I am officially one month away from the launch of my debut memoir, and if I am honest, I am as excited as I am terrified.
My story touches on ideas of family, love, identity, and separation. Putting all of those things together has the potential to make some people uncomfortable. So I am bracing myself, and my family for negativity (that I hope never appears).
When I first set my story to the page, I had one goal; to create a place in the world where my siblings and I could be together. Continue reading
the struggle is real, you guys.
For the first day of November, a.k.a “National Adoption Month”, here’s a bit of advice:
When you get together with your long lost siblings, try to take some group photos without all the significant others.
Nearly a decade since my siblings set has been complete, we still do not have a single photo of all seven us alone/together.
By National Adoption Month 2015, it is my mission to rectify this issue.
There is a video.
A video that a distant biological relative who I will never know posted on YouTube. It’s from before my Uncle Mac accidentally shot himself in the head; a time capsule from a moment when my family was a vivid, magnetic thing.
The video is from 1982 or 1983. Thirty-two minutes into the footage the camera finds my mother’s face.
My mother, with her brown hair feathered around her forehead, beams in an eggplant sweater. Her bangs fall into her eyes, graze her plump cheeks. Underneath her purple sweater she is pregnant with me or Rebecca, with one of us, depending on if this is 1982 or 1983. Maybe no one else in the room knows, maybe that is what her smile is about when the camera lens finds her.
Or maybe she isn’t pregnant at all. If this is September of 1982—it could be September of 1982—then I am two months old and my mom is not yet pregnant with Rebecca.
I could be reading more into it because I want this thing to be laced with as much meaning as possible, I want to make it a secret message that the universe preserved specifically for me.
me, with my birth mother, adoptive father, and five of my six biological siblings
While everyone is focused on preparations for Halloween & Dia de Los Muertos, let us not forget that November is National Adoption Month.
According to the latest census, there are 6 million adoptees in the United States. That number is constantly growing as 125,000 families are actively trying to adopt, annually. One in three Americans is impacted by adoption, as a member of a birth family, an adoptive family, or as an adoptee.
So chances are that you know more than one person whose life has been shaped by adoption. Hallmark doesn’t exactly make a card for it…. so here are some ways to participate this November:
- If you are a member of the adoption triad (birth family, adoptee, or adoptive family) join an adoption support group and share your stories
- If you know a family that has recently grown through adoption, make a point to help welcome the new child, just as you would a newborn.
- A wish of ‘good luck’ and support for a friend that may be trying to locate their biological family is always welcome.
- Or, if you are just a supporter you can sign a petition to support access to open adoption records.
Throughout life, we all ‘adopt’ family of various forms– those people who are ‘like’ sisters, mothers, fathers, or brothers to us– so you could also take a moment to thank your own adopted family (in whatever form they take) for putting up with your random array of craziness.
I know I will : )