Dear Adoption, [You] Sure Have a Way of Complicating Matters
I don’t know where to begin and maybe that is a common difficulty being adopted and not knowing about your roots and who gave birth to you. The story of mine is one being told and retold. Who am I? It seems to be a never-ending question. My identity, I can say for sure, is not only reflected in the now, but in the past as well and this is where [You] have somehow broken and distorted the chronological line. Going back in time is never an easy task and [You] often hinder it by great walls, secrets and lies. While there are times when the past somehow invites you to share in its knowledge (no thanks to [You], I might add), on a broader scale, it seems to be in the minority when it does happen.
I have no clear memory when my quest for truth and roots began, but I am certain it has somehow always been in the back of my mind. Maybe I have been less outspoken before about [You] as compared to my now, post teenage-years, and maybe as a whole I have been less vocal about my own self than I have about the system. Of course, and [You] very well know this, these are not separate entities. They are so intertwined with one another that it would be impossible to address one without the other. The very foundation of who I am is built upon a structure, which you have set up, and to deny that is to deny my very existence as an adopted person.
I am not saying our lives must revolve around [You] who has put us in this situation, at all times. The fact is, nonetheless, that there has been a separation that [You] cannot just ignore although I know [You] want to. Sure, we all have a different approach to our destiny and what I have written here is solely my own personal perspective.
Now on being a transracial adoptee, I will say this… That [You] somehow erase discrimination and create rainbow-families where everyone is treated equal is nothing but a big myth. Many adoptees encounter racial discrimination, which often goes unnoticed because the adopted person experiencing it is frequently isolated when incidents occur. On the one hand, they must mask themselves as being just like everyone else and on the other they are being othered due to their ethnic differences. And altogether adoptees are often met with colorblind racism by their own adoptive families and peers. I know this is hard for [You] to comprehend, but don’t worry [You] certainly aren’t the only one.
I know [You] do not remember me. How could [You]? After all, I am just a number from a distant past and [Your] counting stopped a long time ago.
Still, let me see if I can refresh [Your] memory. I was a South Indian boy about 3 years old when we first met. [You] even followed me overseas to another country where [You] had me become a transracial adopted person. [Your] job was to make me adapt and not ask too many questions. [Your] mission would otherwise be incomplete. [You] never considered that I would grow up and continue questioning what transpired when and before I met [You].
Yours Sincerely, [No. 140 of 1978]
R. Casper Andersen is an international adoptee from India. He currently resides in
Denmark. Casper is passionate about India, language, drawing, and social science.
His work has been featured in the book, Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists. Find more of Casper’s work at A Journey Through the Life of an Indian Adoptee.