At the age of five, my mother told me I was adopted. Since then, I wondered who my birth family was. Not for wanting to replace the parents who adopted me, but because of a curiosity that could only be satisfied by finding the people I share a biological connection with. For many years, information was pieced together from family stories, as well as adoption documents found in my father’s office desk.
The search came up with few answers until 2010, when it was sparked by a change to Illinois’ adoption laws. The new law allowed adoptees to obtain their original birth certificate with identifying information. Along with this, access to online DNA services have given answers to many of the questions I had. For now, this search and project continue to find answers and create new stories.
This project tells my family’s adoption story using photographs, family archives, and important documents brought together in a book. Each image is paired with an essay giving the viewer a clearer, more complete understanding of this adoption journey. These components blend visual art, family archives/artifacts, documents, and written autobiography in a way that makes for a unique storytelling experience.
(Click on each image for more)