It's been a very interesting fortnight.
N. My fellow Brownie leader. She's only 7 years older than me but claims to be "feeling her age". While I do feel my age a little (frankly, I was never a clubber, I only pretended), I really hate it when people say that who are under, say, 70. Anyway, she's a lovely lady, very good with the girls and a good person to do this with. Turns out she is a grandmother and the grandson is the child of the daughter she relinquished when she was 19. I only found this out about 10 days ago and have not let on about our plans. She has met her daughter as an adult - she has two other children who have also met her - she met "my daughter's Mum" before she sadly died of cancer but the Dad does not want to know, and recent efforts to contact birth dad to get a medical history have proved fruitless. Anyway, interesting, and seems definitely open enough that I can talk about stuff later when I have news.
J. Lovely lovely friend from my favourite forum (except when I'm being slagged off for saying Absolutely Anything About Parents, even jokingly, as You Can't Possibly Know Anything). Adopted herself and has two older siblings who were adopted, one of whom was not voluntarily relinquished and over whom there was a bit of a court battle. One younger "mistake" birth child of her parents as they call him in the family. She has met her "natural mother" as she refers to her, and her half-siblings - one of whom died of liver failure. Very pleased to be out of that family, she says, and a total argument for nurture I'd say.
Although I do know quite a few adoptive parents, I've not had any unexpected or unusual encounters recently but I did meet both J and E for lunch the other day. E is also a lovely lovely friend (well, as she comments here, I can't say much else, can I?) but she is sister to an adopted brother who, again, now as an adult (I think - can't quite remember his age) has contact with a birth sibling who lives round the corner. Obviously there are loads of other people affected by adoption, but we've been thinking about relatives who are not the adoptive parents (in our case grandparents - in her case siblings) and how they are affected by it. Short book review to follow, also (short review but also short book).
Although I'm not 100% sure about N., talking to E. and J. gave me a really positive feeling. As with our last SW chat, it actually feels like we might be able to plan for parenthood this time.
On that note, I have just put in my promotion paperwork. All of the senior women I have talked to seem to be the "work part time through maternity leave and then come back at 4 months" variety. I think that is probably a group that will never really "get" adoption and how it might be different (for a start, I've waited so bloomin' long I want to enjoy it!) but one encouraging very senior colleague who normally seems very anti-having-a-life said that she went back to work full time and worked 9-5 and then stopped. It is very tempting in my profession to put things off, work in the evenings etc. but it's nice to see even dragons think you should have evenings off. This is actually in contrast to a couple of colleagues who are mothers who say it is essential to work after the children are in bed so was a very helpful observation.