The Walkabout Letters – Steph’s Letter To Sarah

One of the unique aspects of our online program, The Walkabout, is the ongoing correspondence Sarah Oblinger and Stephanie Gray have with one other as they commit to being real, vulnerable and open using art, movement and words to meet their daily lives as they naturally unfold.  Until now, this has been exclusively for Walkabout participants. However, because of the profound shifts they have felt in their own lives while working this program, they’ve decided to publicly share their correspondence here monthly. These letters are for any of you on your own self discovery journey. We hope you will follow along – with a knowing, that you are not alone. It’s time to get REAL.


Dear Sarah,

It’s been an interesting couple of days. This year will be the year I find out about my biological mom and among other things, finally obtain my original birth certificate.

A couple of days ago I received some non-identifying information about my birth mom as well as a bit about her family and my bio dad. It was a fascinating read and I was excited to have it. Many gaps were filled in – it was 8 pages long!

After I read it, I began to feel sad (like crawl into bed and return to the fetal position sad). I was NOT expecting this and felt ambushed by my emotions.

Because we do what we do, I sat at my dining room table and just felt what I was feeling. And it was extremely familiar and achingly painful. I realized ALL of the losses in my life (big and small) have been infused with this same feeling – abandonment. And that the Grandmother of all stories I tell myself may very well have originated from this one life defining moment.The epic story I have carried around with me for almost 50 years is entitled, “Everyone Who Loves Me Leaves”. Holy shit! Uncovering this whale of a tale is a big deal.

And, because we do what we do, I realized I didn’t have to continue to re-read the sad story. I could finally recognize my adoption story as it had been told to me from the beginning – my life is a beautiful gift. My biological mother gave me away because she wanted a better life for me. My adoptive parents wanted me so badly they did everything in their power to make sure I became part of their family.

AND because I identified the feeling behind the story, I now know when it returns – and it will – I can soothe my little girl inside with this new tale of love and assure her that I am going nowhere.

This work is amazing Sarah. It’s not always easy or comfortable, but it’s sooo worth it. I am changing. Thank you for doing this work with me.


P.S. – I’ve included an image of some art I did about my adoption story.


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