Closure screened at the Minnesota Transracial Film Festival to a nearly full audience this past weekend. We spent the following day as guests at the Adoption Policy and Reform Collaborative Conference - the first ever adoptee led conference of its kind. It was well attended and packed with excellent panels of adoption professionals, therapists, researchers, educators and activists. Our trip to Minneapolis was one to remember!
For me, the highlight was seeing my wife Angela, surrounded by a sea of other adult adoptees. Each came from different backgrounds, and have different views on adoption – nonetheless, it was a joy to witness the comfort they felt with each other. Angela often speaks of how adoptees are put in difficult situations of managing others expectations and emotions. If adoptees choose to search for birth parents, they may feel the pressure to assure their adoptive parents that they aren’t being “replaced,” and in an effort to maintain positive relationships with birth parents, they might feel pressured to suppress any negative feelings about relinquishment, so as not to make their birth mother/father feel uncomfortable. As a non-adopted person, I can see that’s a difficult tightrope to walk. In addition, adoptees sometimes feel pressured to “educate” prospective adoptive parents by sharing the challenges that come with being transracially adopted. Being around other adoptees, I knew it was one of the rare times she would not feel any of these pressures.
One unexpected highlight of the weekend was meeting and spending time with Jenni “Fang” Lee, known by many from the documentary: Somewhere Between. The three of us laughed a lot, talked politics, and conversed about heavy and light topics alike – and none of us wanted our time together to end! Angela and Fang got along like kindred spirits, who shared a greater commonality than just being adopted – both have had intimate parts of their lives shared on camera for public critique and consumption.
I’m thankful for where we have traveled and screened the film this month of November. Strangers (new friends) helped bring Closure to both Indianapolis and Webster, New York. My family and hometown community came together for a screening in Santa Rosa, California and with the help of a magazine article we also screened at Seattle Pacific University. National Adoption Month will come to a close for us on Thursday in Seattle and Friday in Chico, CA.
Our DVD/digital download will be released through our website starting December 1st, just in time for Christmas!