Yesterday was designated the first annual National Strange and Mournful Day. No, it wasn't a big, showy deal with the media in attendance and crowds gathering. Rather, the observance was quiet, with a goodly number of mothers, adopted people and assorted supporter making a polite but definitive statement..."adoption might be OK by you, but NOT by us."
In my immediate "orbit," my raised children, one of my reunited children, my husband and two of my dear friends all wore ribbons in black, purple and white. I was a teensy bit more flamboyant with ribbons in the aforementioned colors flying from my car's radio antenna and a huge purple, black and white bow on my Christmas wreath on my front door. Appropriate, I think, since Mary was a teenage, unmarried mother as well (and the religious among you can hold your horses...the facts are the facts).
I also, following the very smart idea of another Origins member, printed up cards with a picture of the ribbon badge on it and a short explanation of the day. Those cards are now in every waiting room of our local hospital. I also got permission to place them at the check-out counter at the restaurant where I had lunch. We are going to have to find out how to mass-produce those ribbon badges for the next observance because poor Claud's fingers are sore from making them, one by one. Yes....she had a lot of requests. Several others on other groups who made ribbons reported receiving requests for ribbons from members of their local, in-person support groups.
The release of the Evan B. Donaldson Institute paper was the big deal of the month yet it didn't drown out our day of observance. If the first annual observance was more of a quiet, collective murmur than a huge roar, that is how things get going and that murmur WAS heard. I am, personally, encouraged by the response and the recommendations of so many that we carry it over into other occasions and situations. For many women who are not as "out there" as some of us, this was a good way to carry their stance in public view without having to engage in a shouting match or tedious debate. Wearing these badges is the way most activism begins. One thing we know for sure after yesterday....that our particular issue and related activism is growing and it isn't going to end until we are truly heard and changes are made.
For all who have felt the pain of adoption separation and the ache of injustice, your DAY has come, in more ways than one.