Today marks one year since we launched the Kickstarter campaign which funded Calcutta is My Mother.
Michael, Director of the film, and I went to HS together in Portland, OR. We hadn’t seen each other in about 17 years when we exchanged a few messages on Facebook about a recent trip he’d made to India. I had barely started writing this blog and a book about my adoption story…and then, out of the blue, he sent this message:
“…what would you think about shooting a documentary about your story and you going back…”
And that, friends, is where it all began. We both consulted our spouses, prayed about it, and less than a week later, we began working out the details. We put in countless hours planning the trailer, researching crowd funding, budgeting, scheduling, and formulating a plan to execute.
I was terrified at every turn; about sharing so honestly and whether or not we could actually pull this off. But it felt right so we marched onward. I knew this film was going to force me deeper into living authentically and in fulfilling my purpose. While the Kickstarter campaign was a necessary first step for the documentary, it honestly gave me quite a kick-start and was essential in me moving into the next phase of my life…
The trailer Michael directed and produced captured my heart so perfectly. Michael has a unique ability to cultivate authenticity in others by listening and asking all the right questions. He pushed me to dig deep and express myself in the most vulnerable way.
It’s our desire to tell my story because it is a story shared by so many adoptees. In order for this to work we had to go all the way and without reservation.
I assure you, I’m not even close to the first adoptee to share my story in an authentic way. I’m not a trailblazer, by any stretch. I am a tiny force among many braver, stronger, and more articulate adoptees who have been sharing their stories and working their tails off for years.
I have learned so much in 1 year by listening to those greater forces; reading their work, email exchanges, taking in their stories, and watching their films. I’m okay with being a tiny force within this community I was propelled into because of the documentary. I’ve been humbled. I’ve been heard. I’ve been loved and supported. I’ve been challenged to reach an even purer degree of authenticity. Forget the shock of hearing yourself say “okay” and “like” 8,000 times more than is acceptable in a single conversation, or the realization you have managed to take ugly crying to new depths, or even seeing yourself on camera for the first time and wishing you’d put on that extra pair of spanx…on your face and arms (our cameras apparently add 30lbs…Lord, help me…). Forget all that. None of the aforementioned was easy but I’m talking about the less superficial portions…the portions that matter. The portions in which I dove into the deepest parts of my heart and verbalized what was dormant for years, the grappling with new found grief, the changing of a story I’d lived with for 35 years, and the discovery of a new story…
A year ago, we set out to raise money to film a documentary about the loss involved in adoption; loss so profound that even a “well adjusted adoptee” such as me, would wrestle with its trauma. Michael continues to pour himself into every part of the films post production; all while being a wonderful husband, father, and professor. He happens to be a major force and I cannot wait for you to see the fruits of what he’s poured his life into for the past year (and ongoing…) We couldn’t have envisioned how my story would play out which is why we continue to pursue it.
This past year has been good; challenging but purposeful. I cannot believe it’s been 1 year.
I might be a tiny force in a big, ever changing world, but I’m determined to make an impact.
After all, a tiny force is still a force…