In this month’s PAC-UK guest blog Dawn explores the impact of incorrectly recorded personal information and how this affected her sense of self and her identity when she accessed her adoption records.
Who am I? What defines me? Where are the gossamer threads that weave me into shape from? Who spun me? Identity, what makes us who we are, is something we all innately question. When you meet someone and you ask “what parent do you think you are like?” A culture of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter guiding us to a curated image of who someone might be. We try linking how someone’s schooling, social background, cultural beliefs and a myriad of other things to understand what makes the delicately crafted person who they are.
In turn we all introspectively question our own identities. Why do I believe this? What am I passionate about? What inspires me? Who am I?
How then do you deal with the repercussions of a conflicted identity? Of care records that inaccurately record your birthday wrong three times? Of a doctors record where you are noted to be left handed, and have blue eyes? When you are right handed and have brown eyes? Did I change that much? Was I too inconsequential for someone to remember me correctly? What is my value if my past is a collusion of other people’s incorrect facts?
In recent years events have dictated for me to look with renewed effort at who I am. I always claimed that my past may not define me. I realised however that it has shaped me, as one might carve a stone, my experiences must have narrated who I am. But how has it shaped me? What have I learnt? How do I carry my past with me? Part of this journey was to dissect the simply recorded facts of my past. Truthfully though, it was a journey to see if by pulling back the curtain on the past, I could understand myself today.
There is a certain fear when delving into your history, what if you the past you find is not good? You need strength to dissect harsh truths, especially as they can transform the person you are now. Many will say it how you respond to these truths speak to who you are right now.
It wasn’t so much that I wanted to know why I love to bake, or who I inherited my love of reading from, but rather who were these people who loved me so carelessly? Was I going to be like them? Them. My biological parents. Both products of their own misfortunes, simply being the people they had been brought up to be. So what if I with the same genes, 50/50 chromosomes, the same blood coursing, roaring, through my veins, was only ever capable of being just like them?
Then I realised that it doesn’t matter.
I am not just nature, I am not just chromosomes and genetics. I am not where I went to school, or where I live now. I am every lesson I have ever learned. I am a culmination of the life I chose to experience. I guide me. My past is not who I am. I am a girl who loves sprinkles on her ice cream, and bowling and arcade games. My identity, my capability, who I am is not dictated by my history or by case notes.
I can chose who I want to be.
Written by Dawn: Twitter @DawnH4416
Please note, all content published on this page is provided by our guest blogger, based on their real-life experiences. We invite you to discuss this blog via PAC-UK's Twitter profile and ask you to tag @PACUKadoption in to your posts and use the hashtag #PacukBlog
This blog is the third of our NEW monthly 'guest blogger' platform. We would love to hear from adoptees, birth parents (and relatives), adoptive parents/carers, special guardians and professionals who are interested in taking part in future blogs. If this interests you please email firstname.lastname@example.org.