The Secret

Things are really shaping up and we are almost ready to begin production so I want to give everyone an idea of what we are looking to convey in the video. I know it’s long winded but I want to be sure it’s clear WHY we are leaning toward the message we are. Without you it isn’t going to happen so if you see things differently SAY SO. All ideas should be considered because this isn’t going to be mine and Kevins’ video it’s going to be all of ours! We are all weary and worn, feeling beaten and bruised. It’s time we pour our energy into something positive.

Here’s the thought process behind the focus of the video:

Losing your fear of reality has a profound effect on a person. One of the things that is refreshing about our on-line adoption community is that we are surrounded by people who have shed their As If mentality. People who are here to learn and grow, regardless of what form that takes. Some people use humor, some use art, others simply (yet profoundly) need to vent. We all have the same goal though, to share our experiences and come out the other side. Changed? Yes. Deeply affected? Yes, but finding our way none the less. All of us working toward truth in the light of day, ridding ourselves of secrecy. Many for the very first time in their lives.

I think most, if not all of the nay-sayers we are subjected to come from the As If people who dwell among us. Deep down we all know the reality of adoption, even with it’s many complex layers and even if it’s only on a sub-conscious level. It is the emotional side of adoption that keeps people living in the As Ifs. I mean you have to make a conscious choice to live in reality, particularly if that reality feels threatening. We choose how deeply we will embed the As If mentality into our consciousness.

Some examples:

People acting/reacting As If their child were solely their claim. As If their gain does not stem from another’s loss. A good example of this is the recent hullabaloo at Claude’s blog. Imagine, someone justifying their fear of reality by dissecting the word “parent”. Reality tells us that this is grasping at imaginary straws. The REALITY is that we (adoptees) have four parents. Period.

People acting/reacting As If their biological origin has absolutely nothing to do with who they are. I don’t suggest that anyone who claims to be “perfectly happy with not knowing” may not actually be happy. But I can’t help but think that happiness covers the very NATURAL desire to know who they are. ALL of who they are. I believe it is buried in their sub-conscious somewhere. How could it not be? That would be unnatural.

People using anger and resentment from their personal experience as their sole method of communication As If that were going to change things for the better. Anger has it’s place and must be experienced and expressed but it can’t be used as a catalyst for positive change regarding reform. Time and time again we bang our heads against the brick wall, angrily trying to get people to listen. Only to discover our heart felt pleas to understand us are falling on deaf ears. It is exhausting, damaging and frustrating to try and force a conscience on someone. Anger DOES serve a purpose but it doesn’t serve a purpose in this area.

Sadly you will often see people (particularly adoptees) who show signs of recognizing reality yet still live in As If Land to protect those they love from having to visit Reality Land. I think this is what makes the most messed up of people affected by adoption. I know because I was one of them for a really long time. It’s living a lie, compromising your value as a human being and your ability to stay true to your inner- most beliefs. It’s adjusting your behavior to fulfill the unhealthy needs of someone else.

This video (and subsequent projects we see happening as a result) has the power to break through the veil of myths surrounding what adoption is and what it is not. We would like this video to be about the shedding of secrecy and the healing in truth. Like the saying “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”. The secrecy in adoption all stems from people fearing reality. Fear of facing loss, fear of facing pain, fear of facing the past, fear of facing REALITY. WE represent those who have let go of the cloak of secrecy and not only survived but are better off for it. We want our message to convey that those of us in the adoption community who have chosen reality are not to be feared and cannot be dismissed. We are your neighbor, your friend, your boss, your teacher, your sister, your mother. We are farmers and housewives, doctors and lawyers, musicians and artists, engineers and entertainers. We are EVERYWHERE. We want to show the world what we are and what we are not. You cannot help but love and respect us because we are you.

That message will be conveyed differently by each of you because we are all unique. But that’s the beauty in it, because it’s in our individuality that we can use creativity to reach common ground.

What is your truth? What secret do you want unveiled? What do you want to say to the world? Maybe your message is “Love ALL of me”. Maybe you want your message to be about open records or breaking through the myth surrounding natural mothers…..whatever…as long as the message is a positive one.

The same message given two different ways:
Adoptees DESERVE their Original Birth Certificates (which we do and which I actually had on my car for a long time)
but this-
Open Hearts Open Minds Open Records – says the same thing and it’s the direction we want this video to take. Strong is fine, just no anger.

Shortly we will be sending out a call for those video clips along with some technical guidelines. So start jotting down your ideas! I really hope you are all as excited about this as I am. If not that’s OK, I am excited enough for all of us. Thank you to those who have already come up with your signs! You are all brilliant!

Carpe diem…..

Ciao Bella!

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21 Comments

Filed under Adoption Schmoption, Adoptive Family, Natural Family, Truthful Musings

21 responses to “The Secret

  1. This is such a fantastic idea! Please count me in.

  2. I already have a couple of ideas and can’t stop thinking about this!

  3. Amazing.
    I love it.
    Thankyou.

  4. Mia…a great start! From an outsider’s view, all I can say about what I know now is: It isn’t what I was lead to believe. I thought all adoptees were part of families like I was part of mine only you were chosen. As a kid, I never gave it much thought that there was a big difference, but now I can see it through your eyes and have some understanding of what it was like. I hope this video will help take off the adoption glasses the general public has of this subject.

  5. Just a question really — this is to film adoptees exclusively, right? Anyone in the triad? Excuse the confusion; I may have missed something somewhere.

    (and you need to check out sume’s blog if you haven’t yet; you got you some props, girl 😉 )

  6. Mia

    Oh no no no it is NOT for adoptees only!!! It is for EVERYONE who has something to share! We even have family and friends who want to get involved. I REALLY hope you will take part!

    I love Sume so much. I haven’t had time to read any blogs and I feel terrible about that because everyone has been so supportive here. I have neglected a lot of things concentrating on this but I know it will be worthwhile.

  7. Hi Mia,

    This is a lovely, much needed project!

    I’m a little unclear on the target audience. General for educational purposes? Does it have a mission statement/goal? Opening up records?

    Just beginning to think about this, but the thing that stuck out…for me as someone who had to greenlight and develop pitches is this: to us in the Triad, what may seem confrontational/angry, like “Adoptees deserve their original birth certificates” to the general population, may not seem so. It seems very clear while Open Minds, etc. may seem vague. An outsider to the complexities and nuances may not understand what that means. In fact, many people have no idea that we don’t have access to our original birth certificates. This came as surprising news to some friends and family members. Several were shocked. If the target audience is general, you may want to consider putting together your own informal focus groups. Get a good cross-section of people and invite them to listen/watch the messages, then ask what they thought it meant. This will help you hone the wording of the messages early in the creative process and eliminate any unintended confusion. I’ve seen this happen many times. The message is often misunderstood…even when the message was crafted by seasoned professionals.

    This sounds rather difficult and like it takes the fun of out the process, but I’ve found it to be a fascinating process…to get feedback early on and, often, outsiders to the project have some really great insights.

    But…like all other unsolicited advice…in one ear and out the other or, as Oscar Wilde says, the only thing to do w/advice is pass it on.

  8. Mia

    Actually I value your advice a great deal. I also know it’s professional and experienced advice, so thank you!
    What you said about the example I used was very true. The message is confusing and wouldn’t be understood by the general public. So true in fact I may try to come up with another example for the “energy” we are looking for and delete that part of the post.

    I think some clarification on the intent would be good. Kevin should do that though. I know he’s busy this weekend. Maybe he can write tomorrow.

    Thanks Nina. I really appreciate your help!

  9. Whew, Mia…I was hoping I hadn’t come off too strong and in any way critical at such an early stage. I absolutely do get the “energy” behind the concept…one can almost FEEL it.

  10. Mia

    Are you kidding? No way. ANY advice you have to offer will be greatly appreciated! THE goal is to make this successful. How in the world could we do that without the help and input of those involved? xoxo

  11. Mia…Is the message you are trying to get across what adoptees/their parents feel? If so, that message has to resonate with the general public because right now, they really believe that adoption (generally) is a win-win or bed of roses. Very few are aware of the thorns.

  12. Mia

    This is good. Both you and Nina present important questions. I have to talk to Kevin about this but personally I would rather not try and make the ultimate goal to express how we are “feeling” in a four minute video but rather use it as a tool for educating the general public about the unknown truths and misconceptions. Getting THEM to feel would be a goal I would think. Our emotions are too complex to be properly conveyed in such a short length of time.

    What aspects of adoption should be common knowledge? What is the best way to effectively get our messages across? (Keeping in mind the video is intended to be an introduction, not all inclusive.) Maybe we could get some input on this from everyone? What are most important things to initially convey and what is the most effective way to do that? Ideas?

  13. Just putting on my Project Manager hat here… the logistics of this seem large and almost overwhelming, so for me I like to break things down bit by bit. The important things that come to mind for me are:

    -Getting a head count of the number of people who do want to participate
    -People who want to participate but who don’t have access to a digital video camera.
    -Publicity
    -Getting help for whoever is doing all this video editing!!!

    Something that I think of is along the lines of a public intranet site to organize this. Maybe someplace like a Yahoo, MSN or MySpace group as these are easy and in a format that most people recognize and are comfortable with.

    I lean towards Yahoo only because that’s the type of group I frequent the most but would like to hear other people’s ideas of groups as well.

    At Yahoo it’s easy to set up a simple database with people and set up a field to indicate are they going to be in the video, are they not going to be in the video but are interested in giving a hand, or are neither of the two categories but want to help out with promoting on their blogs, mailing lists, webpages, putting up flyers, etc.

    The benefit to having it at an MSN type group is the ability to create subcategories of discussions, so state by state discussions could be set up for people who want to participate but don’t have access to a video camera. Maybe meet up points could be set up.

    MySpace groups are similar, and it has the benefit of being a country unto itself so there is your publicity factor. The drawback to Myspace for me would be the lack of database capabilities that both MSN and Yahoo have, so it would be harder to get actual counts.

    These are just a few of my ideas… I could go on all day. I guess the thing I’m trying to get across is having one central point of contact on the web for this project, because it’s going to be huge, and the organization can’t fall all on the shoulders of one person. Unless of course they are a hyper organized control freak and like it that way 🙂

  14. Mia…I think you are more likely to “hook” people with a feeling first followed by a fact or two about adoption……Kevin’s video on free hugs was extremely effective because it tapped into people’s basic need/feeling to be touched.

    I would start with something very basic to elicit feelings….like a family doing something together……and then showing the contrasting facts about how adoptions affect families….something along that vein. Simple, short and to the point but to do that I really think the video needs to draw them in with some kind of feeling shot first….just my 2 cents for today 🙂

  15. Hmmmm Theresa it’s good to know you own that hat. Is it one you are willing to put on for a good cause? I have hats I just take out for special occasions but I think this is a special occasion don’t you?

    LeRoy yes, we are on the same page regarding eliciting feeling first. Reminds me of that song…ooohhhhh I’m hooked on a feeling. I really hope I can shed this silly mood I’m in before my board meeting tonight. Chances are now that song will be rolling around in my head and I won’t be at all productive. lol

  16. I’d definitely be happy to give a hand. I have the most free time at night although I do tend to do a wee bit of clandestine surfing and emailing and forum checking during the day. If you’d like me to set up a group just drop me an email. Like I said I’m most comfortable with Yahoo but am open to any other suggestions.

  17. Mia, I want to help but I’m not sure how…count me in though, k? Love, Rebecca

  18. I’m voting for a Yahoo group. (Just post when you guys get a central spot, okay, so we know where to go to sign up?) It’s too hard to keep track of this on a blog, honestly, IMO.

    Still thinking about ideas.

  19. Terri

    Read this post and others (including the one with the free hugs clip) … and just LOVE your approach to all of this here! Reminds me a lot of the love vs. fear school of thought.

  20. Mia

    Exactly Terri!;o)

  21. Wendy Keesey

    Mia,

    Taking a positive stance should energize us all. The other way is too tiring and self-defeating.
    Wendy

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