Saturday, October 23, 2010

Say Your Name

Is it just me or does changing adoptee’s names remind anyone else of this scene in Roots?

This week my friend Pam just signed up for FaceBook for the first time. (She gave me permission to blog about this story.) Yeah, I know, what took her so long?  She and I were next-door neighbors.  We discovered that each of us was in some form of foster care growing up we got together with three other people and had a support group for a while, until we all fell away.  We were former foster kids after all. 

Anyway she had always known she had a younger sister (Sydney) who was given up for adoption.  Her sister’s adoptive mother sent Pam a letter and a picture of her little sister after Pam’s mother was murdered.  Apparently the adoptive mother had tried to keep in touch with her daughter’s older sister, but Pam’s step mother told her to leave Pam alone, that Pam wanted nothing to do with her.  

A few minutes after getting on FaceBook Pam searched for her sister…and fond her.  Nervous she waited until the next day to send her a friend request, which her sister immediately accepted.  A few minutes latter Pam and her sister Sydney are talking on the phone.   Sydney tells Pam that she has two more sisters that were adopted out between them.  WTF?  Pam is blown away! 

Pam’s mother named all three babies the same name at birth. What is that about we wonder?  Two of them ended up with changed names after adoption. One sister had her name changed at  four years-old Her sisters were told that their mother was killed in a car accident, not murdered.  Pam has grown up having contact with her extended family her whole life.  Nobody noticed her mother pregnant two more times?  More secrets and lies form the world of adoption and foster care.

The good news is four sisters have found each other.  Their children have three more aunts.  Three adoptees and one foster kid are piecing together the truth in a web of lies.


Linda said...

I was almost 13 years old when "Roots" came out.

I so identified with Kunta Kinte and his unwillingness to take on the name of his Master.

What was MY name? What village had I come from? Who were MY people, and MY traditions? My a family were not MY people. I was bought and paid for. While I did not suffer the cruelties African "American" slaves suffered, I was living with people to whom I did not rightfully belong.

It was shortly after seeing Roots that I first made the call to Hamilton County Vital Stats to try and get my "real" birth certificate. Yeah. I thought that was all I needed to do.

Of course, I did not get it, and then I was told I could NEVER get it. Alex Haley lit the fire under my 12 year old bastard ass to start searching for my people and know my true roots. Is it ok for me to link to your post?

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

OK? I would be honored. That is just how I see it, stripping identity of innocent victims.

My mother was actually asked what she wanted her name changed to, she picked the most white bread name she could think of, she WAS 12and wanted to fit in.

Each time I was pregnant with my 3 children I wanted to name them my mother’s original name, but she said she had given it away. I guess on some level I wanted to give it back, but I realized it may just be too painful for her. Her original name was very French, I gave each of my children French names. It wasn’t until after I named my third child Cosette that I realized that I had not only given my children the names of my beloved French characters but they were also motherless French characters. I bet a shrink would have a field day with that bit of psychology.

Linda said...

Ooooh....Cosette!! What a gorgeous name!!! And yes on the shrink thing, lol.

Von said...

You bet it reminds me and there's other similarities too.

Anonymous said...

You rock

Just Me said...

I always said that if I changed my mind and decided to have a child, I hope it would be a boy because I'd name him Jameson. That was my birthmother's last name and the last name that must be on my OBC since she didn't tell anyone who my father is/was.

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