Well, it's probably time to face the facts. My trip to Chicago is just not going to happen. I kept hoping that the right combination of plane fares, income at the store and a little time off would magically come together for us. Alas, it wasn't to be. The closer it gets, the sadder I am about it. I would have really enjoyed adding my time and energy to this cause and meeting some of the people that I have grown to respect and admire so much over the last year. On the other hand, if I were to refer to my favorite saying "What's for you, won't go by you," maybe it's not the right time for me to come out of the closet on this issue in the town where it all began (or ended?!) for me.
My son lives less than six blocks from Ed Debevics. It's been four months since the promise of a letter from him was made. I'm still waiting to hear from him. My stats tell me that he has been checking the blog I set up for him. I've posted a few more things there, mostly updates on his sister and birthday wishes for him, so I know he's not completely detaching from all of this, but so far he hasn't made the leap to write that letter.
Could I be in Chicago, my hometown, his home, and for the first time in my adult life, speak out openly (live and in person) and loudly for adoptee rights and not have a mountain of triggers crash down on me? I don't know. I'd hoped that over the last four months I would have more contact from him, some idea of what he's thinking and how he's feeling about all of this. I'd hoped that I would have had the opportunity to tell him my feelings regarding the civil rights that were denied him when he became an adopted individual. It's not something I want him to read about in the paper or see on local t.v. I don't want to accidentally run into him while I'm having lunch in his neighborhood, nor do I want to drink that extra martini and think I should stand in front of his building for an hour in hopes of catching a glimpse of him.
So, while I'm really disappointed that I won't be a part of this, showing my support and meeting really great people, maybe everything does happen for a reason.
For those of you going to Chicago, I hope you are able to make a great impact on the legislators and their staff members. Enjoy that gorgeous city and the warmth of the people that live there. Here are some of my favorite places to go:
Pizza: Must eat at either Uno's, Due's or Lou Malanati's; the BEST deep dish pizza around.
Music: Definitely hit the blues bars, they are amazing! B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted is a tiny, packed bar with GREAT music (okay, I'm biased, I worked there for three years) across the street is The Kingston Mines. They are open later and much bigger, usually have two bands at night there. Buddy Guys and Blues Chicago are good choices for downtown. The Checkerboard Lounge on the south side has great music, but it's in a really bad area of the city, wouldn't recommend traveling there, the other bars are all great and much safer.
Comedy: The late night improv shows at Second City are fantastic. It is, after all, the home of scores of famous comedians and improve artists. The pictures on the wall alone are worth the trip.
Hot Dog: The Wiener Circle on Clark Street is a blast late at night. This would be a good place to go if you are hungry after hitting the Mines and B.L.U.E.S. Be prepared, it gets a little crazy in there, but the food is good and it's worth the experience.
Shopping: Michigan Avenue is a must. There are some great boutiques on Oak Street as well. I should probably say browsing instead of shopping as this area is very expensive, but every designer imaginable has a place on Michigan Ave and it's so fun to check out how the other half lives!
Museums: The Art Institute, The Field Museum, The Museum of Science and Industry, the She'd Aquarium are all top notch. Can't go wrong with any of them.
Beach: If you get a chance to walk along the beach DURING THE DAY, do it! Oak Street heading South gives you beautiful views of downtown. Also, from the Shedd Aquarium walking North is amazing as well. Please don't do this at night. It's just not that safe, especially for tourists who don't know where they're going. Perfectly fine during the day, though.
Hope these help! Can't wait to hear all about it.