 responses to “Our Reading

  1. Pure witness. Pure grace. With all your people, your sisters and brothers listening, knowing your story in their bones. A gift to us all.

    xo Mimi

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  2. Dear Kate, I am so proud of you. I know the passion and strength you have for this reunion and your book. I also know how vulnerable it makes you feel, but you pushed through it and now your book and story has wings to fly. In my heart I was there. I know the good it did for everyone who got to hear the two of you read all that you hold inside yourselves. love to you from Debi

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  3. kate – i felt the emotion of your writing about this first reading. i am glad you didn’t over practice what you were to read. the emotion of the written word is one thing, the spoken word unrehearsed is quite another. it holds truth, pure truth, not layered with frosting. great job, i do wish i could have been there. love you, steve

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