Maybe you’ve already heard about it. People involved in adoption are buzzing about it. It’s a new app called Adoptly, billed as “a better way to adopt.”
It’s already been dubbed The Tinder of Adoption, and as you can imagine, that has not gone over well in online adoption communities (at least not in the ones that I frequent). Swiping for children? Many have a gut response — even a gag response — to that idea. But why? I was curious within myself.
Adoptly is news now because it launched a Kickstarter campaign, including an explanatory video, to bring its app to market. At the time of writing, it has raised about 3% of its target goal of $150,000.
I try to remain open to something unfamiliar, to suspend judgment about it until I’ve had a chance to research it, sit with it, and examine at it from lots of angles. Regarding this adoption app, I did so with my friend Anne Heffron, an adoptee and fellow explorer.
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.
Anne Heffron is a highly gifted writer. In fact, she’s spent decades teaching writing to others, amid her own struggles around identity, brokenness, self-destructive habits, and conflicting emotions about her own mother (it’s mere coincidence that my last post was on the Happy/Sad of adoption). Her memoir and first book, You Don’t Look Adopted, was published four months ago (though Anne is already an accomplished screenwriter), and I have just recently begun reading it.
Writing her memoir — finally — about the things most pressing but most difficult to talk about is but one of the therapies Anne has pursued in her quest for wholeness and self-worth.