Declined

A few months ago, I was approached by a local journalist interested in learning more about my adoption story. I agreed to meet the journalist, without having any expectations. I simply thought the journalist wanted to hear my opinion on international adoption, but I was mistaken. The project proposed was something I had never imagined: documenting my search and possible reunion with my birth family in Ethiopia.


Up until very recently, I thought searching would be futile, given the incredibly small amount of potentially flawed information I have (I have to say that it’s mainly my anger at this injustice which has been fueling my desire to search.)


Searching with a journalist seemed to have many perks: potentially free travel to and in Ethiopia, paid private investigators and translators, and most importantly, a platform to talk about adoptee experiences and the difficulty realities of searching and possible reunion. I also thought I might have more access to more information if I searched with a journalist—it might just elevate my status a little from being just another lost ferendji adoptee searching for her roots. I was nervous at the thought of having the world in on such a personal journey—a journey that I did not feel ready to embark on at this time. Still, the benefits of searching with a reporter seemed to outweigh my inner ambivalence: I didn’t want this opportunity to pass me by!


I accepted the offer on the grounds that I would be sacrificing my privacy for the greater good of teaching others about the injustices of the adoption industry and its unethical practices. Yet the pros I had tallied up in my head did not quiet the cons that I felt; I continued to have an underlying uneasiness about my decision, so I made a quick and rather spontaneous decision to cancel the project. The truth is, I did not just get cold feet. It was the thought that another person would be writing