"To be adopted is to be adapted; to be amputated and sewn back together again. Whether or not you regain full function, there will always be scar tissue."
"In my dreams, my birth mother is a goddess, the queen of queens, the CEO, the CFO, and the COO. Movie-star beautiful, incredibly competent, she can take care of anyone and anything. She has made a fabulous life for herself, as ruler of the world, except for one missing link – me."
"And this year is something entirely new, more awful, like going back to scratch and sarting all over again, a new birthday with an old child, the first with four parents instead of two, a schizoid dividing of the zygote further than the gods intended it to go."
"The phone call is thrilling, flirty as a first date, like the beginning of something. There is a rush of curiosity, the desire to know everything at once. What is your life like, how do your days begin and end? What do you do for fun? Why did you come and find me? What do you want?
Every nuance, every detail means something. I am like an amnesiac being awakened. Things I know about myself, things that exist without language, my hardware, my mental firing patterns – parts of me that are fundamentally, inexorably me are being echoed on the other end, confirmaed as a DNA match. It is not an entirely comfortable sensation."
"I go to the gym. Overhead there is a bank of televisions, CNN, MTV and the Cartoon Network. I am watching a cartoon in which a basket containing a baby bird is left outside a wooden door carved into the base of a tree. The words ‘Knock, Knock’ appear on the screen. A large rooster opens the door and picks up the basket. A note is pinned to the fabric covering the basket.
Please take care of my little one.
The rooster looks inside, a small but fiesty baby bird pokes up. The rooseter gets excited. An image of the baby bird in a frying pan dances in the rooster’s head. A chicken wearing a bonnet comes into the house and shoos the rooster away. The rooster is disappointed.
I am on the treadmill, in tears."
"Sometimes as a child, I would cry inconsolably. I would bellow, a primal cry, so deeply gutteral, cellular, and thoroughly real that it would terrify my mother.
‘Stop, you have to stop. Can you hear me? Please stop…’
If I was able to speak at all, the only thing I would say was, ‘I want my mom. I want my mom.’ Again and again – an incantation. I would repeat it endlessly, comforting myself by rubbing back and forth over the words.
‘I want my mom, I want my mom.’