Adoptee, born at the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center, April 15, 1974. I spent 23 years trying to figure out all the details, concluding my search in 2019 after meeting my biological father. I'm working on a book that encapsulates my thoughts on adoption in general, and the experience of being adopted.
I remain a subjective, at times compulsive, narrator in this story.
Unlike a true non-fiction book, by its very nature my story is somewhat fictionalized. I myself reside as an identity infictively resonating within a governmental institutional practice – my status is functionally different than that of the non-adopted, and as with other closed-file adoptees I have more in common with those in the Federal Witness Protection program. I do not know for sure that these memories are not all of the same thing, or metaphors for some completely different experience altogether. And for many people who are adoptees, that positioning can be much more problematic than my own.Continue reading “Subjective Narrator”
We are adrift within the reflections of our best selves.
When I discovered the internet, it was young. I was young. The world I inhabited felt larger as I processed the experience of dialing a long-distance number and listening to the modem handshake with the bbs on the other end of the line. There were a multitude of experiences available with a few keystrokes – countless kbs of textfiles to download and peruse – and an economy that encouraged uploads of original materials.
The internet wasn’t the bbs I dialed, it was us, downloading from one space and uploading to another, generating pockets of pooled and collective recorded thoughts, experiences, techniques. To me, it appeared to be a kind of life.
Years earlier I’d read about A-life, an early simulator of artificial life, and the still images of that software formed the backbone of how I visualized the internet as it grew. Continue reading “The Problem with Mirrors”
I am writing a book from a subjective point of view.
The editing process will sand away the raw edges, provide depth and context, and the bits that don’t make it into the book will pop up here, on my blog.
Writing is brain surgery, all of it is struggling with sweeping extremes of emotion in digging out these memories to put to ink.
My life story begins with the adoption, but proceeds beyond that to the abuse, and negligence, of parenting in the seventies and eighties. I halfheartedly believe that my adoptive parents were well-intention-ed – just deeply misguided Continue reading “On writing my book”
It’s interesting from a larger perspective – adoption laws are different from state to state, and Bastard Nation is dedicated to making records available to adoptees. For example, I can’t have my real birth certificate, but at least it is on file somewhere in Idaho and if the law in idaho were changed, I could hold my own birth certificate legally. But this is not just about my own birth certificate, it’s about how poorly adoptees as a class of citizen are treated by these laws that hide and wash away identity and lack oversight into the situations adoptees find themselves in as they grow up. Not all adoptive parents should be parents.
Creating a dialog around individual accounts is essential – when accounts are isolated they become easily dismissed, quickly diminished, but when a collection voices, each with a unique take on a greater social injustice, can be presented, the possibility for a conversation to extend into the public sphere increases.
It, in this case, being the impact of adoption on an infant, a child. Why should the impact of adoption not be weighed against the alternative, whatever that may be? I am conditioned to picture the alternative being a series of horrors, a spectrum from the neglectful to that of murderous parents, slavery, a life of poverty and crime from the moment of birth. We all are, in some sense – and the rising anti-abortion laws further the narrative of adoption-first approaches throughout certain regions within the United States. That central myth is a preservative narrative shielding a poorly regulated confederacy of institutions and private interests that facilitate an enormous industry that trades in human life.
We are all individuals, and our interests and desires are formed as much by our biology as our experiences. Those who are raised with their biological parents find corresponding interests driven by genetic similarities, something often completely missing from the equation within an adoptive family setting.
When there are no shared interests within a family dynamic, there is no support to develop those interests.
At best, I would be left on my own to engage with those things I found interesting. In many cases, I was punished for my interests, or actively prevented from pursuing them. I learned to hide what I was reading, I developed speed-reading unintentionally along the way, my constant state of near panic, a adolescent-long hyper-vigilant state of mind, drove this adaptation.
But it also left me convinced that I was inherently flawed, broken, and unvalued. My inner world was awash in self-erasure, fantasies of some distant rescue operation underway to recover me from my life and bring me back to my true parents. And when that rescue never came, the feelings of hopelessness grew ever stronger-Continue reading “Self-Erasure”