Guest Post By: Angela Tucker
This weekend Closure screened on the campus of Colorado Heights University near Denver during the African Caribbean Heritage Camp, which attracts trans-racial families from all over the United States.
I sat in the very back of the theater during the screening, briefly glancing up to watch and relive parts of the documentary, but largely I texted my mom and a friend the whole time. If i was paying attention, I undoubtedly would've heard sniffles and saw people quietly digging in their purses for Kleenex. Instead, I sat oblivious to the mounting emotions, successfully distracting myself by texting others and questioning the possible impact. I wondered if the adoptive parents were simply enjoying some downtime and using the film to have an hour and a half of R&R away from their children. I wondered if some parents would walk out of the film early, preferring to watch their child engage in an African dance class for the first time, or participate in learning how to make Chapati. It's sufficient to say that I was blindsided by the magnitude of emotion to come.
During the closing credits, I quietly made my way to the front of the theater, preparing to address the audience for a (what I thought would be short) Q & A. Bryan and I stood up together while hearing the audience clapping. I became momentarily stunted with shock as I looked up to see the entire audience on their feet clapping and wiping the tears from their eyes. The questions, comments and remarks that followed were incredibly kind, positive and felt to be a collective "thank you" and "congratulations." I'm beginning to understand that the adoption community is ready to delve in to the topics surrounding race relations, search and reunion, and family. I'm glad that Closure has seemed to offer a raw, visual and emotional storyboard prompt for these necessary conversations.
A few hours later, I participated in an adult adoptee panel which consisted of myself and Rhonda Roorda, an author of three books on transracial adoption, and seasoned keynote speaker. The attendees peppered us with meaningful questions on topics that would be directly impactful to the lives of their children. I was encouraged to hear such thoughtful questions, as it is so evident that the adoptive parents understand their role, white privilege, and genuinely want what's best for their minority children. I am proud to offer a perspective for these beautiful families as they navigate the world as a trans-racial family.