The Time is Now

The time has come. Let me break down the timeline.
On September 29, 2020, I listened to an episode of the storytelling podcast, Risk!, and, to my surprise, heard the tragic story of a failed adoption by a woman named Laura Ford who attempted to adopt two brothers, eight and nine years old, out of foster care. In hindsight, in light of what I’ve since learned about the nature of relinquishment and attachment trauma, I feel appalled by all that Laura fails to understand about the behavior of these two children and the issues she ought to have anticipated. Be that as it may, at the time of listening, her story simply pierced my heart and brought me back to the horror of undergoing adoption when I was nine years old. I knew in that moment that the pain I carry from two relinquishments and adoptions is too much for me to bear alone. I need help. I need community. That same day, I googled “adoptee podcast,” found Adoptees On, and immediately started binge-listening through past episodes.
Sara Easterly, author of the adoptee memoir, Searching for Mom, was one of the first people I met through Adoptees On, and we immediately struck up a rapport over common interests. A couple months later, I asked her if she knew of any adoptee writing groups, prompting her to start one herself, Adoptee Voices, which has been my primary writing community over the past year. Being able to share my writing with other adoptees and receive encouragement and validation, and especially, for me to write from my experience as a double-adoptee and have adoptees of all stripes respond, “Yes, me, too. I feel that, too,” has been immensely healing, and a confirmation of the value of my words for others.
Alongside my writing, through Adoptees On, I also discovered my current therapist, an adoptee who is a frequent guest of the podcast, with whom I started working in October, 2020. Since then, both Adoptee Voices and therapy—among other forms of participation in the adoptee community—have nurtured me, taught me, mirrored me, and brought me to this point in time when I am finally able to say: I am ready. I am ready to sit down and write the book that I have daydreamed of writing for a decade. The time is now.
This Sunday is Pentecost, the day we receive the Divine Spirit anew as like “tongues of fire,” and on the following day, Monday, I start typing out my memoir. I face the same challenges I tried to address in some of my posts here: how do I write my story when adoption and other forms of trauma have cut my story into fragments, some of which I was compelled to forget for other people’s benefit? How do I recall my childhood when there are so few people left to remember it with me, when my own memories are so piecemeal, episodic, uncertain, with little sense of coherence? How do I write myself into coherence when even the State of New York sees me as if I were three different people, each issued his own birth certificate, with his own unique name and set of parents, yet only one of those people is considered to officially exist today!? This is precisely the creative adventure I intend to embark upon.
Until now, I have only written sporadically, in a-thousand-words-or-less chunks, when inspiration strikes or when I am prompted in a writing group. So I will have to change my habits. But I am both thrilled and terrified to begin! What has stopped me in the past has been that the challenge of writing a book seemed too daunting, even impossible. Now I trust that I just need to take the first step, and then the step after that, and keep going. And I am not alone in this endeavor. With adoptee friends and support, I have the best of company by my side.
I may or may not continue to blog through this process. I really don’t know. In any case, I give myself permission to focus exclusively on memoir writing if that is what I need. In the meantime, I thank you for accompanying me thus far, and I will keep you posted on my progress!

2 thoughts on “The Time is Now

  1. Sue

    Julian this is wonderful news.

    For me I would have to say the piecemeal is so much a part of our story, and so much of what we love to see with other adoptees to feel validated. We have spent our lives fitting in so much that we lost ourselves, and arrive at a point where we have no idea who we are. Being a chameleon is hard work.

    I can’t wait to read your book. I feel connection through adoptee stories.

    Good luck, you’ve got this!


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