My Film Review
Left to right
Laura Callen, Creator of Adoption Museum Project. Me. Sami Khan, Writer/Director. Zoë Klein, Adoption Museum Project staff, friend, and support.
Since my latest blog was shared on Dear Adoption, some confusion and rumors have been present among my family and friends.
I received emails and phone calls asking if I was moving to India forever. I was a bit surprised because not once did I mention the word moving or forever. After talking to my sister about it and reading my words again, I realized that there may have been a couple things that set the tone and created an image of me moving back to India forever. Allow me to clarify.
Mentioning that I have a one-way ticket to India I’m sure didn’t make sense to a lot of people. When I was originally planning my trip through Southeast Asia, I knew that I wanted to start in India, finish in another country and then head back to the US. The first ticket I purchased was from San Francisco to Mumbai. My heart sank and I wrote my last blog. At that point, I didn’t know where else I wanted to go and when I was coming back.
Another contributing factor is the meaning of the word home. For most people living in the same country that they were born in may see themselves as having one home. For me, I was born in India and grew up in the US, so I call both India and the US my home. For me to state, “I am going back home,” simply means that I am going back to my first home, whereas for someone that claims they only have one home may see my use of the word home as meaning forever.
This is a dilemma that some adoptees battle with. Where is home? Which one is home? Which one is my family? Do I have to choose one? Why cant I have/claim both families? Do I have two birth certificates? Do I have two birthdays? Do I have two names? Can I have two homes?
Now that I am out on my own, it is my responsibility to build a bridge between my two selves and between my two homes.
My dear friend, Reshma wrote the following letter to me after I expressed some anxiety about my trip back to India…
So much to take on but I know you will RISE. YOU WILL RISE! And if your instincts don’t kick in as quickly as you would like or in the way you hope, you’ll be resourceful. And then they WILL kick in. If anybody has got this YOU have got this. You already made the decision and that’s a pretty tough, bad ass part of this whole thing. My girl, you will RISE. It’s where you’re supposed to be. In this time. In this body. In this emotional, physical, and spiritual place. This is the time for YOU in INDIA!
My contribution to Dear Adoption,
I am returning back home to Goa, India.
Dear Adoption, I’m Going Back Home
My passport was renewed. Renunciation of Indian citizenship was approved. Travel visa was granted.
I was sitting in my loft on a Saturday afternoon staring at the computer screen as each travel site loaded. I had been building the courage to actually purchase plane tickets for a few days by that time. My anxiety had kicked in and my emotions were rolling deep. I needed to surrender to the internal pull and return home again.
I found a one way flight to Mumbai. I read and re-read all the details, filled in my personal information and clicked “Purchase.” There it was, my confirmation number. It was official, I was going back home to India.
As I was sitting there, turning my desires into reality, I began to laugh and eventually my giggles turned to tears. I took a deep breath and sat with the…
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I am honored to be collaborating with The Adoption Museum Project on November 12th when they co-present the beautiful film, Khoya at the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival. I will help create a larger conversation about adoption following the screening with writer/director, Sami Khan and the audience.
ABOUT THE FILM
Khoya (Lost) is the story of an Indian, transracial adoptee who grows up in Canada and returns to search for his birth family in India. The story is told from the adopted person’s perspective, and it points to some of the complexities and challenges of international adoption. This is a fictional story inspired by the filmmaker’s personal experience as the son of a first/birth parent. It’s a highly evocative film featuring stunning cinematography.
“A few years ago I learned that I had a long-lost brother, living somewhere in the world. He was put up for adoption ten years before I was born. When I began the process of looking for my brother, I was struggling to reconcile the conflicting emotions I was experiencing. Khoya came out of that process. It was a way for me to sort out those complex feelings of loss and longing and to make sense of them.” – Sami Khan, Writer/Director
Buy DISCOUNTED tickets and join us:
I am going through a separation; the final separation.
It was about two weeks ago that I called my ex-boyfriend who just moved back home to Indiana. We had talked about me visiting him and possibly meeting in Chicago. I made some arrangements and gave him a call. He gave me the worst news. He was in a new relationship. I dug deep and expressed some genuine feelings of happiness for him, but my feelings on the surface were quite different.
First girlfriends have always been very difficult for me. I tend to analyze myself and how I was in the relationship. Was this another relationship where I always left first in fear that he would leave me again? Yes. Did we trust each other? No; trust was broken very early on in our relationship and trust continued to be broken throughout the four years. Did I love him? Yes. Was I selfish? Yes. I have noticed that being in grad school had a big part in my choices; my choices to choose me instead of us. Did my adoption journey have something to do with my push back? Yes. I don’t think I understood how to love anybody else because I lacked love for myself.
I will admit, these last few years as I tried to make sense of my loss and really accept that I have no access to my family lineage hasn’t created the best opportunity to love myself. I looked to my college and career success as a way to love myself, which is why I chose to be selfish while I was in school. But there’s so much more than degrees and finding a job.
He was right in many ways when we reflected on our four year on and off again relationship during our last phone call and text messages. I didn’t want to be with him in a real way. I have thought about his words and what that means to me. I agree, but didn’t stop there. I asked myself why, why did I not commit to him the way that he deserved? The way that we both deserved.
I cannot change what happened, but I do know how I want to change today. My feelings about a relationship and commitment has shifted and I am now ready to admit out loud what it is that I want, what I am ready for, what I deserve and hope for.
I want a real relationship too. I want to build on trust, transparency, respect, and love. I want to commit. I want to stay and not run when arguments arise. I want to give and receive love. I want to feel like I deserve love. I want to make sacrifices. I want to compromise. I want to take risks. I want to feel, and not think so much. I want to admit that I need help. I want to balance my independence and a partnership. I want to build a home and a family together. I want to open myself up and allow love in.
He was caring, loving and very patient. He is greatly missed. Now, I just need to snap out of it and stop hoping that he will text me.