Please don't perceive this as naysaying because it isn't, I thought the day was fantastic and everyone I spoke to shared a similar view.
I confess to being perpetually confused by the disparity between Twitter names and 'real' names. Next year I'm coming in disguise as I felt significantly disadvantaged being an 'out' member of the community. I have being pondering the nature and reasons for protecting our identities and the underlying concerns and fears.
But my resounding question was, 'where are the menfolk?'.
In a room of over 80 attendees I counted perhaps only 7 or 8 men which clearly makes them significantly under represented. However, the attendees reflected the online community built around the excellent work of the Adoption Social and The Open Nest and the Twitter network that gravitates around them a predominantly female community.
I don't like stereotypes, however they can sometimes have a shadow of truth at their heart,
Generally I find talking about my worries, stresses and strains, unhelpful. I prefer to escape on my bike and blow the proverbial tubes out. Like coming home from work the last thing I want to do is talk about my day, I want to leave it at work. This is true for the scrapes and bruises that I face with the family. Often I just need to be alone with my thoughts and only rarely do I talk to Mrs C or post to Twitter. Perhaps I don't want to be perceived as not managing or or struggling. Maybe I just want to bury my head in the sand for a few hours or not to have every waking moment consumed by 'the kids'.
But I dare not presume to speak on behalf of all the adoptive fathers and dad's. They're probably not even reading this so what does it matter.
Are men struggling? I'm sure some are, I know I do. We have unique stresses we see our, generally female, loved ones bear the brunt of pain and anger. If we work we often are rendered impotent receiving texts and calls recounting behaviour at home; walking into homes after or during conflict or seeing our loved ones harmed emotionally and physically.
So, how do we provide support, how do we target support and do men want it? I'm just not sure.
I'm not sure what I want.
I spoke to a few women and they hinted that their male partners were perhaps on a 'different page'. Maybe that is part of the problem.
Maybe there is no problem.
Maybe I need a ride on my bike to think it out.