Calcutta is My Mother

Reshma McClintock, adoption reform activist and founder of Dear Adoption, came to Denver on a recent Saturday. She was here for a special screening of a documentary that follows her inner and outer journey toward integrating pieces of her identity. That film is called Calcutta Is My Mother, and I recommend seeing it.

Reshma McClintock documentary film
Screenings are planned in Seattle, Dallas, and Phoenix, with other cities and viewing options being added.

If you’ve ever listened to an adoptee explain their decision to search for the beginnings of their story, chances are you’ve heard them start with the disclaimer, “Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents. They are wonderful people. I just want to know more about me.”

The disclaimer seems necessary because historically, the adoption narrative has been crafted largely by adoptive parents. We are the ones who benefited from adoption, and our feelings are the ones our sons and daughters sometimes feel the need to protect.

Often at the expense of their own.

Are Adoptive Parents that Fragile?

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Adoptive Parent Rights

** Updated at the bottom **

I listened to testimony on a bill making its way through the Texas legislature that would impact people like my son and my daughter. HB 2725 would restore access to an original birth certificate to adults adopted in Texas.

At about 5:29:30 (listen if you’d like), one of the committee members says in response to previous testimony, “I’m curious about the rights of the adoptive parent. Part of the reason the law was designed this way [sealed birth records] was to protect and nurture the legal construct that the adoptive parents are the parents…I haven’t heard anything from the side of the adoptive parent.”

That got me thinking about the rights of the adoptive parent. And for this gentleman, a Texas Representative asking thoughtful questions during this hearing, I weigh in.

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Thoughts on 18

My Kid at 18

My eldest child turned 18 recently. It’s such a strange line, an arbitrary line, a legal line, between childhood and adulthood. Things change and things stay the same.

We held a party for our newly proclaimed adult, and of course my parents were part of it. My mom brought a present — for ME.

Me at 18

It was a poem I’d written on my own 18th birthday decades ago. Mom had framed and adorned it with a miniature version of my senior portrait.

It’s not the world’s best poetry (or prose, perhaps; not sure which I was going for), but it does give renewed insight into what it is like to be in the newborn days of being an adult.

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adoption, parenting, mindfulness, open adoption