Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.



Tonight I found myself watching Darryl "DMC" McDaniels' adoption story, thanks to VH1's new Rock Docs series. For those not keeping track, DMC found out at the age of 35 that he had been adopted and VH1 filmed his efforts to find his birth mother.

Adoption is all over my family. My mother neer knew her birth-father, was adopted by her step-father. She's what some call "adoptee light". My paternal grandmother was orphaned and separated from her two brothers and baby sister after being adopted out of an orphanage. My ex-husband was adopted as an infant. His adoptive mother became mentally ill and has been out of his life since he was a teen and his birth mother refused his attempt to contact her when he reached adulthood.

Everyone has a story. Sometimes our stories exert a lot of influence on us, how we see ourselves, what we're driven to achieve, what we hope and dream, how we treat ourselves and others. Some people I've known have been staggeringly adept at taking an active hand in creating their stories, dramatically shaping their lives, picking and choosing what to embrace and what to reject as being "them". Obviously, adoption is something that can throw a wrench into that standard "identity story" creation.

Around the time that I was becoming a mother myself, I was also actively interested in adoptee rights. I joined adoptee-rights organization Bastard Nation as an early supporter. I pushed for open records legislation (because I believe that if the government is keeping a record on its citizens, the citizen has a right to the record). Adoption can be a really wonderful experience, sometimes (as in the case of my friends who have adopted from China) it is both utterly life changing all around, unavoidably and forever shrouded in anonymous mystery. Still, I have a lot of sympathy for the guys like Darryl McDaniels out there, whose stories are missing chapters or turn out to be based on fabrications and the echos of missing players.


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