Some families know adoption. Sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews – all can trace their blood-lines to a terminus other than their own. Our own family is one of them. Who we are and where we come from can be a bit more complicated for some of us than others. Moreover, some of us care, a lot – really, a lot, unable to sleep, obsession, a lot – while others of us dismiss the whole affair as if the past is as irrelevant as 1950s morals at a Kardashian family reunion.
“Long Lost Family” on cable television undertakes to unearth the buried past of exploring adoptees. It films the search of adults seeking their own now, even more adult, progenitors. The “birth-parents” may or may not be friendly to being “discovered” by their biological children. With the passage of time (one would hope), perspectives have matured and folks are better prepared to reconcile their own complicated pasts. The stories are varied, but all are emotional.
How is it that we define who we are? Some is by what we do. Some is by where we spend our time. Some is by how we live. Yet context cannot complete the picture. There is more to the portrait. Who do we believe we are? Certainly, what others think matters; but it is our own perception that colors the scene.
What is our story? What is our past? Can our history help predict our future? Adopted or not, what do we really know about our history? Can we adopt a future? Some of us are completely disinterested in anything in the rear-view mirror; while others cannot move forward without full knowledge. How can we get to our destination if we don’t know where we are? Perhaps, we each decide our own story – if not the text, then certainly the interpretation.