Tuesday, July 29, 2008

virginia wolfe's room has broken angels

In reading, researching and writing about adoption, adoptee's rights, baby brokering and probing into my own family history, I'm unearthing details I couldn't write for fiction. This space - my blog- I think of as an online "room of one's own". And that is two-fold: it is the place where I can express my thoughts, and it is actually about my history. Not the one I've created but about my creation. Where I am from. All of those N/A's on my registry papers.

On Saturday morning I woke up and dug into a large tub filled with negatives and photos. On top of the tub was a Converse sneaker box filled with mostly letters from my friend Gillian, concert ticket stubs from high school and college, and some random photos. The first thing my hand pulled from the box were a group of photos stuck together from age. The photos were from different years, different subjects - I had never put them in this order- but they were together for a reason. A polaroid of me at 7 months (clearly marked in my 8 year old cursive), a self portrait in a white sequin tank top and a pink tiara from college where I had added wings and the word "angel" across my head in white out, and a snapshot of me as tinkerbell in a flying accident, our friend Bryan and David at Barney's Beanery on Halloween after my car accident in 1999. I had eccentuated the bruises on my face and had band aids on my arms. One of my wings was broken.

So what was similar about the polaroid baby photo? There were no angels in the photo, unless you count children as angels, which according to my parents and friends of the family, I was the most good natured baby and well behaved child. That's not it though. It is the bruising around my face, as if I had been in an earlier flying accident. This was no accident though, no normal child bruising. A doctor could tell me what I already know. How far back do you remember? Some things leave permanent marks.

And so if there is any grey matter with SM, it is that his "practice" whether it served people well, was still the selling of babies, not to people who were necessary perfect parents - he wasn't in the business of determining that. Did I have opportunities created by my parents economic status? yes. Did I get to become who I am today because of it? no. I have gotten to where I am despite it.
This is going to be a very nasty road to dig up. I hope we - adoptees and birth parents separated- find it worth it all.