Friday, July 9, 2010


My self-imposed writing retreat has gone well so far. It has been helpful that the weather here has been atrociously hot and humid, so going outside to play has not been much of a temptation. For the whole first week, I took advantage of my overly air conditioned college office, even wearing a sweater for most of the day as I huddled over my computer.

This week I have been less disciplined, but I got enough done to give a draft to a lovely writer friend who stopped by for a visit on her way to England. I'm planning to get back in the saddle next week.

Sometimes I feel ridiculous writing a book while the publishing industry as we know it is imploding, but I have lots of friends who are publishing books as we speak, and I do think that what I have to say about adoption and identity is important. There is still so much resistance to accepting that the adopted person's psyche is different than the non-adopted person's. And I want to bust that resistance.

I started this blog to try to generate a conversation about the issues relevant to adult adoptees, but it's been difficult; adoptees who read it say "Yep, I'm with you," and non-adoptees either disagree or are silent. Mostly.

Anyone want to chime in?


coruscate said...

Well, being a soul who skipped adoption in this life, all I have to leverage is compassion and the empathy of being human. So "Yep, Im with you" but I should qualify that by saying I think everyone's psyche is different and their physical bodies, environment, experience and culture inform that psyche. Being adopted is a significant part of your psyche. You being adopted is a significant part of my psyche. I also believe that lumping and splitting psyches into different groups can be a useful method or tool to sorting people and patterns into meaningful lessons of understanding, just as I believe lumping and splitting species helps us sort the natural world. But the species is only part of the understanding of the organism. A convenient tag that identifies a thread of relationships in an ecosystem--a crutch for our feeble brains to help understand. So my question is, using this geeky metaphor, are you trying to describe the psyche of the adopted as a species or are you more interested in the ecosystem of the adopted? I'm sure it is both, but does awareness of this help the process of your investigatory writing when using such a metaphor? If silence is perceived from the un-adopted side, is it agreement, indifference, disagreement, or a failure of tools or skills to articulate feelings to a thoughtful conversation? Be curious and brave, I'm sure there are many who are "with you" wherever they align on this topic because simply you're great.

Andrea said...

Oh, Joe:
You're so excellent. I miss you! Thanks for always reading my blog and always being brave enough to stick your non adopted neck out. xoxo

Soon I'll post a little snippet I've written about the ecosystem of the adopted. Let me know what you think.

Linda said...

I just discovered your blog. We have much in common. I am also an adoptee and I am working on a book as well. I've read through a few of your posts (I will be back to read more!) and it sounds like we both have many of the same thoughts and feelings.

Andrea said...

Hi, Linda:
Welcome! So glad you found me. I just took a quick look at your blog and am eager to spend some time there when I have a few moments. I hope you keep coming back and that we can create a conversation of the type I describe in this post.

Leslie M-B said...

Absolutely an adopted person's psyche is different from a non-adopted person's. Such an assertion always made logical sense to me--and then I married an adopted person.

Everyone's experiences are different, of course, and influenced deeply by family attitudes toward adoption, but I wonder how the child's age at adoption affects people as well. It seems natural that someone who was adopted at birth would be curious about, or long to meet, his adopted parents--but I can say with great certainty that baby Pete's 14 months in an orphanage made an indelible mark on his soul.

Your thoughts?

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Andrea said...

You make a good point; the age at which a person was adopted surely affects him or her in a huge way. I had forgotten that Pete was in a orphanage for 14 mos. I'm sure he had a very different experience than I did as a newborn. Thanks for reading!

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