S4E08 – UNRELATED: The Paper Chase

Unrelated Thoughts on Being an Unruly Adoptee – Part 8 of 13

I crossed paths unwittingly for the first fourteen years of my life with uncles and aunts and cousins and sisters and brothers, visiting Boise and Sun Valley and Twin Falls and Stanley. Idaho is not a large state, and there’s only so many people in it. I don’t think the state is run by heartless automatons, and there’s a (traditionalist) reason for these laws. But it’s absurd to deny me access to a document that only proves what I already know… my biological parentage is provably different from what they keep on file. My birth name was Harper. That was my last name. I do not know if my first name would have been Eliot, but I have always believed that was my real name. Eliot Harper became the name of a character in a novel I started writing as a way to control my own narrative–a response to that suicidal moment–to imagine a world where I was never split from my mother–lighter, engaged in the politics of the moment as protestors, mother and son. My ghost kingdom never included a father, oddly. My mother and I would take on the different war protests over the years, perhaps move from protest to protest while she made a living as painter, writer and performance artist. That was the world I imagined I would fit into, a nomadic, bawdy, politically infused scene where change and power could be brought to the oppressed and could overturn the greedy. I’ve yet to finish the novel, but it lurks there, ever-present in half-finished form in the office I share with the cat’s litter box.