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.