documentary

Episode #2 - The Adopted Life

In July, Bryan and I traveled to Los Angeles, where I interviewed two sets of transracially adopted siblings. All four of the teenagers had bottled up a lot of their adoption-related feelings. When their interview time came, it was as if they were ready to explode! It was an incredibly humbling experience for me to assist in allowing their truths to come out. What a privilege! 


In addition to extending positive thoughts towards these four brave individuals, I'd encourage you to use the sentiments they've shared toward the betterment of the adoption community by sharing the video with your friends and family. You never really know who may be impacted by adoption and may also find power or healing through these voices. 

In case you missed Episode #1, you can find that HERE

Sharing Your Story Alleviates Stereotypes

621a9208.jpg

In watching Chimamanda Adichie eloquently speak of The Danger of a Single Story, I couldn't help but to reflect upon my own experience with Closure. Over the past year I have felt a nagging conviction that although Closure is affecting people positively and in droves (awesome!), I often find myself editing my words during the Q&A portion after screenings of the film. I am constantly searching for the words that help to reinforce the fact that my story is just one of many unique, valuable and beautifully tragic adoption stories. I'm often asked questions such as "...has being in reunion with your birth family brought peace and happiness or more struggle and confusion?" followed by "...would you suggest all adoptees to search?"  I work really hard to consistently only answer from my experience only, hopefully helping folks to understand that my answer and this film shows only one story. That my answers are not every adoptees' answers, and that my style of searching, the age I chose to start searching etc., was simply one approach. Chimamanda's TED Talk beautifully explains the danger of attributing one single story to an entire subpopulation.

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

I found this TEDTalk to be a remarkably great reminder that although we learn a great deal by watching documentaries, reading memoirs, autobiographies and listening to keynote speeches etc., we shalt not think to apply these details to all who happen to fall within the same category. The danger in this is that by attributing my answer to all other adoptees you're branding all other adoptees as intensely curious, psychologically minded, introverted, basketball playing, pianists who are determined to respectfully find their birth families at all costs. Or that we read Night (Elie Wiesel), and that we then think of all holocaust survivors as people with a resolve to understand the inhumanity that man is capable of, or that we read The Reason I Jump, and attribute Higashida's thoughts and words to all people with autism. There is a danger in hearing and interacting with a single story and that is the risk of attributing one's story to everyone else within that category.

I am moved by the amount of adoptees I've met while since Closure debuted. So many of these adoptees stated that they felt ready and interested in sharing their own story.  Please do join me on this liberating (and scary) adventure in vulnerability.

 

Darel - A 75 Year Old Adoptee

Darel is an adoptee who felt his heart stirred with long repressed emotions after viewing Closure. Our meeting was Darel's first conversation with a fellow adoptee about his adoption story. He met his birth mother when he was 50 years old which helped him to better understand how this primal separation affected every single day of his life. His birth mother was secretly sent away to a maternity home for women who are "in trouble" (See Philomena or A Girl Like Her). Yesterday, the disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling received a punishment for his racist statements of a lifetime ban from the NBA - The sanction imposed on Darel's birthmother used language not too dissimilar - the documents state that she was to be "forever barred from raising the child." The general philosophy behind infant adoptions during the 30's and 40's was that children adopted in their early years would have absolutely no memory of their birthparents. 

I know there are other folks like Darel, whose voices are worthy to be heard. I would love to hear from other adult men who were adopted during the era of closed adoptions as it'd be so enriching for male adoptees to get to know each other and share experiences. I can't help but wonder how Darel's life may have looked had he conversed with another adoptee earlier on in his life.

 ** Filmed and edited by Bryan Tucker. **

Langston Hughes African American Film Festival

20130412-220820.jpg

CLOSURE will screen tomorrow, April 18th at 4pm in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Tickets ($10) are available at the door, or online.

In the pacific northwest, in general, people are pretty open minded. However, we are not known for being very culturally diverse. CLOSURE was chosen to be in the Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival with the looming question; Can the Caucasian husband of a trans-racial adoptee film and direct an unbiased documentary about domestic adoptions?

We hope that this film will stimulate conversation and perhaps foster change within the African-American community. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!