A Story of Abandonment and Rescue | Calcutta is My Mother
By Reshma McClintock
For me, being an adoptee is a beautiful thing. I was rescued almost as swiftly as I was abandoned in a Calcutta slum nearly 35 years ago. Adoption wasn’t initially an option for me, as the caretakers at my orphanage didn’t expect me to survive. My entire life fit into the palm of one nurse’s hand and my tiny body fought hard to live and grow and thrive. I was adopted in place of another infant, who did not survive, and was welcomed into a family who has loved me so wholly it’s hard to believe we do not share a biological connection.
My struggle, as an adoptee, has never been in feeling displaced within my own family or in finding difficulty connecting with loved ones. My struggle has been in feeling caught between two worlds. While my nationality is Indian, I am very unfamiliar with Indian culture. I have had a growing desire to nurture that undiscovered part of me and understand it better. Within my family, I know exactly who I am; I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother but beyond that, there is a large part of myself with which I am unfamiliar.
When I was approached and asked to have my first return to Calcutta documented, I knew it would be an incredible opportunity to speak on behalf of many international adoptees who also have a need to connect to their culture. I will now have the privilege to really unearth the heritage within me so I may embrace it more fully.
Calcutta is My Mother will document my first return to the place where my life began; my first real view of what my biological mother endured and what my life could have been. It will be an examination of a culture to which I have no connection. Below is a link to the trailer for Calcutta is My Mother. I hope this is something you choose to be a part of so that, together, we can open doors for other adoptees whose feelings mirror mine.
By Reshma McClintock for Portrait of an Adoption
Reshma McClintock lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and daughter. She currently writes about her life and feelings surrounding being an adoptee on her website Writtenbyresh.com and is working on a book about her experience with adoption.