Hello, My name is Kurt Rosenwinkel

We step into the Village Vanguard on a Tuesday night: my first night in New York City. The intensely humid, hot air from the city manages to slink with us down the stairs, but it is halted abruptly at the door. Air conditioning. It is a dark and brilliant thing to be within the Vanguard’s walls. This is what going to church must be like for the most pious of believers. Tonight: Paul Motian, Enrico Pierunanzi, and Marc Johnson play in trio. Enrico is an old Italian and so, I’m familiar with his ways. My adoptive mother’s family is Italian....

Guest Post By Eva Song Margolis

For Mothers Who Share Their Sons After DeathBy Eva Song Margolis After the inconceivable phone call,viewing what broken pieces remain of her child,after the burialthe lawyers & the advocatesa mother, still mourning her son,speaks to insane-made-normal lies. They told her:Trayvon Martin armed himself with concreteOscar Grant deserved to be “tasered”Vincent Chin could have died by striking his head on the concreteFong Lee would have lived a short life anyways ‘cause he was in a gangKenneth Chamberlain should have opened his doorAmadou Diallo looked suspect on his stoop They told her:othersrandidn’t belongor belonged too muchdidn’t pull over, put down, hush, kneel,...

Going “Home”

It’s been 38 years since I left Korea. I was 4 then. I returned this past summer for my first time, and I was really apprehensive and a bit scared to go back. I’ve heard mixed reviews regarding the experiences of adoptees that return to Korea. The “insensitive” depiction of adoptees in the Korean media has been the topic of discussion on this site and others. I have also spoken to adoptee friends who have returned, and their accounts have ranged from wonderful to horrible. Research on the topic of returning Korean adoptees presents a similar mixed bag of experiences....

Grateful Adoptee

The last love letter he wrote me was a thank you card. In every possible action, our love and gratitude was inextricable, despite the societal sicknesses that divided us by race, gender, and landscape. Ross, who I described as my anti-racist white boyfriend, did his best to love me for the three years in which I purchased three one-way tickets to Korea. Each time, he drove me to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport, carried my baggage, and kissed me farewell on my journey into adoptee activism. One year ago, we finally tired of the ritual, and parted ways in love and...

Finding My Place Amidst Identity Politics in Canada

It may seem strange, but I feel a bit confused every time someone refers to me as Canadian or Ethiopian-Canadian. Yes, I was born in Ethiopia, raised in Canada, but I’m from Québec—Canada’s only majority-speaking French province. Québec has its own separate identity apart from Canada, one that it is very proud of! Québec’s culture, language, and legal systems reflect its colonial ties to France; the other provinces reflect their British origins. Québec also has a different relationship with Canada and the federal system compared to its counterparts. Most French-speaking Québécois, who make up the majority, do not consider themselves...

Finding Home

Home. It’s a word that brings a smile to many and is supposed to offer a sense of warmth and comfort. But identifying and defining home becomes a struggle for many students during their college years. Often times, we have lived in the same house or state all of our lives until we come to college. We have friends and fond memories associated with this one very special place. Once on campus, though, it’s a whole new adventure filled with intriguing people who have come together in a very intentional community. The experiences we have with our fellow students are...

Film

For this issue’s cover story, we contacted the individuals behind three adoptee-centric films and asked them to share their thoughts: Why did they decide to make their documentaries? What was the process? And what do they hope the films accomplish? Their responses are below. As an added bonus, they agreed to share their work with you: Closure, in its entirety; the Gazillion Voices exclusive clip of the forthcoming YOU FOLLOW: a search for one’spast; and the animated short film Juxtaposed are available here FREE until June 4th. Enjoy. Closure Closurescreened in front of its first audience one year ago at...

Feel the Burn

I’m strangely relieved. Listening to the stories and experiences of adult transracial adoptees, I frequently feel a jolt that inevitably gives way to a strange relief. I’ve come to recognize that burning jab: the flash of fear, of pain – that’s my defenses kicking in. Like an autoimmune response, fight or flight: “Must get away … must argue … must rationalize …” My feeble mind tries to control reality because I’m scared. I’m scorched by their fire, but I’m learning to let it burn. Some (there I go again – no – a lot) of what adult adoptees have shared...

Film Essays & Serial Novel

Here are a couple of pictures from John Sanvidge‘s upcoming film essays, featuring Julie Young of Korean American Story and Chef Alex Pilas of Eataly. Plus, following up on the success of Parenting As Adoptees, next week CQT Media and Publishing and Land of Gazillion Adoptees (LGA) will release Shannon Gibney’s YA serial Hank Aaron’s Daughter on Gazillion Voices. An excerpt: ___________________________________________________ The record-breaking game was by far my favorite tape, though another one that Dad had of Hank explaining the spate of hate letters he received from people around the country who didn’t want him to break the record...

Exploring Countertransference in the Adoption Community

Written with deep gratitude to Joy Lieberthal-Rho, Kat Nielsen, and Martha Crawford. As a budding psychotherapist who has shared adoption in common with clients, I approach this work with a nuanced lens. Yet still I am challenged to manage strong emotions evoked by my clients’ narratives of adoption trauma, loss, and grief. My first therapy session with a fostered youth was my first and most powerful experience with countertransference. In a brief moment of silence I became wholly and powerfully filled with anxiety and sadness—the space between us heavy and charged with emotion. These sensations filtered through my experiences as...