Monday, January 15th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This year, its arrival has really resonated with me. In these disconcerting times we are facing in our country today, I started thinking about what this brave man stood for. He was not one to idly stand by and watch the injustices against the African-American population, continue. During those dark times in the deep south, Black people, human beings, were not treated with dignity as fellow humans. Segregation would rear it's ugly head with prejudice and inequity. Martin Luther King, Jr. played a major part in the civil rights movement, with his undeniable defense of our basic freedoms.
Mr. King was a champion of Civil Rights, of freedom and equality, and his non-violent approach. He had a dream. A dream that the essence of true freedom would someday be shared with the world. That all humans would benefit from the promises made in the Declaration of Independence. Which, and I quote, states in part .... "That all men are created equal." And that we would have unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
You may be thinking, "but what does this have to do with adoption"? Well, a lot actually. Where Mr. King was faulting the declaration for not honoring this sacred obligation, I also see that fault for we adoptees. For us, we don't have to contend with "Whites Only" signs, thank you to the fierce work of the ALL civil rights leaders. But we do have to contend with not having the same freedoms as all other people on this earth.
We have a dream, that one day our family histories will truly be ours. That our nation will notice us and our struggles and they will 'rise up' and endorse the true meaning of our declaration "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal". Of course, our forefathers didn't have adoptees in mind when they wrote that, but it is still a "freedom" that we still do not have today, the freedom for us, to know us.
I urge you all on Monday, to think about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the progress he made for our country. Think about what freedom means for you. There are many injustices that continue to plague our world today. If we can all take a moment and stand up for what we believe in, whatever it may be, then Mr. King will not have died in vain. You who know me, know that opening adoptees birth records - is my soap box - and it will always be my personal cause, 'freedom for all adoptees'. My hope is that we adoptees will no longer be judged, and that we will be treated equally as our non-adopted sisters and brothers. Yes, Mr. King was a hero in my eyes. His "I Have A Dream" speech, during the March on Washington in 1963, he called for an end to racism and to fight for freedom, for all:
"When we allow freedom to ring - when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, Black men and White men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last'."
Some day, I pray, that we adoptees will be free at last.