The backdrop for the Netflix show Delhi Crime is the infamous Nirbhaya gang rape and murder on a bus in Delhi, India in December 2012. But if you were thinking about watching it, let me be clear: the show emphasizes the hunt and apprehension of the six rapists, using case files from the actual event.… Continue reading Netflix’s Delhi Crime Is a Fascinating Cultural Study
We are spending Christmas in India this year. It’s time for Sonali to meet Sasmita’s family. But visiting India requires a visa. I’ve received multiple Indian visas in the last 10 years. The process requires many documents but is straightforward. I thought it would be simple this time as well. I could not have been… Continue reading I Renounced my Indian Citizenship to Get a Visa
For most of my life, I’ve said I am fine without knowing my birth/first mother. That is untrue. The reality is somewhere in the middle. Pondering my roots is not keeping me awake at night, but I do wonder about my beginnings more often than I’ve previously admitted. I am curious to know anything about… Continue reading Even If I Could Find my Birthmother – Fear Prevents Me
I put off watching Lion for months now, afraid it would be too emotional for me. I’d built it up, heard so many other adoptees and non-adopted folks gush about it, say how gut wrenching it was and how I ‘had’ to see it. Purposely, I stayed away from all reviews of it and only… Continue reading I saw the adoption epic Lion. I was underwhelmed.
His name is Ram Nath Kovind and he’s Dalit (formerly known as untouchable). You may read that he’s Dalit, viewing his election as a great sign of progress against caste oppression. Here, you say, is an example of someone from the bottom of India’s development ladder. Now, he’s the President of the world’s largest democracy.… Continue reading India’s Newest President is Dalit.
My wife and I were driving somewhere recently and began talking about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees, between $150,00 and $300,000 dollars. Regardless of your politics, I think we can all agree that $300,000 dollars to speak is outrageous. There probably is not a single one of you who wouldn’t take even half that amount… Continue reading If My Adoption Story is ‘Valuable’ to You, then Pay Me for Telling it.
Thousands of intercountry adoptees lack US citizenship. But there are two bi-partisan bills, in the House and Senate that would end this travesty. The Adoptee Rights Campaign (ARC), a coalition of adoptees and advocates launched our Family is MORE than DNA campaign! This postcard campaign, features a picture collage of adoptive families and our goal is to send 35,000… Continue reading Adoptees Inch Closer to US Citizenship and We Need Your Help!
Our daughter Sonali Robyne Bryant was born on May 26, 2016. Her name means ‘golden’ in Hindi. Robyne is my mother’s name. I’m now a father. As I wrote about here, Sasmita and I decided not to learn our baby’s gender before birth, we both wanted the surprise. The doctors and attending nurses assumed we… Continue reading Do you want to see the world? – Thoughts on Fatherhood
Since Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister in May 2015, the definition of a ‘true’ Indian is a hot topic. However, for me, people have always questioned my India bona-fides. Let me explain. As an adoptee, raised without Indian culture on a daily basis, cultural Indians in the United States were always unsure how I fit into… Continue reading Who is a ‘Real’ Indian?
Sasmita and I decided against learning the sex of our coming baby. We do not want to cloud the joyous event, by placing expectations or hopes of a specific gender. But there’s another reason; Sasmita is uncomfortable discovering a baby’s sex because in India it’s illegal. Prenatal sex determination testing is against Indian law. Indian society… Continue reading We don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl. In India it’s illegal to find out.
Sasmita and I watched the funny and sweet documentary, ‘Meet the Patels.’ But I did have one major issue with the film. It’s mockery of India’s complexion biases. It’s a heart-warming tale about a 30-year-old Indian guy. His name is Ravi Patel and his quest (really his parents wish, but he acquiesces) to find an… Continue reading ‘Meet the Patels’ Dismissed India’s Complexion Shaming. That’s Unfortunate.
Recently my mother and I had a conversation about infant children and language. She was excited to see that her youngest grandson, barely one-year-old, recognized her voice. She recently returned from a trip to visit my brother’s family in Denver, Colorado and was ‘Skyping’ with them. It was remarkable to her, she said, how much his… Continue reading Babies and Language; a Personal Story
There are thousands of adults, adopted as children by US citizen parents lacking US citizenship. Thanks to adoptees, advocates, and Congressional support, that will change in 2016. The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015, provides retroactive citizenship for certain intercountry adoptees no matter when they were adopted. It also provides a legal pathway for all deported… Continue reading It’s Time for All Adoptees to have US Citizenship
Sasmita and I will be parents in early June of 2016! We are excited, but not ready to be parents. Then again, who is? We told my parents during Thanksgiving and called her folks in India, via Skype shortly afterwards, sharing our happy news across the globe. As I contemplate Fatherhood, thoughts of my own… Continue reading Facing Fatherhood as an Adoptee
Recently, Sasmita and I were eating dinner. About halfway through, her eyes got big, and she excitedly told me that she saw ‘a big creature’ today, in the yard by the mailbox. Intrigued, as always, by such pronouncements, I told her to continue. She told me that it stood as tall high as my knee, with a… Continue reading ‘A.J – I Saw a Creature Today’