I come back to this discussion because in speaking with a friend recently I found myself stating the following in reply to her question asking why I stay in Lebanon:
This is the dilemma. It’s about being deemed “non-existent” by the society that acculturated me. I was taught to think that my “poor” family gave me up and that bourgeois society made a place for me. I no longer believe this. This is the sad lesson I have learned, and the horrible truth, now that it is too late to “be” someone different. Above and beyond that is the inability for me to leave, to escape, when those I feel close to here don’t have this luxury and privilege. All I want at this point is to know someone from my family before my days are done. I just want to see a face that might mirror mine. That’s it.
Is it possible I like whiskey because my biological parents were Irish? Do I have a greater propensity to speak Romanian because I overheard it in the womb (or even because my mother was Romanian)?
Previously (here and here), I asked what kind of narratives we choose (when we choose) to tell ourselves about our adoptions. Lately, this topic has resurfaced in a different form: what kinds of narratives are told about adoptees, especially in supposedly scientific research that has actually set out to answer questions like the two above. These studies aim to prove different sorts of truths about adoptees; the pitfalls and potentials involved in this are discussed in more detail here.
All of this being so, an adoptee wrote:
But beyond all of this, I want to know why, against everything having to do with my self-preservation in Lebanon, I feel a resonance in…
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