Reframing the Past
My ability to commit to long term projects is pretty weak. Many times I've vowed to stop blogging because it's taking away time from working on my novel which, no surprise, is about family secrets and the Closed Era of adoption.
But blogging has proved powerfully irresitable and the readers amazingly supportive. The best part is reading a comment that says...hey...something like that happened to me, too! And I know I'm not alone. That my experience as an adoptee is both extremely personal, yet aspects of it more sadly common than I'd once imagined.
I was reading a review in the SF Chronicle today about Carrie Fisher's solo show, Wishful Drinking, in which the funny Fisher tells us her (sex-drugs-booze-bipolar-disorder-fame-family) life story. "What she wants to do, she tells us, is take control of her life by framing her own narrative."
I guess that's what I've been trying to do. Slogging away at blogging about growing up as an adoptee who had to pretend she was her aparent's bio child.
I had no control. Over anything. Whether I was given away. With what sort of people I would be tied to, forever, by a document I didn't get to sign. What sort of questions I was allowed to ask about my family of origin (none). Even what I felt about adoption. Telling you, in great detail, how you should feel about being adopted is something not limited to adoptive family members. The non-adopted, who have no idea what it's like, are experts on the subject and are more than happy to tell you to buck up, get over it and, their favorite refrain, be grateful (you weren't aborted/at least somebody wanted you/you could have been raised in an orphanage).
So this is where we finally, finally, get to make sense of all OUR mixed feelings and emotions about something that happened to us. Because if you are adoptee, adoption is something that HAPPENS to you.
I like the control I feel when I get to talk about all this adoption stuff.
I'm finally getting to tell my own story.
It's a powerful step among many. Reclaiming ownership. Some have said more adoptees should spend their time trying to reform adoption instead of whining on blogs. Not everybody is cut out to be an activisit. Some are and are damned good at it. Others, well, aren't. But reframing our own life stories, whining included, is especially important to us: a subgroup of citizens denied their original birth certificates...and so much else.