- Twenty-nine years ago, I was born into this world in Mumbai, India. At one month old, I was left at Dadar Rail Road where I was found by good Samaritans who brought me to the police. The law enforcement workers took me to Shree Manav Seva Sangh Orphanage. I was extremely fortunate to go into an adoption process within my first month at the orphanage.
I do not know why my birth parents left me or who they are. During my teen years I have often wondered and speculated who they are or who they may be. I wish I could meet my biological parents to tell them: “Thank You,” for giving me up and for giving me the life that I have had.
The people of India often say, “Forget the past” which was something I found to be a bit strange at first; but now, I understand after making this documentary. I can’t go back in time, and even if I could, many questions would remain unanswered. It was my destiny to be adopted, and like many others, I must accept that I will never know "My past."
Since I was a little girl, I always dreamt of returning to my birth country to discover my roots. When I say “roots,” I mean in terms of knowing more about the culture, the people, and my orphanage. For years, adoption and children were topics that were and are very dear to my heart. I’ve been interested in the topic of local and international adoption ever since I can remember; therefore, there was no doubt what my research was going to consist of: Protecting the welfare of Children in Orphanages and the processes and bylaws in which international Adoption advocates and endorses.
When I think back on my teen years, the time where everyone is faced with having to find an identity, I wish I had had something to mirror myself with. All I could find were travel books on India, pictures of the Taj Mahal, The Golden Temple, etc. All the books were good for what they were intended for, but not for someone that was internationally adopted. I read a few books written by others who were adopted and found their stories interesting… but they did not quite meet my specific need. The stories were one-sided and I didn’t relate to their thoughts and feelings.
I remember thinking that I wanted to return to my birth country to create awareness on adoption, and for people to feel and see that this process is real and it exists today, it in fact occurs everyday. This film would satisfy my own needs but also the needs of those following right behind me. They would experience the everyday instead of the monthly or yearly processes. My viewers and adoptee would feel, hear, see, and maybe even smell the environment to which they exists prior to their memory allowing them. Adoption is such a beautiful alternative to abolishing a pregnancy and it creates a family for those who are unfortunate and can not have children. My hope is for viewers to experience the alternative and see all the beautiful miracles that lay within the adoption process. Those who are skeptical will open their hearts and at least be comforted by the knowledge that they have gained. My underlying objective is for those who read and watch my film will have a much better understanding for adoption, the process, and what India is really like.
The book describes my own journey to India through a documented journal. The book contains my discoveries, emotional hardships, and joyous tribunes. The context also builds relationships between the adopted, their families and myself and individually discovers each families needs. It gives insight and answers to questions parents and children want to get answers to; and then, takes on a journey of their own.
|©2007 Sarah Brandt Talreja. All rights reserved.|