Monday, April 26, 2010


I'm still struggling with the invitation to go the my father's family reunion. The end of the semester has been keeping me well occupied, so I haven't actually dealt with anything. I have arranged my summer travel so that I can go if I want to.

And I do want to. I know that much about myself. I want to go. Curiosity, in the end, outweighs all the other hard feelings.

But shouldn't we talk before meeting at a large gathering? Does he really want to talk to me? I know he said (according to his son) that he doesn't mind me being there, but does he want me there?

In the end, I keep wondering, why do I have to do all the work? Why does this whole thing seem to rest on my shoulders? I get to drive eight hours, to go meet a lot of people I've never met before, to meet a man who doesn't mind if I show up.

I'm just setting myself up for disappointment and sorrow. That's how it feels. I guess I just need to get over it. Either quash my curiosity and forget the whole thing. Or I can go, lower my expectations to the point where I cannot be disappointed, and see what happens.

Two crappy options.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Adoptee Voices

Today I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio, as normal, when a show came on about Russian adoptions. I knew immediately I was going to be frustrated. But I listened to part of the show anyway.

The two guests were a doctor who founded the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Minnesota and an adoptive parent who adopted three children from Russia.

Anyone notice the problem?

It amazes me that people do segments and even hour long shows on adoption and do not include adoptees.

We heard a lot about the parents' struggles and some of the ways that early childhood trauma can affect children, but no adoptee appeared to give a first-hand account of his or her experiences.

Thirty-five minutes into the show, Kerri Miller, the host, finally read a comment from an online listener that an adoptee should really be included. I had sent in a similar remark as well. Thirty-five minutes in, and it finally dawns on her that maybe adoptees should be part of the conversation. And even then it takes a listener to point it out to her.

It's not as though adoptees aren't speaking out. There are so many blogs run by adoptees. Activists working on adoptee rights. And still, otherwise competent journalists do not think to consult us about adoption.

Sometimes it feels like screaming silence to an empty room.

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Invitation

About a week ago I got an invitation from my half-brother (my father's son). Apparently they are having a family reunion this summer, and he asked me to come. He assured me that our father didn't mind if I came.

Never mind that my father has yet to call me, write me, or otherwise acknowledge me.

I would like to meet my brothers at some point. But I'm not sure why I should go all that way to meet him if he won't even contact me. I have spent years trying to get some kind of reaction from him. Still nothing. But I can act the desperate son, looking for some kind of connection no matter what. Ugh.

And I don't know that a large gathering (though I don't know how large) is the best time to meet this part of my family face-to-face. That could get overwhelming.

I do want to meet both my brothers, and this might be an ideal opportunity for that. But still... There are so many conflicting thoughts and feelings running around inside me...

Sometimes I wish I had no family at all...