Adoptee Rage and the Cat's Tail

Here’s the thing. Many people, when they adopt a child or a baby, think they just got something of their very own. You are my child. Mine. And this is both true and not true. Adopting a person and labelling it mine is sort of like getting a cat and holding on to its tail for the rest of its life.

The Needle, the Thread, and the Brain

I have been reading The Last Best Cure by Donna Jackson Nakazawa and I am highlighting nearly every paragraph. The book is a confirmation of everything I’ve been learning and sensing this year about the mind/body connection and how it is affected by the trauma of adoption (or any significant childhood trauma).

Self-Hatred is Stupid

It’s so much better to hammer yourself into silence with the belief in perfection or self-hatred. It’s so much better to stay small and hide under the table of festivities than have the world witness the belly of you spill over your bikini bottom.

A Love Letter to Jessenia Parmer

I am sorry you had to suffer to get to where you are—but the truth is I think that is how we become amazing. Read any hero’s story and you’ll see these people aren’t called heroes because they sat on their asses and drank tea all day. They suffered and they preserved and their stories made other people’s lives better.

So Long, Sugar

Dr. Mark said, “A meal should make you relax, put you into the parasympathetic state. It’s time to rest and digest.” I froze. I stared at him, at his cheery, tanned, healthy, I am in my fifties but I can kick anyone’s ass on my bike self. You eat to rest? What new, amazing and wonderful world was this?

Good Girls Don't

If the ability to feel fear and to worry fell out of my brain, I would be a walking party. I’d be a ray of sunlight. A laugh riot. I’d be wild.

I'm Not a Baby

I was telling all of this to Dr. Mark, spilling my story all over him in a big, How am I going to do this? I want to be healthy and it’s all so confusing and I work in the health field and I should just know all this stuff already. I should be fine for mercy’s sake, and he crossed his arms and cleared his throat when I was done.   

I Have Loved You Forever, But I Think You are Killing Me

In the 2003 article, A Concise History of Infant Formula (Twists and Turns Included), Andrew Schuman wrote, If you are over 40, there is a good chance that, if you were not breastfed as an infant, you were fed a formula created by mixing 13 ounces of evaporated milk with 19 ounces of water and two tablespoons of either corn syrup or table sugar. 

Shannon Peck and Art and Adoption

When you are adopted, the world is torn open and it often requires a lot of work, maybe a lifetime, in order to know your name, your place in the world, your voice. When you are adopted and do art, miracles happen. (When you are not adopted and do art, miracles happen. I mean, hello, have you been inside the Sistene Chapel? Or looked at drawings in a second grade classroom?)

Write or Die. The Blind Leading the Blind.

People don’t write for so many reasons, even when it is their deepest dream. There is the fear of the blank page, the fear of having nothing to say, the fear they will sound stupid, the fear others will hate them. There is also the fear of pain. It might hurt in unmanageable ways to say things long buried.

And so we stay quiet.

It’s like a quiet death. Not like. Not using your voice is a quiet death.

I Am Loaded

To get back to Thelma and Louise, I think that is why Ridley Scott and Callie Khouri sent the two women flying to their death, because the idea of women finding such wild freedom is unbearable. We can’t imagine it—even the artist fail. I’m supposed to believe that those two women loved themselves so much they killed themselves? 

Camp Suck It Up

It’s called Camp Suck It Up because, as adopted people, that’s what most of us have been asked to do all our lives: lose everything and then pretend like we didn’t: So what that you lost your mother. Your father. Suck it up. You have new parents. Ones that wanted you. The camp is called Camp Suck It Up because it’s funny and because the t-shirts will look cool. It’s called Camp Suck It Up because I’m in charge now and that’s what I named it.