I was adopted at the age of three months. I have a younger brother who is also adopted from different birth parents.
My husband is the father of two adopted children, one of whom was adopted from Korea. Technically, I am their stepmother, although they were already adults when we met.
My husband and I have two biological children as well.
I have reunited with both my birth mother and my birth father, and have met all but one of my biological half-siblings.
To summarize, it's complicated! Rather than explain any more here, I would rather speak about my experience through my writing.
HOW HAS THE ADOPTION EXPERIENCE AFFECTED YOUR POETRY?
I find a great deal of my writing explores aspects of my adoption experience, whether or not I set out intending to write about adoption. My condition of being adopted has affected every aspect of my life, therefore it colors all of my writing. I feel like I see the world--particularly relationships--through a different lens than that of people who are not adopted. Sometimes it's difficult for me to express that difference in prose. Poetry gives me a way to more clearly communicate my experience as an adopted person.
PLEASE SHARE A SAMPLE POEM(S) ADDRESSING (IN PART) ADOPTION:
with your mother's wide eyes,
olive skin and old-world customs,
with cousins akin to sisters
with your father's gravelly voice,
his cleft branded on your chin,
his surname on your back
You cannot conceive what I saw
when I studied my boy
lying bundled like a burrito
innocently twisting in the plastic hospital bassinet
I gazed into a mirror
and saw my gray eyes for the first time
and saw my milky skin for the first time
and saw my Slavic nose for the first time
and saw my earnest expression for the first time
For the first time I saw
my mother and my father
For the first time
I saw my self
Google search tells me I am unique
just like they always say to kids
"there's only one like you"
turns out it's actually true
and all this time I felt like a carbon copy
now the lines around my eyes are zebra stripes
I am a reality star in my own life
babies call me Mom and
Mom calls me Daughter and
Mother calls me Honey and
Honey calls me Love
but if you search my name
on Facebook you'll find just one
ABOUT THE POET:
Karen Pickell writes poetry and creative nonfiction on adoption and other topics. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Writing with a concentration in creative writing from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Her essay "An Ordinary Difference" is included in the charity anthology Oil and Water . . . and Other Things That Don't Mix.