Paula Fahey was born, relinquished, and adopted during the closed adoption era. She experienced the happy/sad of adoption — she loved her parents yet she wondered about her birth parents. She’s now also on the birth family side of an open adoption and weighs in on the element of openness.
The #flipthescript series gives adoptees the microphone during November, National Adoption Awareness Month.
Image: Tracy Hammond
I Felt Both Welcomed and Curious
I am an adoptee, born in the early 1960s, at a time when adoption was shrouded in secrecy. I was raised by loving parents who always did their best to make me feel wanted and welcome. As a young child I fantasized about who my parents might be and wondered if one day I would meet them. Sensing that questions about my birth family made my mother uncomfortable, I tried to keep them to a minimum. Sometimes though, my insatiable curiosity won out, but my mother never had any answers for me.
I reunited with my birth mother when I was 26 and it was magic. Continue reading #flipthescript 9: The Healing Power of Open Adoption
Anne Heffron, author of the newly-released must-read memoir You Don’t Look Adopted, kicks of this year’s #flipthescript series, in which adoptees take over the microphone.
Image: Tracy Hammond
So Why Was I Crying?
I am going to visit some of my birth father’s family for the first time next week and my family is letting me go. No one is saying they are afraid they will lose me. No one is saying they wish I’d just be happy with the family I have. No one is saying they are afraid I will like the new family better than my old family. They don’t seem to care. They never call. And that makes me think that maybe, just as I suspected, maybe I was never a “real” Heffron after all even though I feel real, and sometimes I feel numbly sad when I think about where I am now: in this gray area between families–I don’t seem to squarely belong in either.
Continue reading #flipthescript 7: Hold On
Suzanne Bachner’s award-winning show, The Good Adoptee, starring Anna Bridgforth, will tour Connecticut this fall to help garner support for restoring Connecticut adoptees’ access to their original birth certificates.
The tour runs October 22 to December 9, coinciding with National Adoption Awareness Month, and will benefit Access Connecticut‘s adoptee rights efforts. Each performance will include a post-show Talk Back with creator Suzanne Bachner and actress Anna Bridgforth .
The tour is cosponsored by Access Connecticut and Calo Programs. ⇑ Click for tix!
Access Connecticut President and adoptee Karen Caffrey interviews Suzanne Bachner about what inspired her to write The Good Adoptee and the challenges and rewards of bringing her personal story to the public stage.
Continue reading The Good Adoptee
Last week I witnessed a private interaction that needs to be seen by a wider audience, for it addresses the fallacy that if adoptees are happy and connected to their (adoptive) parents, it follows that they will not have any adoption issues. Can there be a “Happy/Sad” of adoption?
At the request of the question asker and with the permission of the question answerer, I share their exchange here.
Question (from an adoptee): Can you see the distinction between how an adoptee feels about their own adoption and how adoption is practiced now? Can you explain in words others can hear that an adopted person who had a “good experience” can actually have serious concerns about adoption today and speak out about it?
Continue reading The Happy/Sad of Adoption