Motherhood Spotlight: A Story of Adoption and Pursuit of Cultural Connection
I think it is only fitting to share another mother’s story of how the birth of her daughter changed so much for her. Words cannot describe how dear this post is to my heart, not just because of my profession, but because of the power of adoption and strong parenting. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting this mother through Instagram and following her story. Reshma recently started AND surpassed her Kickstarter campaign in preparation to reconnect with her roots. I don’t want to give away too much, but simply know the beauty of motherhood whether adopted or mother by birth. Enjoy this incredible story and see what has been unfolding for this wonderful woman.
As is the case with most mothers, the birth of my daughter brought the entire world more into focus; diminishing the unimportant details and magnifying what truly mattered. She took love to new, soaring heights and made me want to live a more purposeful and fruitful life. I was overwhelmed knowing she was mine. The Lord gave me such a gift when He gave me her. Although I didn’t, He knew there was a space within me that needed to be filled; a space that only she could make whole as she is the only person I’ve ever known to which I am biologically related.
I am an adoptee. I was born and abandoned in a Calcutta slum 35 years ago. Despite the fact they thought death to be my fate, I was actually adopted in place of another infant, Ruby, who did not survive. I was given the opportunity to live and thrive within a family whose love for me far outweighed the lack of genetic relation. My life has been one full of deep love, grace and joy. I’ve never struggled to feel connected to my parents or brothers; our relationships have never reflected any degree of disconnect and for this, I am incredibly grateful because I know what we have is rare.
After my daughter Ruby was born, a feeling of disconnect did surface, though. The unsettling I felt within me was not related to my family but rather to my roots; to my lack of knowledge of who I was with regards to my heritage. Ruby’s life gave me new vision and a longing to delve into who I am genetically; to understand and familiarize myself with the culture I was born into but haven’t fully experienced. I found myself wondering about my biological mother and what her life might have been like. Who was she? What are our common traits? It’s easy for me to look at my precious little one and see our physical similarities and how parts of me show up in her personality but I don’t have any understanding of that with regards to the woman who gave life to me. As I began navigating these intense emotions I started writing a book about my feelings on my adoption, my family and what I hope for the future. I wanted to write the book I needed to read as a young adoptee. In the beginning, the words poured out of me and filled the pages at a rapid rate. And then, out of the blue, it all stopped flowing one day. I found myself stuck. I quickly came to the realization I’d be unable to finish this work until I returned to Calcutta; until I was able to absorb the city of my birth in an attempt to connect to my biological mother. And just one day after my writing stopped and my frustration peaked, I was approached and asked to be the subject of a documentary in which my first return to Calcutta would be captured. I knew this to be the path for me; I knew the Lord was in this. When Ruby was born I had prayed and asked the Lord to give me a renewed sense of purpose and He, as always, delivered. The Lord has awakened within me a desire to join the voices in the adoption community by sharing my story; by sharing the desires of many adoptees to connect more intimately with their own culture. For me, and many others, this need does not stem from a place of discontent with my life or a lack of acceptance from my family; it stems from a need to know what we do not know.
Over the course of the past 29 days, we have been running a campaign in order to raise funds to produce Calcutta is My Mother. We only have 1 day left to reach our stretch goal! If you’d like to view the trailer and support our documentary you can do so by clicking this link:
Since launching the campaign I’ve been inundated with emails from other adoptees and adoptive parents giving me confidence in my pursuit. Their encouraging words give me strength to proceed; to be vulnerable in order to share my story, and theirs, with authenticity. We all have a story about the plans and grace of the Almighty King; this is a part of mine.
Reshma McClintock lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and daughter. She is currently writing two books about adoption and will travel to India this summer to film a documentary called Calcutta is My Mother. Her passion is to share her story authentically and inspire others to do the same which she does on her blog, Writtenbyresh.com