By Andy Hill
Truly I do not know who I am. I know parts of what make up this body, this vessel of my life’s essence. What I don’t know are the remnants of the ancestors that I carry. I am lost in this; I have become lost where I had thought I had been found. Lived my life with a family that I called home, they weren’t.
In writing the first part of my adoption autobiography, I tip-toed and at times deleted my true feelings of growing up, not knowing who I was, let alone why I was. I allowed that staged life with all its props to be my truth on paper while in my heart and head I was screaming NO, NO, NO, this is not who I was, this is not who I am, this was not my life! I coated my life’s story, its memories in sticky gooey Grade A smoky maple syrup, forcing it to drip into all the dark hidden cracks and crevasses. Instead of making it all sweet to my tongue it has become bitter, darker, harder to swallow.
I am Cynthia with Two Birth Certificates
By Cynthia Lammers
"...My case worker told me I had to write a letter to my birth mother, explaining why I wanted to know her. I did this and sent it to her. Then I had to do some legal paperwork for the State of Nebraska and pay $15 to have it processed. Then I later received a phone call from my case worker, telling me to come to Omaha on a certain date. That I was not to come alone, to have a friend or family member come with me. My best friend Susan went with me to Omaha. We had no idea what this was about to happen? Was I finally going to meet my birth mother? We arrived at the address that I was given at the time they told us to be there. We were at a College Campus, in a classroom, filled with about 50- 60 people, sitting at round tables with 6-8 people at each table. We ate lunch. Then a Native American man started the meeting with a prayer. Then several different Native men and woman got up to speak, each one telling a story about their lives. The strange thing was, almost every story was almost the same about how they grew up and who they grew up with. Native people growing up in white families. We were all adopted. We all had alcoholic mothers who couldn’t take care of us. We all felt lost at some point in our lives and maybe some of us still did. We all had questions about who we really were. What was our Indian Culture or Heritage about, we didn’t know. Were we all related? Probably not, I thought to myself. Then suddenly, it hit me, I turned and looked at my caseworker from the Children’s Home. She had tears running down her face. I said to her, “You have been lying to me all these years, haven’t you?” She began to cry. I began to cry. Once I got myself back together, I told her it probably wasn’t her fault, that she was just doing her job. She’d been telling me what she was told to tell me.... "
"For Lost Birds/adoptees coming after us, when they find this new book and the earlier anthology TWO WORLDS, adoptees themselves documented this history and evidence. We have created a roadmap, a resource for new adoptees who will wish to journey back to their First Nations and understand exactly what happened and why. There is no doubt in my mind that adoption changes us, clouds the mind and steals years of our lives, but there is something non-Indians can never steal and that is our dreams and the truth we are resilient!” - Trace DeMeyer, co-editor, CALLED HOME