Introduction: Rewriting Adoption
“Telling our stories often means pushing past the easy platitudes.”
I never read any books by and about adopted people when I was growing up. And yet so many of the adoptees I know today are natural storytellers. I sometimes wonder if this is because we never had a choice: We have been explaining our lives, our families, and our histories for as long as we can remember.
You were small. You were sick. They didn’t have much money. They were sad to give you up.
I know we all did our best. I never minded. I’ll always be grateful.
I had read my adoption story to a roomful of people who had started from scratch, who had no personal connection to adoption that I knew of, and it had been excruciating—but in the end, they had understood. I had helped them understand.
I want to find my birth parents.
AnnieThe Face on the Milk Carton.
Nicole Chung’s debut memoir All You Can Ever Know will be published in October 2018. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Times Magazine, GQ, Longreads, BuzzFeed, and Hazlitt, among many others. She is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine and the former managing editor of The Toast. Find her on Twitter: @nicole_soojung
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Adoption is one of those forks in the road where many of us try to glimpse through the trees to the other path, the other world.