Last weekend, I was given the opportunity to watch a reunion between an adoptee and her first family. “Closure”, a film by Bryan Tucker, is a documentary about his wife, Angela, a trans-racial adoptee. Angela decides to search and, ultimately, finds her birth family. In watching this film, I viewed what I usually only read about. The fear and apprehension an adoptee experiences when searching for their first/birth family, and the feelings of dismay the adopted family can experience when their adopted child decides to search. As I said, I’ve only read about those experiences. This film allowed me to put a face to those feelings and emotions.
It took great courage for all involved to expose their thoughts and emotions during a time that was obviously stressful. I admire that courage. I’m not sure I could have agreed to such exposure. I admire their willingness to put themselves out there.
I’m not going to go into any detail about the discoveries Angela makes during her search (you have to watch the movie for that), but I will say adoptees, adoptive parents and first/birth families should consider this a must-see. The roller coaster of emotions Angela and both her families experience will provide you with a glimpse of how a reunion might go for you. I consider it very important people prepare themselves for the day when their loved one might decide to search or reach out to find them. It is obvious from this film that a wide range of family members on both sides are affected by an adoptees decision to search for their biological family.
If I had to criticize anything about this film, it would be the lack of coverage of Angela’s thoughts and feelings about her discoveries and feelings on her adoption. I wish I could have heard more from her. Ours is not a trans-racial adoption. In fact, our adoption is within our own family, but as you may know, we are not allowed contact with our granddaughter. We won’t have the same kind of reunion Angela had with her birth/first family, but I hope we do some day reunite with our granddaughter. The thought really scares me, and I would like to get more of an idea of what my granddaughter might feel or what her experiences may be. The closest I feel we can get is to actually hear from an adoptee what their experience was.
Interestingly, today I noticed a post on Facebook by Angela that answered some of the questions I had after viewing the documentary. You can go here to read it. What she says is something I absolutely believe. We need to stop treating adult adoptees like children who are not allowed to judge their own upbringing. They may have some things to tell us that are difficult to hear, but those things need to be heard. I hope to hear a lot more from Angela.
***For those interested and in the area, there will be a free screening of “Closure” in NYC at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library on January 25th. Per their Facebook page:
“Films at the Schomburg: ClosureSaturday, January 25 at 6:30 pm
Closure, a documentary by filmmaker Bryan Tucker, looks at trans-racial adoption through the story and two-year journey of Angela Tucker, an African-American woman, raised by a white couple, as she searches for her birth parents.
Angela Tucker and Susan Harris O’Connor, transracial adoptee, author of the groundbreaking essay collection on transracial adoption and identity The Harris Narratives will take part in a panel after the screening. April Dinwoodie, transracial adoptee and Chief Executive of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, will moderate the discussion
To register for this free event, visit our eventâ€™s page:http://bit.ly/1gdL2x7â€” with Shanelle Henry Robinson.”
***Link to the website: “Closure: A Documentary About Adoption”