Informal Review of “The Good Adoptee”

Recently, I was able to volunteer and view a one-actor show called “The Good Adoptee”. I met the playwright, Suzanne Bachner, briefly during the CUB retreat I attended last fall. She has been hosting the play in the New England region while the OBC bill has been facing legislation again in the area and surrounding states. The play is an autobiographical representation of Bachner’s journey as an adoptee.

The beginning portion recounts her early life, always knowing Bachner was adopted, and having certain fantasies of what that meant. She compared it to the myths that everyone tells their children like the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny. However, the myths of what she believed was her adoption story slowly became revealed into something more puzzling and complicated. As an adult, Bachner struggles to regain a sense of identity as she encounters many frustrating phone calls with an insensitive social worker assigned to her adoption case and a self-absorbed investigator she hires to find her birth parents.

During the play, as Bachner discovers who she was before she was adopted, she reflects on how she is split in two: the person she grew up knowing, the child her adoptive parents raised; and the person she was when she was born, the baby surrendered into foster care. Even though I am not adopted, that part of the play resonated with me the most. For a long time now, I have noticed that I feel split in two: the person that goes to work, socializes with friends and figuring out my life as an adult; and then the birth mother who is grieving every day and sees my daughter in every child/baby I encounter. I am not sure how to merge the two together or if I even can.

Watching the play made me worry about the journey my daughter might endure as she gets older. I am unsure as to what her adoptive parents have told her about her adoption story. I am uncertain whether she will want to know more about where she came from. Her situation is different than Bachner’s because it is still currently an semi-open adoption. Will she have easier access to getting her birth information? Will she have to jump through more hoops since she is not in the same state as where she was born? Will I be able to help her through her journey of identity? Her future and mine is incredibly uncertain.

Bachner’s play ends with her finding her birth mother and beginning a relationship with her. She discovered that her birth father had passed just a few years shy of her starting her search. But, she went to the college her birth parents met and saw a picture of him in a yearbook and found a sense of closure that way.

I found the play to be brave and inspiring as it touched on so many issues regarding an adoptee’s struggle through life. Not that all adoptees feel the same way, but so many strive to find a sense of self whether they reunite with their birth families or not. It is not always enough to know medical information from a birth certificate or adoption record. Adoptees searching for information or reunion is about connecting with others, having their family tree fill and grow, and feeling wanted and loved. Adoptees live a different life than those who are not adopted. I know my family tree, I know what happened the day I was born, I see the physical traits I have in my parents, and many other things that may seem insignificant and can be taken for granted. But, many adoptees do not have that knowledge or even access to it even when they become adults. Suzanne Bachner’s play is not only a true account of her story, but an accurate representation of what many adoptees go through.

Original Birth Certificates

When talking about retaining original birth certificates or having access to the original birth certificate before a child was adopted, I feel like my voice is not as relevant unlike the millions of adult adoptees who have endured so much to get their original birth certificate (OBC) or are still trying to get that vital piece of their identity. I am not adopted and therefore do not speak for any adoptee, not even my daughter that I placed into adoption when she was born. But, as I am much of a part of the world of adoption as any birth parent, I will speak up on this issue. Continue reading “Original Birth Certificates”

After Juno: A Review of the 2007 Film

It has been about ten years since the movie ‘Juno’ was released. I keep seeing ads on social media that the cast is coming together to do a screen reading of it. It is what prompted me to decide to analyze the film as a first in what I hope will become regular reviews on this blog. I watched Juno shortly after it came out in 2007. It advertised itself as a quirky, teen comedy about a young teenage girl named Juno, played by the then rising star Ellen Page, who becomes pregnant. After seeing it a few times, I was more in love with the soundtrack than the actual movie. The soundtrack itself really began my continuing love of indie and obscure folk music. At the time, I thought the movie was just as it presented itself: a cute teen rom-com with rare, blunt honest conversations. Now, four years after becoming pregnant and surrendering my baby into adoption much like Juno, I find the movie to be completely inaccurate and insensitive representation of what birth mothers have endured and are continuing to endure. Continue reading “After Juno: A Review of the 2007 Film”

Getting Back on Track

It has been really hard trying to write this blog. It has been hard writing about having a baby and giving it up for adoption. And, it is just as hard to write about myself as it is to write other people’s stories involving adoption. I went on hiatus from the blog starting around November. I had just gotten back from my first CUB (Concerned United Birthparents) retreat, that started the downward slide into what has become an annual depression since I gave up my daughter. I get extremely sensitive and depressed the closer it gets to closer to the holidays (i.e. Thanksgiving and Christmas) due to memories and what that time of year represents. In order to keep myself emotionally safe, I took a break and tried to focus on getting through each day at a time. It is March now, way past the holiday season, and I am still finding it difficult to write about adoption. Continue reading “Getting Back on Track”

The Domino Effect

In light of recent political events, I feel it necessary to share some thoughts and feelings that need to be voiced. I, like many, have been turned upset and shocked at the election results. There are many things that he is for that I am against: anti-immigration, anti-abortion, anti-equality, etc. But, this post goes deeper than those big issues; I cannot look away from the possible domino effect that not only the president-elect may cause, but as well as the house and the senate. Continue reading “The Domino Effect”

Concerned United Birthparents Retreat

This Wednesday, I will be leaving for Florida on my way to the annual CUB Retreat. I was given a scholarship to help pay for the trip due to the good words of recommendation from the CUB Chapter leader. And now I am dealing with the pre-travel jitters!

I am hoping to take this opportunity to move forward in my life, not just as a birth mother, but also as a writer. There will be three key note speakers: Dr. Loretta Ross, a Human Right’s and Women’s Activist; Amy Seek, author and birth mother; and Suzanne Bachner, playwright and adoptee. If able to, I hope to speak to a couple, if not all three speakers, about what I am wanting to do as a writer and birth mother, and hopefully get good advice and connections. There will also be many high standing members of CUB there, who I hope to meet as well.

I am not usually one for large events and conventions. I get claustrophobic in crowds and have high social anxiety in meeting new people. But, this will be good for me in the long run. It will give me a chance to see and truly feel like I have a community of peers; people will really understand me there. I do not think anyone will think I am being weird or overly sensitive if I start bawling or need to take a break.

As it gets closer to the holidays, and closer to certain birthdays and anniversaries, I think starting off this chilly season with a vacation at a spa and beach will be the pick-me-up I need to get me through another few difficult weeks. But, I won’t be taking too much time to relax. I am going to be taking copious amounts of notes for the next blog post so everyone can know what it is like there!

 

Part 1 of 2: Falling Into Openness

Samuel* and Lorraine* decided to adopt after years of trying to have their own children. They decided to go the traditional closed adoption route. The adoption agency they went through required all candidates to go through classes so they knew what it meant to become adoptive parents. It required them to talk to birth parents and adult adoptees. “It gave a whole other layer to adoption,” Samuel* says. They got a sense of different views through all aspects of the adoption world. After they wrote up a profile and bio for potential birth parents, they got a letter from a birthparents-to-be couple who wanted to meet them before placing them with their child. Continue reading “Part 1 of 2: Falling Into Openness”