Double Header Day:
Folks, I've twice lost everything I have written and so I'm a little nuts...so as lightening strikes overhead I'm going to try one more time because it's important to get our voices heard when adoption reunion stories make news. Today's New York Times (8/11/08) has a story about an adoptee, Mark Cellura, who searched and found that his twin, seemingly an identical sibling, had died in 1987. Reporter Sarah Kershaw does a good job of highlighting the necessity of this man's search, and the long slog it is taking to change laws to give adoptees their birth rights. For us, the only really sorry note in the story is that Mark's mother has not responded to a letter from his intrepid searcher, Pam Slayton. (However, there is one adoptee mentioned in the story who has happily reunited, so all first mothers don't look like--jerks.
I know adopted people are afraid of rejection, but is it really any easier if it's done through a third party? Adopted people should make contact themselves, have the courage to make a phone call. Just by the mere fact of birth, they are entitled by the laws of nature one meeting, one day of answers, all truths revealed, nothing held back. This is the story of their lives. I know some of these women still say no, but I'll go out on a limb here and predict that the total reunion-rejection rate is probably lower than when the contact is made through a third person, via letter. The only exception I can feel good about is when a confidential searcher, as in some states, is also a birth mother, and is able to allay the fears of women deep in the closet.
See "In Adoptee's Search, Loss and Grief Collide" at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/nyregion/11twins.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin
So, let's use today's Times story to storm our version of the Bastille: Write to the Times (Letters@nytimes.com) and email a copy of the letter to your legislators, all of them: Your state senator and assemblyman, as well as your congressman and senator in Washington. Unless you let them know what you want, they're not going to know. Urge them to get behind a clean bill--one that gives adoptees the rights that should be theirs as a matter of course. Read about the good New York bill at: http://www.unsealedinitiative.org/
You don't have to be brilliant, you just have to voice your opinion. The more letters the Times gets, the more ink we will get in the paper. You do have to remember to include your name, address, and phone number. Be brief, but be quick. Allow yourself to get angry! Me, I'm angry at all those women in the closet. I'd like to pull them out by the short hairs and give them 40 whacks. But how do we reach them? Aye, that is the question. How do we reach them, how do we change their minds and open their hearts? Through my high school grapevine, I know of one woman from Sacred Heart High School in Dearborn, Michigan who apparently is not curious, and never looked back. How do I reach her?
But remember, Well-behaved women seldom make history.