Sharing Your Story Alleviates Stereotypes

In watching Chimamanda Adichie eloquently speak of The Danger of a Single Story, I couldn’t help but to reflect upon my own experience with Closure. Over the past year I have felt a nagging conviction that although Closure is affecting people positively and in droves (awesome!), I often find myself editing my words during the Q&A portion after screenings of the film. I am constantly searching for the words that help to reinforce the fact that my story is just one of many unique, valuable and beautifully tragic adoption stories. I’m often asked questions such as “…has being in reunion with your birth family brought peace and happiness or more struggle and confusion?” followed by “…would you suggest all adoptees to search?”  I work really hard to consistently only answer from my experience only, hopefully helping folks to understand that my answer and this film shows only one story. That my answers are not every adoptees’ answers, and that my style of searching, the age I chose to start searching etc., was simply one approach. Chimamanda’s TED Talk beautifully explains the danger of attributing one single story to an entire subpopulation.

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

I found this TEDTalk to be a remarkably great reminder that although we learn a great deal by watching documentaries, reading memoirs, autobiographies and listening to keynote speeches etc., we shalt not think to apply these details to all who happen to fall within the same category. The danger in this is that by attributing my answer to all other adoptees you’re branding all other adoptees trans-racial adoptees as intensely curious, psychologically minded, introverted, basketball playing, pianists who are determined to respectfully find their birth families at all costs. Or that we read Night (Elie Wiesel), and that we then think of all holocaust survivors as people with a resolve to understand the inhumanity that man is capable of, or that we read The Reason I Jump, and attribute Higashida’s thoughts and words to all people with autism. There is a danger in hearing and interacting with a single story and that is the risk of attributing one’s story to everyone else within that category.

I am moved by the amount of adoptees I’ve met while since Closure debuted. So many of these adoptees stated that they felt ready and interested in sharing their own story.  Please do join me on this liberating (and scary) adventure in vulnerability.

6 thoughts on “Sharing Your Story Alleviates Stereotypes

  1. Hi Angela, I sincerely feel the real danger in “a single story” would be not sharing it at all. How else would a story be shared, except by one person at a time (i.e., singly)? Thank you for taking the time to be open, for sharing, for allowing people to simply be. Love and peace, Diana


  2. It really becomes an admonishment to the reader or viewer, doesn’t it? If this engaged you, please remember, it is just one story, and please don’t stop at one . . .


  3. I totally agree. No adoptee story is the same, and I think that as I’ve grown older my perspective has changed as well. As a transracial adoptee, I used to be angry at the world, and angry at my adoptive parents, but becoming a mother has softened my heart. Parenting a child is a hard job, and most parents do the best they can with what they have. I absolutely love reading other stories of adoptees, and I think it helps when there are more stories out there. It lends to the chorus of voices that all need to be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre
    talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting
    videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?


  5. Reblogged this on Terre Libanaise and commented:
    Partager son histoire évite les stéréotypes. “I am constantly searching for the words that help to reinforce the fact that my story is just one of many unique, valuable and beautifully tragic adoption stories” – Angela Tucker


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