A good story is hard to resist.
“Story” can be a narrative, an account, a chronicle…but it can also be a falsehood, a lie, a whopper! Depending on the storyteller, a story can provoke, inspire, antagonize, create new understanding, and maybe, create a community. I have found in adoption that “the adoption story” can be all of these things. As adopted people, we have an incredible story, an experience that has its own vocabulary and creates an intimacy among a very small community of people. It has been most interesting to see how we want to own it, use it, translate it, find meaning it, manipulate it and find the truth in it.
I believe adoption is a lifelong journey….and after reading many memoirs, essays and blogs written by 20somethings, I was always left wondering what happens next. In my 20s, adoption was first and center to my identity which catapulted me into a career in adoption and helped me to find my passion. But in my 30s and now 40s, I have come to realize that living and creating a family and career captured my attention and for some time adoption takes a backseat, but it is still there. So, I thought it was time for me to add to the mix some ideas 20 years later. Part of the privilege of being in your twenties is to challenge the system, yourself and those around you. It is a youth’s right to push the boundaries and relationships around them to create a self all the while. If that is all that the mass community reads
though, I fear that there is an unfair representation of who we are. More personally though, it doesn’t do justice to people like me, people who have worked hard to decompartmentalize their identities and meld into a more complete person at peace with all that makes me.
What I write here is nothing new, nor is it specifically adoption related. I don’t want to make it all about adoption, but rather see how adoption colors the many milestones in my life. It is just one person’s view of herself as a woman who is adopted from Korea, who is a mother, who is a wife, who is a social worker/therapist in adoption and who has sought refuge in the processing of life’s challenges along the way. Through these various identity markers, I have created a story for myself as well. I have watched it evolve, expand, nuance, and challenge me to figure out who I am. In this quest, I have learned that being adopted is the single most provocative aspect of my identity.
In preparing for this launch, I see that I have been writing for years. But I don’t want to put out there my singular life story. Rather, I hope the thoughts I have been
chewing on might help another and possibly create another more complete dialogue of the adopted person’s experiences. I invite you to read and to share. I hope my words will inspire you.
Welcome to adoption echoes….