In a short original film about musician Michael Franti, John Chester describes Franti's adoption as a "severe form of rejection." Franti himself describes his beginnings this way: "When I was born, my birth mother carried me for nine months. She held me for one hour and she gave me up for adoption."
His adoption story is actually quite beautiful as is Franti's description of his relationship with his mom. I don't know anything about Franti's life path between then and now. "Now" being a life with a family he loves and a wildly successful music career. But I can guess there were many struggles.
I believe in adoption and the opportunities it presents. My own adoption probably saved my life. I came from some pretty incredible people, including a mother of tremendous strength. Any mother who gives up her child must be strong. And I inherited some pretty phenomenal talents and abilities. I do not resent my adoption in any way nor the people who facilitate it. In the end, I received one of God's greatest gifts to me: parents and a sister for whom I am eternally grateful.
But to dismiss the inherent sense of rejection and abandonment that comes with adoption is a mistake. Those feelings are buried deep inside adopted people. Some of us become more keenly aware of them throughout our lives than others. And some of us are more dramatically impacted by it than others. We are not easy to love. We often self-sabotage. We hurt others indirectly so we can control their departure from our lives rather than be surprised by it.
On a daily basis I struggle to embrace those who have embraced me. I have destroyed the bridges of many relationships because I cannot trust. I have trouble forgiving or even just letting things slide because I need to know that you are in this with me ALL the way, not just when it is convenient. I mean, if my own mother can leave me after nine months... I am rarely surprised when disappointed by others. I expect it.
Michael Franti inspired me today. He inspired me to reconnect with my music and to open up my soul to healing. And it frightens me to the core.