Skin Contact

Ten weeks is too long to go without being regularly held. It’s not just about the children who are relinquished. I think of the babies in the I.C.U. and it is not good. They are both being taken care of--attached to tubes, held in plastic boxes--and they are being starved. Skin contact is necessary to our development as human beings.

Freedom

I was reading Roxane Gay’s book Hunger tonight, I’m nearly finished. I hadn’t cried reading the first half of book about her body, but something snapped in me today and I've been crying since I read the sentence "I know that I am breaking the unspoken rules of what a woman should look like." I’m still crying, even though I had put down the book fifteen minutes ago and had come upstairs because I heard the fireworks and wanted to see the show.

Write and Die

One thing that I’ve noticed in the Write or Die classes that I teach is that people’s voices and passions are right there, and yet the people are so busy trying to be other, trying to run from the story of a life lived, that they miss the glory of their own self, their interests, loves, obsessions.

Adipted

Part of the problem with the word adoption is the second syllable, the O. It’s like I’m gagging and I still have more word to say. The O is like a big zero, not the best number for someone who already struggles with identity issues.

Self-Love and the Big Bang

My friend had been reading about the Big Bang, and she was excited. “It was just like a seed,” she said, “this little thing, and then one day, for some crazy reason, it exploded into everything we know, the whole universe.” She looked at her tightly fisted hand, and then flung it open into a star. “Boom!”

Musings after reading Your Brain at Work

How, as an adoptee, one who lives in a world where words like bastard, orphan, foster home, abandoned are part of the mythology of life, can one garner strength from language rather than buckle under disempowerment? How can one get a sense of strength from a thing—adoption—that has inherently implied to adoptees the world over you were not good enough to keep?

Dirty Babies

Even if you try to get rid of your bacterial inheritance—extreme bathing, antibiotics—the bacteria you got from your mother will come back.

Running the Race with One Leg

So here’s everything I know about writing and adoption:

The how of writing about adoption is by starting where you are. Just write what is on your mind. “Where is she? Why did she leave? Who am I? What should I have for dinner?” The why of writing about adoption is so you can honor your own voice and questions. The when is, of course, now.

How to Survive an Adoptee Conference (Part 2)

Rhonda Churchill gave a talk at the Indiana Adoptee conference that made me excited to be alive. She was adopted; I was adopted, most people in the room listening had been adopted, but her talk was more about personal choice and tenacity than fear or abandonment, and I drank in her message: chase your dream.