Today my adoption agency let me know that Hope would be told about me this coming Monday. I was asked to provide a short bio this weekend so it could be used to help tell her about me. Awesome right? Super awesome, and I’ve been writing bios about my professional self for years. Except this isn’t a professional bio.
Who am I in 200 words or less to my new daughter, who’s an actual person who can read this bio? Gee, the “winging it” of having a newborn who doesn’t expect a bio sounds strangely appealing in the face of this task.
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I work on issues related to diversity, and a lot of my work focuses on multiple identities. We all have them. I am Black. I am a woman. I am 40. I am a doctoral student. I am a professional. I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend. Each of these identities are unique, but they are layered, making me (and everyone else) pretty complex. And those are just a few of my identities. Hmmm, this is making me sound a little Faces of Eve.
This adoption journey is really making me think about my life through some different lenses. So, I’m flipping my skills at writing my professional bio and focusing this evening on constructing my personal bio. I’ll mention that my current immediate family includes this loveable, but increasingly ornery, 13 year old beast (aka: The Furry One).
Maybe I’ll include that I drive past the famous Washington Monument almost every day (that’s kind of cool right?). I have a view of a river from my patio. I talk to at least one of my sisters just about every day; family is super important to me and I’m super jazzed that a supportive contingent of family just moved to the area. I like to cook, and I always have homemade bread in the house because I don’t like store bought bread. I work hard, study hard, play hard, and love hard. I like roller coasters. I like the pool and the beach, but don’t particularly care for water so I watch everyone’s beach bags during excursions.
I like to salsa dance, though I so rarely go dancing these days because the recovery time on these knees is in a word: brutal. I’ve been keeping a journal since I was in elementary school. I have all of my journals that I’ve written since I was in high school. I am reflective and like to go back and read them and ponder things like why I didn’t really crush on my co-worker, Curtis, at the grocery store where we worked when we were in high school. He was cute. I know, I digress, but he really was cute…oh wait that’s right, we might’ve been related somewhere in there, on my mother’s side. I remember now. Oh well.
I know that Hope and I will have phone calls soon and Skype sessions as we work up to a visit in the coming weeks and months, but I have an urge to use every tool in my writing arsenal to cram as much information into these 200 words because they are my initial ambassadors. They seem pretty important, right? But on this evening’s walk through the neighborhood, I remembered that my daughter (OMG, I have a daughter!!), who will learn about me for the first time this coming week, is only 12. And when she hears about me, she’ll probably wonder what I know about her. And I know a heck of a lot more about her than she knows about me at this point. Advantage: AdoptiveBlackMom… for now anyway. I’m sure a time will come when she will have advantages all over me.
But, this isn’t the time for super dense writing. It’s time for the basics: Who, What, Where, When and Why. Or at least something like that.
I’m going to pull some stuff from my home study essay and start there.
In other news, my dissertation study launched this week and my response rate is already over 30%. Awesome!!