Claiming My Place at the Table - Part 1
I’m not sure I can write this post. I don’t usually stare at the screen, heart pounding, when I set out to write.
I don’t want to do this. It feels like trying to give birth when there is no baby.
I guess that’s as good a place as any to start.
I’m telling myself I only have to write one page, that I can write more tomorrow. This will be a baby post.
I talked with fellow adoptee Cathi Swett today about a bill she is helping to get in front of New York State legislature that would allow adopted people access to their original birth certificate. She had sent me information earlier about things I could do to help, and I basically ignored them aside from calling Governor Cuomo’s office to request he veto a pending bill that would make it even harder for adoptees to get this document, this flag in the moon of I am here.
Why am I not fighting along with Cathi and other New York adoptees? Cathi wants her original birth certificate for the sake of future family members, for her children’s children’s children to be able to know where their DNA came from, to know about possible diseases they may genetically be carrying. She is fighting for her rightful marker in the history of her biological family’s line.
And this is why I don’t fight: I am so used to not entirely existing that asking for a real place at the real table seems like too much. Like, who am I to have a name in the genealogical history books when the state in which I was born and the parents who conceived me don’t think my birth meant enough to be publicly documented and shared like everyone else’s who was not adopted?
The urge to erase myself is so strong, and it was given to me by the state of New York.
If I get my original birth certificate, I would finally be real. This is too much to take in at the moment. What would I do as a real person on the planet? What if my name were part of my biological family’s lineage? Of the real history of real life?
It all makes me feel sick.
I have to go lie down now. I’ll continue this tomorrow.