IT’S NOVEMBER, NATIONAL ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH (NAAM) 2018 AND TO INTRODUCE THE THEME OF SHARING MY FELLOW ADOPTEE’S STORIES, I AM SHARING MY DEAR FELLOW ADOPTEE JOHANNA LUNDQVIST’S WRITING ON IDENTITY. I RECENTLY ASKED THE MEMBERS OF A FACEBOOK GROUP I STARTED TO QUICKLY INTRODUCE THEMSELVES AND JOHANNA RESPONDED IN A WAY THAT REQUIRES BOTH COURAGE AND HONESTY. AND WHAT’S MORE, HER WORDS REPRESENT THE FEELINGS OF MANY OF US ADOPTEES AS WE STRUGGLE WITH TELLING YOU WHO WE ARE BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW WHERE WE COME FROM…
I am honored to have her permission to share these words with you.
“How to introduce yourself when you don’t know who you are?
I suppose I’m human.
Let’s start there.
I know I must have been born,
but there’s no evidence of such an event ever taken place.
At least not one I can trust.
There are so many lies, so I’m not sure what to believe anymore.
I could introduce myself by stating my adoptive name.
But that’s not me.
Nor am I the person I could have been, had I not been stolen.
I could say I’m a Swede, but I don’t feel like one.
I just live here.
I could say I’m Colombian, but I’ve only been there two times.
I could tell you my age, but that’s only interesting for any cribbies, and I think they already know.
I was adopted from FANA, but my papers are signed by the head of CRAN.
I could tell you I have kids.
Two growing buds on my family tree.
To me, it seems easier to tell you what I’m not than what or who I am.
Most of the time I feel like I’m nothing. I have my adoption to thank for that.”
Johanna Lundqvist, paper orphan.
Co-administrator of the Facebook group “Adopted from Colombia!💛💙❤️”.
Lives in Gothenburg.
Adopted from FANA, 1978.
Educational background in the arts, with sculpture and advanced drawing as specialties.
* FANA and CRAN are both Colombian orphanages, where illegal/unethical adoptions have taken place.
* Paper Orphan, a child who has at least one living parent, but for whom official-looking paperwork has been fraudulently created to give the impression that she or he is an orphan and, therefore, suitable for adoption or other forms of financial or material support that will profit a trafficker or orphanage manager.