I’ve just recently learned I was considered a ‘premium’ adoptee, a.k.a., white, healthy, in 1959. I was placed with a loving family and had a nice childhood.
So, what’s my problem? Should be grateful just to be alive, right? Even though that family disintegrated, I am.
Whether by nature or nurture, I came to question my origins, and in turn, my identity. It came early in grade school after I’d been told I was adopted and that my real name was William Donnelly. Once my classmates found out, their strange and innocent response, “That’s funny, you don’t look adopted.”, set the stage for a lifetime of physical and emotional separateness.
It led to writing, losing it at the movies, and the study of history. I became a walking contradiction. I studied history, but had no real past of my own. I put my research skills to work on the Black Death, Witchcraze, Russian Revolution, Venice and Italian history, a strange sidenote of history, Marsilius of Padua, the Islamic philosopher Averroes, and finally, me. Now finding my writing voice, I am embracing both history and my own past, and finding the strands of issues surrounding adoption and adoptees weaving their way into my tales.