Please help me welcome our new LGA contributor, Nisha Grayson. You may recognize Nisha and her friends from previous LGA posts, here, here, here, or here. Or, click below to learn about Nisha’s documentary film project, YOU FOLLOW: a search for one’s past and how you can help bring this story to the world.
Hello, LGA! It is nice to know that I am one of gazillion adoptees out there.
While growing up in Stockton, California, there were not many adopted children in my neighborhood or at my school. Well if there was, then nobody was talking about it. I felt like I was the only one adopted and talking about it. When I was really young in elementary school, I didn’t mind talking about my adoption because I was told I was special and that I should be proud of being adopted. I was for awhile, but it got to the point that I was so tired of explaining how I was related to my family members. I had to answer questions that always seemed to end with an answer explaining that I was adopted. “Why is your mother white?” “Oh, your father must be really dark?” “Where did you get that beautiful hair?” “Are you with them?” “Hm, you don’t speak Hindi, why not?” “So, you are adopted?”
Once I hit college, I didn’t find it necessary to have to explain if I was adopted or not. I just let them figure it out on their own. To be honest, I kind of enjoyed seeing the puzzled look on their face as they tried to put two and two together. Sometimes, folks were just too embarrassed to confirm their conclusions that I was adopted. At that point in my life, I became a little more private about my family and my adoption because I didn’t want to be labeled as an adoptee. The cause of this attitude not only sprang from being tired of explaining my adoption to strangers, but also because my grief began to arise internally and I didn’t want to deal with it until I really had to.
It wasn’t until after college, when I knew that it was time to deal and heal. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to do that, but I tried by reading books, attending therapy sessions and beginning my search for my birth mother, Amruta. Not knowing any adoptees at that time, I kept the feelings, emotions, triggers, thoughts, and questions to myself.
It is funny how we are constantly changing because I am feeling as though I shouldn’t be as private anymore. Now that the film is taking off and I am getting more familiar with the movement of adult adoptees speaking out, I know that it is my responsibility to give and become a part of the movement for future generations and also for my own healing process. After 20+ years, I am now just getting more comfortable with sharing my heart and life experiences to the public due to having an adoption support group and having conversations with other adoptees via social media. Overall, I understand that I must do my part to contribute and to help educate those that are either a part of the adoption triad themselves or those who are touched by adoption. This blog will definitely help me break through the fear and become more verbal about my life. I figure I should start now before the film comes out and the whole world sees EVERYTHING.