It’s in the news, even the PM is making statements about it!But Adoption is a subject that is never far from the societal surface. It engenders great passion, extreme emotions and polarises viewpoints
Yesterday I interviewed the wonderful Anthony Lau. A young, dynamic, erudite, supremely confident yet never cocky or arrogant British Born Chinese. Gently spoken with gloriously correct English (something that I begin to miss and appreciate more and more as I get older!) Anthony is currently the Assistant Director on Bingo now playing at the Young Vic.It’s clear to me even if it isn’t to Michael Gove, David Cameron or a raft of Adoption savvy experts.
Identity is key – whether your adopted or not adopted. Anthony Lau is a rare human being. He is supremely confident in who he is where he has come from and in some senses where is is going. He sees himself as a citizen of the world. Proud of his Chinese ancestry, proud of his liberal “English” upbringing. As comfortable with Yum cha as he is with a twelve course high table traditional English banquet. As at home with Wong Wing-sze as he is with William Shakespeare
Anthony questions why an allegiance to one part of his heritage should take precedence over the other part. For Anthony he is what he is, he is comfortable with the duality, the differences and the similarities in the end we’re all just people, just human beings. Good for him. I wish that more people, especially people in positions of power thought in the same way as Anthony.
But what happens when one half of the equation has been redacted out? What happens if half of who you are supposed to be has been torn away from you? Is it any wonder that many adoptees spend a love time searching, grasping sometimes at straws trying to find the missing jigsaw pieces.Whether you are dual nationality, hyphenated ethnicity, of mixed cultures, races and heritage’s identity matters it defines, it shapes, it underpins it is an emotional and psychological skeleton which helps you to hang, you, your personality, your essence in place it give you structure, shape, belonging and a definition space
Without it I think you are very much lost, never complete, never whole always the “other”