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Adoptee Rights Demo- Sleeps with Bastard states the obvious (that’s why I love him so!)

I’ve spent the last few days doing shall we say, important real life stuff, (I’m still firmly in the midst of such) while trying to work in time to do things such as a BASIC timeline of how all this went down even from my own limited perspective. Putting that together may ultimately help others put together their own timelines of what they did and what they knew when.

In the midst of that, I’ve been working on the Abrazo Adoption Associates angle, and trying to write my own piece about my own past involvement in the Demonstration for Adoptee Rights, my work to make it a success prior to my resignation, my own deep sadness over it, and the many factors that led to my final decision to resign.

Many people fail to understand that for those of us who faced the excruciating decision to withdraw or to make the decision to resign, we’ve been going through our own ‘mourning’ process over what we signed on for, vs. where things finally ended up. We hurt because we too, wanted for this to be a success. Being almost any active part of the way this unfolded was deeply painful. (More to come on that, as more becomes public.)

I myself, I was backed into a corner, where to stay true to my own ethical parameters I was essentially ‘forced’ into the position of resigning. Amyadoptee’s entanglement with Abrazo, which she did not disclose until well after her initial announcement of Abrazo’s fundraising, and her staying on with the event made it impossible for me for me to work with her, and thus continue working with whatever version of ARD-DAR was going to go forward. This alone was enough.

It was still a distinct issue for me from whether or not Abrazo money was ultimately going to go into the event. Something Amyadoptee pleaded for, something I balked at, and something Bastard Nation had (to my understanding) a standing policy against.

And as a third distinct issue, even worse still, Abrazo money apparently may ALREADY be in the ARD/DAR something I first saw posted publicly on Amyadoptee’s blog:

I know that is not the truth because this agency already contributed to the protest previously…

(dated Monday June 2, 08, 12:42am)

But this was not an issue I was aware of at the time of my resignation. I resigned Friday evening. This was posted publicly Monday.

I had ZERO knowledge of any Abrazo money in ARD/DAR during my time as an organizer. This apparent donation only came to light afterwards. If this is true a whole new set of questions arise.

Suffice it to say, the Abrazo issue from where I sit is ANYTHING BUT resolved.

Friday night, I resigned.

People having not heard from the event in some time, (no website center column update since the tail end of April etc), they were like coiled springs, suspecting something had happened, and yet not hearing any news. When my resignation hit, particularly in not publicly available forums, I got the full blast of people’s fury, which so often didn’t even seem related to the words I was writing, even as I worked to clarify.

You can’t explain to people who won’t listen.

But ultimately the facts have borne me out. I said statements would be forthcoming, they have been. They will continue to.

Those of us who have personally resigned represent decades of political experience, and organizing.

‘Sure’ you argue, ‘all you big ole activist types, and this is all you have to show for it?’ Well folks, real life intervenes:

* health issues arise,

* doing the day to day work on legislation- you know like fighting multiple bills at once?- while fighting in multiple states comes to mind- I was certainly working both Ohio bills this time around,

* the fact that I was only asked to work on ARD/DAR in March,

* the list goes on and on.

Yet keep in mind, no matter how much effort was put into it, ultimately I have no control over whether or not people respond, i.e. do things like register for a hotel room. That’s just outta my hands.

Bottom line is before you jump to conclusions, you might just want to wait a moment and get the whole story.

So yes, we were living our day to day lives, (we are after all human, believe it or not,) and doing this on an all volunteer basis, and in the end (of that phase of ARD/DAR, the period when we were on it, not the now) we spent a few days of sheer hell getting through to where we are now. And yes, those of us who left are if anything, trying to get a grasp on the exact details of how this all came down.

And yet in the midst of all that, yes, there still needs to be at least some form of public explanation of what happened, because we’re certainly not the only ones shocked, hurt, and left feeling betrayed.

What I haven’t had time to even start on is the bare facts of the low enrollment and how critical that was to much of the decision making for many of us.

To once again quote the Bastard Nation Statement on their Organizational Withdrawal:

While many people exhibited an interest in attending all or part of the event, the number of people who actually registered or made a serious commitment to attend was minimal.

That’s putting it damn politely.

Fortunately, my partner, Sleeps with Bastard has a new post up on his blog which I will quote in full:

Stating the Obvious

I commented over on The Daily Bastardette on the circumstances of Bastard Nation’s withdrawal from the “Day for Adoptee Rights.”

I am merely a lifetime member of Bastard Nation and have no formal role with the organization.

When an event planner books a block of hotel rooms, and about a month and a half before the event (that’s been talked about for most of a year) a minuscule number of people have made the most minimal effort to pick up the phone and make a fully cancelable hotel reservation – thus signing their name to their intended participation in a way that matters – it is time to decide whether or not the event is viable.

Bastard Nation’s leadership, as far as I can tell, has evaluated the situation and made what I think is the only sane decision.

The actions of Abrazo, while critically important and disturbing in their own way, are distinct from the fact that, at the time the decision was made, nearly nobody was attending, and that’s what the decision had to be based on.

A mailing list of people who may be casually interested in the event, and even a verbal statement that someone hopes to come (which included some organizers of the event but not me/us), is not sufficient to gauge interest. Since there’s no formal registration involving paying a fee as there would be with a conventional conference, this is a reasonable alternative to measure how many people are seriously considering coming, even if some were planning to stay with relatives or friends.

I think it’s obvious that if you’re coming to a conference or other event like this, you first register for the event, and then you book your hotel room. This shows the organizers your intent to do something, because if you don’t you’re going to have to make another call and cancel that hotel room.

I do this all the time. It’s not rocket science.

As he said, and as I blogged here, previously, we had our reservations. We felt it was absolutely crucial to do so.

Ron has said on that same Bastardette comment thread that he would be…

…posting a personal statement on the Day for Adoptee Rights later this week…

Many more details will become public at this point, so once again, I urge the impatient (and the loudmouths flying off the handle) to chill, before speculating further.

Finally, I would point readers to my two comments on my post here for further reading of posts written by the full spectrum, from clueful people, from ARD/DAR organizers, from Abrazo, and from aforementioned loudmouths.


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