I feel connected, my arms waving with the music, my voice joining in with the chorus of voices that emanates, amplifies and fills the theater.
I was at a rehearsal at the Lincoln theater where the Harmony Project choir was preparing for their December finale. I watched David Brown orchestrate a beautiful crowd of people into music that touches souls and for a minute makes one believe in the possibility of love and one huge human family.
I was there as a part of Second Nurture’s inaugural adoption retreat. There were adoptees, authors, policy makers, educators, social workers, actors and healers. The one common thread was our connection to adoption and a passion for doing the right thing by our children.
There were many memorable moments. I watched as those around me grappled with unresolved feelings. I watched as one man’s voice trembled with passion as he spoke of the horror that is an adoption fair. I cried silent tears as I felt the pain of an adoptee struggling with guilt and the weight of gratitude. I paused when another talked of adoption being one tiny facet of who she was. I listened with all my might hoping to glean rules to live by, lessons to apply to my fledgling family.
Amid all the heavy lifting there were moments of joy like when a brainstorming sessions lead to a collective aha. In the break between sessions as I walked around the building with a rabbi exchanging notes on what it meant to be Hindu or a Jew. In the hotel lobby as I waited for our ride to the venue and watched others tease each other and share personal stories of hope, of heartbreak, of redemption.
Last night I sat at a table with a healer, a gay couple who adopted a child in a way that can only be termed miraculous and an author I have come to like and regard as a friend. The conversation flowed easily. We laughed long and hard. We walked back to the hotel feeling connected and part of something big. Something that will trump the hate and bigotry around us.
In the year since the election results came out, yesterday was the first time I felt stirrings of hope. As the crowd swelled to the music of Human After All, I realized amid the gory display of hatred there are pockets of joy, of community, of ordinary people making extraordinary differences.
I realized I could bring about the change I so want to see in this world. It takes courage and vulnerability. It depends on our ability to open our hearts to possibilities. It is about one person connecting to another. It is about being human.