RSS

Thoughts after watching Three Identical Strangers

28 Jan

I just watched Three Identical Strangers. I’ve known about the study for years, talked about it on this blog. Reading vs. watching the film, there is no comparison in the sheer magnitude of emotions churning inside me right now versus reading about it in a series of dry words put on paper. This isn’t a review of the film.

It happened in my era of adoption.

An era where we were listed as babies for adoption.

An era where it was thought best if there was an immediate separation between mother and child at birth.

I asked my aunt if she knew if my mother ever saw me, held me; her answer was she didn’t think so. My aunt did sneak a look at me through the window of the nursery, and then, didn’t see me again for 45 years. And seeing me then only happened because I got sick enough to warrant unsealing my adoption file.

Throughout the years I always hoped I was a twin. The day I received my original birth certificate I quickly scanned it to find out if I was named, if my date of birth was correct and to see if I was a twin, I remember being sad to be listed as a single and not to be named, but glad at least my birthday was correct. Now, after watching the film, I’m sort of glad I wasn’t a twin. In the film towards the end one person speaks about thinking that they (the triplets) weren’t able to adjust to each other because they didn’t grow up together knowing their differences, learning to compromise over the years, adjust and accept their differences, and that sounds right. Just as it is when you don’t know your siblings growing up, you don’t have common ground, knowledge, an easiness born of time spent together across decades, filled with memories that bind you together when you meet them as adults. Some relationships do thrive, some don’t, regardless, the loss of time is profound for all.

Adoption, regardless if needed, always equals loss. A loss that grows the older you get. A loss that is never completely overcome.

Adoption must be the last resort, always.

 

 

 
19 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2019 in Adoption

 

Tags: , , ,

19 responses to “Thoughts after watching Three Identical Strangers

  1. Lara/Trace

    January 28, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    Tao, I just saw it today. I had read reviews. I have more and more questions as I am sitting here. Let’s dialog about this. My email: laratrace@outlook.com

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Julie McGue

    January 28, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    I am a twin and my sister and I were adopted together I have seen this film and wrote a post about it http://juliemcgueauthor.com The pain of adoption is one thing but being separated from an identical sibling is like removing an integral coping mechanism. So grateful for the blessing of my sister! Heart breaking what has come to light with these three brothers as a psych experiment.

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • TAO

      January 28, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      Julie, I am so happy you were adopted together, I’d also imagine watching the film hit you at a far deeper visceral level than any I could feel.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

    January 28, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    I watched it 2 nights ago. It certainly shed light on the dark side of adoption. I thought it took courage for the one father to admit he had been an authoritarian father and I admired his honesty. (I am very familiar with that kind of father.) Don’t we all want to know a little more about the first mother? I do. I’ll bet she never grew up thinking: “When I grow up, I want to carry three babies full-term and then give them to someone else!” Her life was certainly changed as well as her triplets who were split up and unknowingly became part of an experiment.

    Well, they were reunited and basked in the joy of knowing each other, of having each other in their lives. I can just imagine the “high” they felt. So, there was less need for bonding with their first mother, according to the way she was portrayed. Yet, most of us in adoption do realize the impact of genes on who we are and who we become. For example: Was anything known about the grandparents of the triplets? To me, there is much more to this story, e.g., did the birth father just skip town? DNA could shed some light on this, but perhaps the subjects of “the experiment” have no desire to be further scrutinized.

    When they were young, the similarities among the three were amazing! Beautiful young men. Of course, growing a lot older changes all of us. My point in stating this is that the older triplets looked very little like each other (my opinion), which greatly surprised me. I have to wonder if their lifestyles were very different as they grew older. Health educators are always telling us about the impact of lifestyle: Smoking, exercise, stress, etc.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      January 28, 2019 at 11:54 pm

      I don’t think the film was designed to highlight any other relationships, nor do we have a right to more details than the actual story they agreed to give. I didn’t come away with the same thoughts on their parents by birth, it seemed more protective than anything.

      Like

       
      • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

        January 29, 2019 at 2:14 am

        I don’t think I expressed any answers about the first parents. Just questions! I hope I didn’t imply we had a right to details about the birthparents. But, sometimes, when just a snippet is given (and no more) there are implications that could be totally false. For example: They met her at a bar and they were surprised she was able to keep up with them. That could be interpreted in a couple ways. So, sometimes just a snippet, and no expansion on what that meant, is not protective. If we had more details about the first mother beyond her keeping up with them in a bar, we might have a more accurate impression.

        Like

         
  4. Laksh

    January 28, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Hugs! The movie disturbed me at many levels. As a mother of twins, I can’t imagine the two of them ever not having each other. They are literally bonded to each other.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      January 28, 2019 at 11:50 pm

      Me too Laksh – twins should never ever be separated.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Sally Bacchetta

    January 29, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    “Adoption must be the last resort, always.” Amen, Tao! Sadly, it doesn’t seem we’re any closer to adoption as last resort. Too many people still think of it as a gift, an expectation, or an opportunity to make money.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      January 29, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      True, just keep hoping if I say it often enough it will catch on. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. Michele Sharpe

    January 29, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the film. I was touched by the film, and really identified with the excitement of the triplets’ reunion. They all looked so happy, so curious, so proud of their similarities. I was reunited with 6 half-siblings in my thrities, and it was the most emotionally charged experience of my life. But you are right — although we all loved each other as adults, I was missing those years of connection that they’d shared as children, at least for periods of their childhoods, as most spent some time in temporary subsitute care.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      January 29, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks Michele.

      Like

       
  7. Pj

    January 30, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Every time I hear it mentioned, ponder if I’d be able to watch it..Adopted, with my twin, and it’s complicated. Adoption surely separated us…

    Liked by 1 person

     
  8. Lori Lavender Luz

    January 31, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    I just finished watching it. It was heartbreaking in so many ways. 1) that their mom wasn’t able to parent them, 2) that they were separated, 3) that they were experimented on and studied without their or their parents’ knowledge, 4) that their reunion led to so many years in the spotlight, and 5) that no one has been held accountable for the wrongs done to them. Such a sense of being lied to and cheated at a fundamental level.

    The angle that I hadn’t anticipated didn’t come until the end. That the two remaining brothers had had a rupture (as well as with the third). As you’ve outlined here and as the aunt said, they missed out on growing up with each other. In the spotlight, there was so much pressure to be the same and to get along. They didn’t get the chance to experience the whole of these unique relationships, just the media-genic happy parts. As we know, adoption is neither all bad nor all good, and neither is adoption reunion. Seems like they didn’t have support dealing with the hard parts of rebuilding what they’d lost.

    So thought provoking. I’ll be turning this over in my mind for awhile.

    Liked by 2 people

     
  9. TAO

    February 1, 2019 at 4:19 am

    From Lori

    I just finished watching it. It was heartbreaking in so many ways. 1) that their mom wasn’t able to parent them, 2) that they were separated, 3) that they were experimented on and studied without their or their parents’ knowledge, 4) that their reunion led to so many years in the spotlight, and 5) that no one has been held accountable for the wrongs done to them. Such a sense of being lied to and cheated at a fundamental level.

    The angle that I hadn’t anticipated didn’t come until the end. That the two remaining brothers had had a rupture (as well as with the third). As you’ve outlined here and as the aunt said, they missed out on growing up with each other. In the spotlight, there was so much pressure to be the same and to get along. They didn’t get the chance to experience the whole of these unique relationships, just the media-genic happy parts. As we know, adoption is neither all bad nor all good, and neither is adoption reunion. Seems like they didn’t have support dealing with the hard parts of rebuilding what they’d lost.

    So thought provoking. I’ll be turning this over in my mind for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

      February 1, 2019 at 5:37 am

      Lori, you make an excellent point about the spotlight and how that must have impacted them individually and as a group. Celebrity is often not healthy. I hope the remaining two can patch up their differences — and probably best to do it out of the spotlight.

      Liked by 1 person

       
    • TAO

      February 1, 2019 at 3:31 pm

      Finally found Lori’s actual comment – it’s posted above this comment I posted for her. If you’re wanting to respond to her, please respond her actual comment.

      Like

       

Tell me your thoughts, but please be nice...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: