There are exceptions to this, of course. One example is Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of the legendary rap group Run DMC. (I know, I know--I keep writing about him, but I just find his story about discovering his adoption at age 35 so fascinating!), who has written about his experience, done several interviews about it, made a VH1 documentary on his search, and recently released a song about the open records issue.
There's Joe Eszterhas, well-known Hollywood scriptwriter who is also a birthfather and gave a touching presentation at the AAC conference this year about reuniting with his daughter.
There's also John Raible, a TRA who has been writing and researching and educating about adoption and cultural sensitivity for decades.
But, on the whole, it's mostly women. Why? Is it because of the intense emotions surrounding almost anything to do with adoption? I asked Gregory Keck of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio at the AAC conference. He looked at me and said, "Men are simple." Huh? I've heard theories elsewhere that men are excellent at compartmentalizing, so perhaps they are better able to place the trappings of adoption--good and bad--within their lives without the need for communal expression? I don't know.
I thought of this again last night, when I was teaching a mini creative-writing workshop to local adopted/foster kids. It was based on George Ella Lyons' poem "Where I'm From," in which the writer describes where she's from using sensory details and specific details of memories (such as "I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride"). I thought it would be interesting to do with adopted kids, as we can sometimes feel like we're from nowhere, that we have no items of memory except blankness and unknowns. Also I thought it might be a cool way to enter into memories.
All of the girls loved it. All of the boys hated it. I asked one, Frankie, why he hated it. "I don't like thinking about my mom," he said, and I almost crumbled. Another kid said, "I don't like thinking about memories and emotions." Another: "I just hate poetry. It's girl stuff."
The boys seem okay with the idea of writing a rap song together, so I'll try that next time.
Men are wired differently, we all know that. They communicate and express themselves differently. Perhaps there's our answer, simple as that. Anyone else want to weigh in about this?