Ipsify is about identity, connection, belonging and living life.
Discovering who you are and where you fit in. With yourself. With family. To find a place in the world.
For adopted people, and those conceived through donor conception, surrogacy or other forms of medical engineering, the concepts – and lived reality – of identity, belonging and family are difficult to define and not always comfortable, or easy, to live with.
For people who begin their lives under these circumstances the condition of being ‘oneself’ and not ‘an-other’ is compromised. It’s confusing and unsettling – even through the good times.
At conception or birth our identity, name and family were often subject to legal, social and family manipulation imposing a challenging duality of ‘self’ and ‘other’ into our personal lives.
Adopted people, and our donor conceived and surrogacy kin, emerge into the world with fabricated or fractured points of origin. What we do and how we live with these factors challenge our daily living.
Ipsify therefore is a construct, a word creation, a metaphor for finding or re-fabricating an integrated ‘self’ out of this duality. To endeavour to become comfortable and accepting of oneself whoever we conceive ‘self’ to be.
It is a modification of ‘ipse’ – Latin for ‘self’ – and ‘ipseity’ the associated noun for selfhood or individual identity.
Ipsify is an invention, and an invitation, to look into the mirror, or take to the open road, to actively explore what it’s like to engage with uncertain beginnings or family pathways that are often shackled by secrets or silences.
It’s not only about the past. The present needs a look in to. The now is where we live our lives.
Ipsify therefore is also about hope, trust, establishing and maintaining connections, embracing personal responsibility and active engagement with others and with life. Notwithstanding any fragile or disrupted beginnings; nor attempting to hide or negate these factors.
It is about living as best we can with the talents and any opportunities that come our way. It is celebrating the life we have.
Consequently, Ipsify will reflect on many aspects of identity, belonging, connection and family.
Conversations are likely to come from several sources and therefore be diverse, challenging at times, hopefully uplifting … even entertaining.
Catchwords are to listen; to share; to engage; to explore; to enjoy; to be oneself; and to understand (all sides) through respectful engagement.
I am an adopted person with beginnings in the closed adoption era. I have searched, found and lived through a range of family reunions. I have also learnt to adjust to the ongoing impact these events have had on my life. Through reflection, trial and error, support from family or friends and periods of therapy I have benefitted from deeper understanding and acceptance.
Over the decades I have actively engaged with my adoption experience and have a keen interest in how others integrate adoption, or similar experiences, into their lives in ways that support and strengthen them.
I was the founder and editor of the Australian Journal of Adoption; have been involved in various government committees on adoption; participated in various adoption apologies within the Australian context; and have presented at local or national workshops, seminars, conferences or support groups. Ipsify is an extension, and in some instances a replacement, for some of these activities.