The Language of Blood

A friend of mine sent me a syllabus of a professor who is teaching a course on Adoption Narratives at NYU. Its pretty cool, and I checked out a couple of the books from the library today. One of the books is "The Language of Blood" by Jane Jeong Trenka. Its a memoir, and starts off with a letter from her birth mother, and transitions into a 'scene' written in a stage play format. I read the first 10 opening lines and burst into tears. I dont know how to describe what it feels like to live with race in front of my face, wrapped on my skin, stuck in my veins, surrounding me with its force on a daily basis that never, ever goes away. What it is like to live with the guilt of race. When I say that, I mean very much, what it is like to live with someone else always denying you as a raced body, and whenever it comes up for you, whether its the fact that your father calls you his 'little china doll', or your mother still says 'colored' in freakin 2006, and or your brother wants to ship in a bride to marry because he cant seem to find an american wife, or if your mother has a wood aunt jemima on her wall – any of these things and hundreds of thousands more – if whenever it comes up for you, your family sees it just as 'your problem' because THEY are not racist because THEY adopted you, and they cant racist because they raised you 'just like' one of their other daughters or sons, and so they know that love transcends all. So if you feel the pressure of race, it has nothing to do with THEM, because they only see you as their daughter or son. They dont even see you as black or brown or asian or anything… what about this invisibility is just as damaging as someone slapping me in the face and calling me 'nigger'? Im workin on that. Im writing an 'academic' essay about the two faces of intellegibility – the visible and invisible.

How can I explain that Im just to tired to have one more round when I go home at Christmas about the things that you SHOULD know by now because you've know me for 35 years. Im so tired and Im so full of pain.

A search angel in WA has purchased the Wa state divorce indexes that I would have had to go to Seattle to search through. She found a list of matches that we are finding out if ages and dates match.

There is another search angel in WA (or CA?) who is running a search of all the G**** and R**** combinations we found in WA, and looking for their addresses.

Im so nervous. I feel like its too soon!!!


2 thoughts on “The Language of Blood

  1. Hear hear! I always say that by sweeping the matter of race and ethnicity under the rug in transracial adoptions, it’s often essentially the same as saying that your child’s birth culture doesn’t matter. To me, teaching transracial adoptees that race is a non-issue is something akin to cultural genocide.

    The Language of Blood spoke to me, too. I know the author, and she is doing more really great things in transracial adoption discussions. Check out this upcoming book that she co-edited.–>

  2. […] After the program, I had the exciting chance to meet Jane Jeong Trenka whose book, The Language of Blood has for many of us TRA’s been the first memoir to speak directly to our experiences. I was overwhelmed. Poor Jane – I didn’t even get a chance to tell her how much her work meant to me, although she can read on my blog an earlier post. I wanted to invite her to my show and to just chat and vibe – Unfortunately for her, she was the first person I walked up to at the end of the program and I busted into tears like a total ASS. I felt like I was – well, one of the women who comes up to me after shows, crying, and telling me how much my story spoke to their lives and experiences. But I know the difficulty of trying to handle someone breaking down in front of you, some total stranger who you somehow have a connection to, but you aren’t responsible for her pain and need. Its like, what are you really supposed to do with that? It was a little embarrassing for me, but maybe it wasn’t so bad, but at least I know she wont forget me. ha! dude – Jane, I promise I’ll be normal next time. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s