In the African American community, we are told not to tell our business. This leads to years of hurt, drug abuse, sex addiction, and even incarceration and suicide. I hope that sharing my story will help other African Americans to speak out about their adoption.

I found out I was adopted at the age of seven.

My head was on my adoptive mother’s stomach, when I asked her, “Did I come out of your stomach?”

However, she responded, “No.”

I was confused. 

She got off the bed, went into her closet, and pulled out a big envelope I’d never seen before.

Then, she proceeded by telling me that I was adopted.

I didn’t know what “adopted” was, but then she showed me the letter my biological mother wrote when she decided to give me away.

Then, she showed me information that she had gotten from the adoption agency about some of my blood relatives. It didn’t have their names on there; just their education, height, race, eye color, and hobbies.

I felt all kinds of emotions coming, but mostly, I felt like I was lied to.

I didn’t know who to trust.

From that day forward, I was always intrigued to know more information about my biological mother than my adoptive mother.

I remember the days when I used to yell at my adoptive mom and say, “I HATE YOU!”

I didn’t hate her, but I was torn that she had waited so long to tell me the truth.

In 2013, I decided to find my biological parents. I had to go through the agency where my adoption took place. They told me that it would cost me $500.

I was so excited to finally find my biological parents. When I told my adoptive parents about my search, they didn’t react the way I had hoped. I thought they were going to be happy for me, except…they were telling me not to trust these people.

I don’t trust a lot of people anyway.

What I didn’t know is that my adoptive parents knew my biological father, aunts, and cousins.  They met when my adoptive mom was in college, and she befriended them.  My adoptive parents didn't know for sure I was his biological daughter until they asked his family where he was working at the time I was given up.  He matched the adoption profile. At this point, my adoptive parents stopped talking to my birth father’s family entirely.

Long story short: my fairy tale reunion was unsuccessful.

My biological mother didn’t want to meet me. My biological father was incarcerated.

After that rejection, I’m not going to lie: I became numb.

I would watch shows on television about other people finding lost relatives, and everything went well. I just didn’t understand why mine wasn’t successful.

Then I started to blame myself.

Maybe I shouldn’t have interfered with them.

Maybe I should just move on with my life, and act I never knew who my biological parents were.

So many thoughts ran through my head.

I used to go to counseling as a kid when I found out I was adopted. It really didn’t help me. After being rejected by my birth parents, eventually, I would stop going altogether.

Now, I’m 26, and working through all of this—trying to build another trusting relationship—is still part of my journey. My relationship with my adoptive parents is okay, nothing special to talk about, but I still feel like I can't trust them.

At the very least, I know that I can now say this:

My name is Christina, and I’m adopted.