“How It Is” published in Flash Fiction Magazine!
This story is a flash fiction piece. This one is not about adoption.
You can find links to more of my short stories here.
The links to stories and essays about adoption are here.
“The Virus Babies” is speculative short fiction about the end of adoption.
It’s a quick read.
I enjoy dystopian stories. Especially when it feels like we’re really living in dystopia. I find that writing dystopian fiction exorcises my anxiety a bit.
I write about adoption, but it can be awkward, this birthmother/ first mother thing. The other night I attended a birthday party, and chatted with a couple I hadn’t yet met here in my rather large condo building. They passed their 4-month-old back and forth between them as we were introduced. I knew from our building’s private Facebook group that the baby had come into their lives unexpectedly. This little boy, with the face of a wise old man, had surprised his bio parents too. His mother denied her pregnancy until she was rushed to the ER. The father was even more surprised.
“Denise is a writer,” someone said as they introduced me.
“What do you write about?” the baby’s mother asked.
“I write about adoption,” I said, trying not to pull any punches, as I gestured toward the baby.
They might have flinched a little. I might have mumbled a half-hearted qualifier. But then I told them my story, and they told me theirs. “There won’t be any secrets,” the dad said. “He’s going to know the whole story.”
“He’s going to know everything,” the mother said.
And then neither of them said what I dread most. You were so generous to give up your baby. No one gives up a baby out of generosity. Here, have mine, says absolutely no one. Really, take him. I insist. C’mon, you know you want him. The most wonderful, kind, intelligent people utter this generosity line. They say it because they don’t know what to say. They say it because they want to be kind. They say it because they know that saying, “How could you do that?” is the wrong thing to say, and they are desperately searching for the right thing to say.
I write about adoption because I have a lot to say about it.. So many thoughts about what we could say to others. Thoughts about how we could change things. Here’s a short story (fiction) that I published on Medium.
And here’s an essay (a true story) about giving up my son, also on Medium.
National Adoption Awareness Month is two-thirds over. I’m going to keep posting on Medium until I turn the calendar page. I’ll take a break then, but I’ll be back. Follow this blog. Or follow me on Twitter @demanuelclemen
“Bridges” is a short story. It’s brand new, and it’s published here.
This story is not about adoption per se. But it is about lies. And secrets. And about reunion. If you want to read more pieces, both fiction and nonfiction, about adoption, you can find them here.
And speaking of lies, secrets, and adoption, here’s a shocking new piece about adoption from South Korea. So many parents told lies about their children. So many children told lies about their parents.
“You would see 70 or 80 babies in the infant’s nursery, and then, one day, 20 or 40 would be suddenly gone,” he said.
“Dystopia’s Child” was originally published in LUMINA vol. XVIII. Yesterday I republished it on Medium.com. Because…
November is National Adoption Awareness Month.
As a birthmother, I’m a proponent of lots of different types of adoption stories. Not just the happy ones we’re blasted with all during the month of November. Because, well… not all adoption stories are happy. Every adoption begins with loss. A child losing their mother. A mother losing her child.
You can find the story, Dystopia’s Child, here.
Links to other stories and nonfiction essays about adoption are here.