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  • Nicole J. Burton

We're Not Blank Slates - We Remember

I often write about memory. My play-in-progress, FRED AND FRIEDA, is about a Holocaust survivor who suppressed her memories and now wants to remember. Adoptees aren't blank slates. We remember what happened to us, the loss. Sometimes we remember in ways that don't have words, because we didn't have words. But we remember... everything, at least we can if we choose to. For most of us, we were minding our own business, getting born, and suddenly, a nuclear explosion happened. When the dust cleared, everything we'd ever known was gone: parents, siblings, siblings-to-be, grandparents, family friends, ancestors, hometown, pets, music, language, culture, jokes, mountains... all gone forever. In their place was a new family. They were kind and we liked them. We weren't supposed to talk about the explosion and if we did, we weren't supposed to let on how much it mattered. Reuniting with our birth families is a conscious act of remembering. That's why it's so hard.

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