Mapping our Journeys through Adoption (June 2014) by Mark Drummond

This was a workshop that took place on the saturday morning of the CACH reunion with Mark O’Connell bringing an inspirational way of exploring and sharing our adoption stories. Set out on the floor were two maps; one of China and one of the UK. Using old video tape we strung our journeys across the globe-floor telling our adoption stories in the process. It was a moving and intimate process for a small group of us. I felt we were finding new clusters of of connection with each other; shared stories, overlapping resonances. We worked through the years that the group members spanned in terms of our adoption processes. For example, it was fascinating to see how the SARS outbreak impacted differently on someone who went out to China to adopt a month or so after another. It felt a good beginning of a process I would love to see as a regular feature at CACH perhaps gradually including more people. What was also included in this process was an opportunity for remembering; strange, incidental details of our narratives emerged, forgotten moments, thresholds, realisations, meetings. This workshop offered some of those moments to have a place with each other. I personally felt deeply nourished by hearing the stories of others in the group; their struggles, their joys. They helped me touch forgotten but precious moments. For this I left the workshop grateful. By the end of the session the floor was strewn with ribboned tape and blocks marking orphanages, cities, tracing our journeys to our children and back again. But there were also new, unseen threads between us as a small group that we carried away.

Written by M Drummond 2014