by Akara Skye
Most of society wants young children to believe in the magic of Santa Claus, the gifting of the Tooth Fairy, and perhaps the joy of the Easter Bunny. But when the child pushes the envelope to determine if these entities are indeed true, should the false narrative continue? And for how long?
Most of society also wants adopted children to believe in the beauty of adoption, the selflessness of the parents, and the luck of the infant to have been saved. I was adopted as an infant, but when I pushed the envelope to challenge that story, my curiosity was not honored or appreciated. Should this false narrative continue?
The following stories are true. The first was given extensive coverage in 2023. It was featured on NPR and Today, The second story is my lived experience.
An inquisitive child, Scarlett, decided to determine the true existence of Santa Claus. She was just ten years old, yet she understood the workings of DNA as irrefutable scientific truth. She masterminded a plan to collect Santa Claus’ DNA by leaving snacks to entice him to take a bite or two. The plan succeeded; her parents confirmed that the nibbles were left by the man who brought her Christmas presents; and she submitted the half-eaten cookie and a couple of gnawed-
on carrot sticks to the Cumberland (Rhode Island) Police Department to get tested who stated, “We will do our very best to provide answers.”
After “careful testing,” the police reported that the DNA belonged to an “older gentleman wearing a red jacket and hat who was spotted in the area on the night of Dec. 24. There was a partial match to a 1947 case centered around 34th Street in New York City.”
Case closed. Keep believing Scarlett!
My story is a little different. I was relinquished at birth and fell into the arms of a random family who had their own agenda. My name was erased, my birth certificate was sealed, and I was forced to become someone I was not born to be. I was told to not question authority or search for answers regarding my origin and simply believe in the rainbows.
Like Scarlett, I too decided to turn to DNA to determine my identity. I didn’t have to devise an elaborate plan. I paid $99, spit in a tube, and waited for the irrefutable results. The results led me to the identities of my birth parents and family, as well as thousands of ancestors. However, both sides of my parental lineage denied being involved in my birth and refused to acknowledge my existence. Could the results be inaccurate?
Mine and Scarlett’s questions linger. Do these stories end where they began? A false narrative?
Did the people with the power in our stories distort the truth to keep the inaccurate story intact? Or, perhaps more importantly, is it the DNA or the people who lie?
These stories showcase a distorted version of the truth concocted by the very people we thought we could trust. The very people who do not believe we deserve the truth.
My story is a farce at the highest level, denying the truth behind the identity of all of us.
The story of the DNA of Santa Claus went viral, the public commented that they were impressed as to how the police department handled the situation. Other comments included:
“I just love this. Please keep us informed and thank you so much for keeping the magic alive.”
“This is seriously the best thing I’ve ever seen.”
My story did not go viral, though I’d argue that it’s even more important than finding out the truth about Santa Claus. Many of my acquaintances commented:
“Being adopted is such a beautiful thing. Why look for something that tarnishes the magic?”
“You shouldn’t stick your nose in other people’s business.”
Who should inquisitive children believe? What should the facts be based on? It feels to me that the societal anecdote is to lie in order to protect the innocent. Why not believe in Santa Claus? Why not keep the adoptee in the dark, not finding deep, dark secrets? What’s the harm in that? Society put a spin on the inevitable truth, cemented the lies to prevail, and then are applauded for doing so.
We may be kids. We may be adults. We all are searching for the truth. And. We can handle it.
Akara is an Adoptee Rights Advocate. She was born, adopted, and raised in the heart of Texas. Frustrated with not being heard, and done with being polite, she writes to help heal the trauma of relinquishment. Akara currently serves as Treasurer for AKA. You can read more of her work at https://medium.com/@akaraskye and follow her at (instagram.com/akaraskye/)
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