I’m an old woman now, leaving a trail of my motherhood footprints behind. Before I was a mother I have always been a writer, primarily in the genres of Native Studies, Literature and memoir, along with a goodly number of personal essays. I've gathered sixteen of my previously published essays exploring themes of motherhood, race, ethnicity, culture and transracial adoption and reprinted them at In Writing Motherhood.
However, my stories are less about my kids, and more about the path I traveled after becoming a mother and offer an intimate glimpse of me and my lived experience.
With my husband I raised three children, who are now grown. Two of our kids were adopted from Korea, a one-year old, and an older child adopted at age ten. We waded into uncharted territory, as not only were two of our children adopted transracially (I'm mixed blood American Indian and my husband is white) we adopted an older child changing the birth order within our family. We had a birth daughter who became our 'middle child.' And shortly after we adopted our oldest daughter, our 7-year-old son (also adopted from Korea) was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
But I never planned to write on the topic of transracial adoption. This just sort of happened. Editors first began asking me to write about adoption mothering way back in 1990, and although I have retired from adoption-writing and now once again work only in other genres, I spent many years writing feature articles, essays and penned columns for Adoptive Families, Adoption Today, Mothering Magazine and in numerous other parenting publications.
The other day a good writer-friend asked me, “Have you considered writing a book about motherhood after the kids are grown?”
A sequel to my memoir Pushing up the Sky? Hmmm. I wonder what that book would be about?
Another writer-friend came up with the perfect title 'Sex and the City Indian' a collection of narratives written by Native women about romance, family and marriage, and you can count me in.
But kidding aside, funnily, I began this blog — the one you are reading right now — to do just that. I began these pages for myself, in order to think out my own particular pattern now that my kids are grown and my thoughts are my own. Who knows, maybe someday I will write about that universal part of motherhood that comes after we give our kids our all, and give them custody of their own lives.
Meanwhile, I discovered that first I needed to explore how my identity as a mother and as an adoptive parent has grown and changed over the past 30+ years, and in order to move forward, I had to go back.
Please join me at In Writing Motherhood. Or maybe you would rather read 'Sex and the City Indian'