Mid-January, Bryan and I traveled to the Northeast to do a short tour with the film, meeting with adoption professionals, writers and others prior to the screenings of Closure. Thank you to the many folks who played a role in allowing these memories to be made, wonderfully challenging and respectful conversations surrounding the ethics of transracial adoption to be had and new meaningful friendships to have been forged.
We are so grateful for these experiences, but find even more meaning in knowing that the film is affecting others and is spurring on conversation. Fellow transracial adoptee, Susan Harris O’Connor mentioned to me before we went on stage for the Q&A that in all of her years speaking about adoption, she’d never been on a panel made up exclusively with transracial adoptees (myself and April Dinwoodie – pictured below). What a success! On a daily basis, I receive wonderful messages from so many folks from around the world – making it clear to me that many folks are ready to further the adoption discourse. This makes me so proud to be a part of this film that allows space for these conversations to be had in mature and meaningful ways. Here’s an anonymous sampling of notes that come our way:
Thank you so much for your inspiration. Seeking truth and pushing past old secrets brought pain to the surface, encouraged release, and relief. Your love, for each other, for all members of your whole family, led to more love. Thank you, thank you, thank you. —anonymous
I have now watched this film three times, and each time I do I am amazed by something more that I have taken away from it. Last night, it was your adoptive mom…and her gracious, warm, open and loving heart. Watching her love and support you though this was touching and I was very struck by the part of the film where when talking with your birth aunt she deflected away from the negativity and brought the conversation back to you, and your purpose in your search! Go mom!! —adoptive mother
One of the most poignant for me is how really amazing it is to see this sort of story told in this way. The participants put themselves on the screen and allowed all those of the world a peek into this incredibly emotional journey. In the past couple of months I’ve drawn away from blogging, the only way I can describe what I’ve been going through is that my world of adoption has had a growth spurt of sorts, and much like how I always responded to physical growth spurts while I was growing up, I’ve turned inward and gotten quiet. This movie was a reminder of the power in using my voice to tell my story. — A birthmother
I was very impressed by how gracefully Bryan handled the camera and his presence in so many intimate (and tenuous) family moments. I’m amazed that this is his first film and that he’s never had any formal training. —A filmmaker
As I get older, the pain of my closed adoption grows more because I now have children of my own, who want to know as well…because I don’t know from whence I came, I feel like I am not as completely here as I should feel. Good or bad, the need to know has not diminished for me, and neither has the sense of grief and loss. — An adoptee