Double-Adoptee Indeterminacy

Quantum indeterminacy—the fundamental condition of existence, supported by all empirical evidence, in which an isolated quantum system, such as a free electron, does not possess fixed properties until observed in experiments designed to measure those properties. That is, a particle does not have a specific mass, or position, or velocity, or spin, until those properties are measured. Indeed, in a strict sense the particle does not exist until observed.

—Joint Quantum Institute
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Love and Loss and Love Again

Originally published at I wrote this piece one year ago, my first go at writing about my life as a double-adoptee, and it remains a favorite. Enjoy!

I was relinquished and placed for adoption when I was nine years old. My adopters’ names were listed as my parents on my birth certificate, they gave me a new name, and no one I previously knew as family could legally have contact with me. I was received by my adopters as if I were a blank slate, with no history of my own.

But that’s not where this story begins. Let me try again.

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The lie of adoption as I’ve lived it—that I can be compelled to call strangers mother and father and family, strangers who can dispose of me, “rehome” me when I cease to please them or serve their needs; that I exist as part of other people’s stories while robbed of a story and agency of my own—grips my heart, presses upon my chest like a fist. I struggle to breathe against its weight. I feel helpless, frozen, as the lie chokes the light from my body, severing my life into unrelated fragments.

Continue reading “Birthright”