How will it end? The end.

October 7, 2013 in Conversations by flokoul

This entry is part 14 of 14 in the series Flokoul

In re-reading what I’ve shared here in this blog over the past few months (it was supposed to only last the month of July!), I’m reminded of my wayward, winding path, and I’m left to wonder if a lot of us adoptees, Latino/a or otherwise, have a similar crooked path?  Today, I saw the mother of one of my son’s former classmates.  Her daughter was adopted from Guatemala.  I hadn’t seen the girl at our public school this year, and in fact, her mother told me that she was attending a different school, a private school for kids with language-based learning disabilities.

“My” crib at St. Ann’s Infant & Maternity Home (now called “St. Ann’s Children’s Center). Doesn’t look like it’s changed since 1966 when I was there.

Sometimes, I think about all the troubles and circuitous routes I’ve experienced through the years, and I wonder about myself.  After studying special education as a master’s student, I came to feel that perhaps a learning disability was one source of my troubles.  In fact, I recall my dear professor and friend, Carol Berrigan, mother of 4 adopted children herself, telling me that kids who are adopted have a higher likelihood of having a learning disability.  If that’s been my case, I also think that I’ve developed enough coping mechanisms to negotiate my way, though again, without a straight path.  Trauma such as adoption has profound effects.

 

My favorite creation

My pains are described here as an adopted child, a Latina, and a person who has tried to search to no avail.  But as well, I hope that my self-pride has also shone through because of my fortitude that led to the successes I have accumulated, mostly independently.  Getting a PhD and becoming a professor still, even after 11 years, blows me away when I think about how my earlier life went.  It is true that very few of my peers in academia call themselves military veterans.  It is also true that few of my peers come from working class families.  I clawed my own way out of challenging circumstances, and yet, I cannot imagine that it could have been any other way.  At the apex, becoming a mother has perhaps been the most surprising and amazing experience that awaited me around one of my corners.  My kids are my life now and forever.

 

Here I am with other transracial adoptees meeting with Ambassador Susan Jacobs at the State Department. She is special advisor to the Secretary (of State) on children’s issues. It was a privilege to be in their company, and soon enough, I hope to actually have something to contribute to the conversation.

I love my creative life that goes beyond definition.  I love the fact that I considered myself, lovingly, a freak when I was a teenager.  And now, at this stage of my life, I am a staunch defender of all that is different.  I was born that way, and will remain that way forever.

LADs (a.k.a. Latino/a adoptees), have you learned to love yourself DESPITE all that instability in our foundation?  Have you embraced your brown skin in solidarity with those we pass by because we cannot communicate smoothly?  In what ways does personal expression add in our growth toward self-love and respect?

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