“Calcutta is my Mother”

I sometimes stumble across stories of other Indian Transracial Adoptees who have gotten some press, usually because they are in some stage of searching. This most recent story is being made into the movie “Calcutta is my Mother” which from the short trailer: https://vimeo.com/168535931 seems less about the act of searching for birth/first family than an exploration of connection to heritage, ancestors and”home.”

I was talking with my therapist, Dr. F, last week and we began discussing the difference between searching for the purpose of reunion with a birth/first family vs. searching for the purpose of connecting with a birth/ancestral culture. I realized that my initial reason for wanting to search for first relatives is largely influenced by guilt and fear. Guilt that there could be a mother or family out there that gave up a child (me) that may want to have contact with that child and I, now, have the ability to try and make that happen. Its the guilt that makes me feel like since I have the ability to search and I haven’t it means I must no care enough about my first relatives.

On the flip side, my desire to search/connect with things Indian is more driven by a mix of shame, curiosity and a desire to feel part of a culture that I can call my own. I had never thought about there being different strongly different motives to wanting to reconnect with various parts of my past (i.e. culture, ancestry, relatives…etc). Its something I am definitely going to have to continue to unpack.

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