My early memories of life are pretty unknown, however, I was born in South Portland, Maine, and adopted into a family of white parents, white grandparents, and a large extended family all from Maine. I do not have a relationship with my birth mom, although she has always been someone mentioned throughout my life. And I never really had much memory of my birth father because my twin sister and I were adopted the moments after we were born.
An ongoing challenge has been constantly wondering where I came from. I think it is awesome to be able to have pride in where you’re from and understand the cultural norms of countries you represent, but for me, that is still a mystery. My birth mom is white, yet my skin is a mixed complexion. There is no way to overcome this without getting closure on the issue.
In the meantime, I have found my identity in Christ. Besides being born into this world and into an unknown story, I am known by Christ, and I am known as His. That truth helps me cope and guides me daily. The relationship I have with Him reminds me that I was uniquely made for His purpose. Despite not having a clear answer to this particular challenge yet, I know practicing patience is also part of the journey of life.
I had other challenges, of course. I wished that adoption and the process of it was more weaved into my life, vs hearing about it sporadically. Or I wish I were not the only one, a part from my twin in our peer groups that knew about adoptions. I wish adoption conversations were normal, more frequent and not only about animals. It becomes tiresome reading about the good white couples (the “savior” complex) that adopt children of different races and or from other countries. Being a transracial adoptee is not always fun when the white majority all around you does not understand the complexities of race in America.
Being adopted is all I know; growing up, I was well cared for and loved. I think I will always have questions, however, I mostly always feet grateful to my birth mom for placing us for adoption.
As the story goes, "Your birth mom had other kids, she could not afford more children," and I am appreciative of the choice she made. I believe my life was changed from a possible single mother household to a married family home. I was given opportunities many children of color do not often come into contact with due to my experience with white parents. Traveling the world, access, and opportunity to name a few things. They are still my immediate family and the family I see when I go home, however, being married to my husband, I also get to create a family in a new way.
I’m proud of being able to make others feel connected through the mutual connection of adoption. I’ve had some dreams to put into action, but risk-taking has been super hard for me. I have dreams of putting youth of color on planes, traveling to Malawi, and other places that have changed my life.
I’ve learned that adoption is something people feel awkward or uneasy asking about. As a transracial adoptee, telling a family story or posting a family photo, it is super obvious. The story of so many children, youth, and adult adoptees, however, is not as obvious. The challenges, the discomfort, the journey, and the joys are not often talked about. Sadly, our stories are ignored in the media and film, and people still feel awkward asking about adoption.
My story is important to bridge the gap, so many others who have a story can speak openly, and non-awkwardly about it.
Our life experiences should not be taboo, and the more we can share, the more others can be - and will be - educated.