Where to put down roots? roots.jpg That is a recycling question in my life and its import is larger given my forced immigration to American vis-a-vis my intercountry adoption at a young age.  Since that early experience of being exported from what I so viscerally perceive as my Mother Home, I have been searching for a new home.  And search I have, having moved residences 50+ times, I could be considered a veteran mover.  Instead, I think of myself as an immigrant looking for safety, warmth, and acceptance inside four walls and under a roof. 

The house structures have changed from the log cabin that my adoptive parents (hereafter ‘a-parents’) built and later cabins that my a-sister and I helped build, to a shared boarding room, to mobile homes, to too many apartments in multi-unit complexes and small duplex units, to a crappy ranch style house, to a six-month stint living in the lower level of my daughter’s home, to currently living in a renovated Attic on the third floor of a 100+ year-old home which is now home to three rental units with the landlords occupying the first floor.  All of these residences except for my a-parent’s homestead cabins, have been rentals and I have consistently yearned for a home of my own on a spread of land out in the country with no shared walls, floor, or roof and vistas free of neighbors for as far as the eye can see. 

The present yearning for this spread of land and abode strums more insistently through my being as I near the end of what will be a five-year journey to earn this stinking doctorate of clinical psychology (Psy.D.) degree.  With this educational goal growing closer, I must make decisions of where I will put down roots both personally and professionally in building a private practice.  I moved here to the East Bay four years ago from Alaska to attend school.  I made this move with the knowledge that returning full-time to Alaska would not be practical to work with the demographic populations of my choice.  I did not, however, anticipate how difficult the actual taking leave, total leave, of Alaska and all that it holds (family, dear friends) would be.  My partner (hereafter “SO” for Significant Other) who has been living between the two states, loves the Bay area and would be happy enough to grow our roots here.  Yet, I am reluctant.  In fact, I am realizing following my return from spending the summer months in Alaska working on my dissertation, that my roots in this area are nil. 

I will be writing of this search for home, the meaning of home, immigrating from place to place, and our sense of place and belonging as I continue to explore these outstanding issues.  My desire to investigate these experiences is intertwined and sometimes based on my adoptee status – still wondering who I am and how much of the who is based on the where and the place.