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The Real Family Project: Being Thankful for Birthdays


We are pleased to present posts by StoryCenter staff, storytellers, colleagues from partnering organizations, and thought leaders in Storywork and related fields.

The Real Family Project: Being Thankful for Birthdays

Root Barrett

Every time I'm on Facebook I notice who is having a birthday.  Social media is mainly distracting, but that little convenience, being reminded about a friend's birthday, somehow balances out the distractions.  It feels great to say Happy Birthday to someone every day of the year.

I believe all lives deserve a shout out, at least once a year, if not 365, by a large number of people, who simply say, it is great you exist.

Tatiana turns 42 on Wednesday, November 26.  In 1972, that date was on a Sunday.  I imagine myself that weekend in 1972, aware that the birth mother was preparing to have a child, perhaps she had gone into labor the day before.  I had asked to be there, but perhaps the home where Tatiana was born was not so keen on the idea of the birth dad's being present, or perhaps it was decided by our parents it was not the best.  I know I never saw Tatiana at birth.  I wonder what that would have been like.

It was last year on my birthday when I made the decision to register with the Texas Adoption Registry to find Tatiana.  So much has happened in those 10 months.

As we work on The Real Family Project and continue this fundraising campaign we are reminded a great deal about missing each other's 40+ years of shout outs.  Of birthday celebrations.   We can not get those back.  Neither can many birth parents and adoptees who remain separated from the legacy of closed adoption.  That little note, Happy Birthday, back and forth, might be all each person needs.  A bit of recognition.  A bit of expressed love and affection.  

In a world more committed to the destigmatization of children being born out of marriage, a world where adopting families and birth parents can find a way to keep channels of communication open, in a world where adoptees rights as humans are put first, not as an afterthought, but as the basis of this sacred exchange; then the exchange of birthday wishes would be assured.

I am asking you to help us to extend our conversation about our experiences around adoption to the larger discussion of constructing family.  Every contribution of $10/$25/$50/$100/$500/$1000 makes a difference.  We are close to 50% of our goal already!

So celebrate Tatiana's birth, and celebrate this project, by sending us your generous contribution.

Happy Thanksgiving break to those friends in the United States!

Joe Lambert