Thankful for my Internal Guide
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Did transracial adoption define part of my identity? Yes it did. When people ask me about being a transracial adoptee, I have a long, deep story to tell. Some of my story is absolutely beautiful. Some of it is trauma, and misunderstandings from people. In 1967 no one talked about adoption the way it is talked about now. There was no education. No one talked to my birth-Mom when she released me from her physical body, and placed me for adoption. There were no social workers/counseling. Birth-Mothers were told to “forget about it”. No one talked to my adoptive parents about how to raise a mixed-raced child. To make it even more challenging-my birth certificate did not list the race of my birth-father. The doctor who delivered me, and picked my parents to adopt me, did not share with them my racial background, even after my birth-mother trusted he’d share her story with him. So I lived with love from my family, and I also lived with fear whether people would “figure out” I was brown, and I would be “taken away” again. This “elephant” in the room for me was my racial identity. My race was not known or not talked about by me or anyone else. I was in denial, and I did not have support to understand or process being brown. At age 19, I went through an identity crisis. At age 21, I found my birth-mother and found out my racial identity. In my early 20s, I co-founded Bridge Communications, where we helped parents with transracial adoption. It was my own personal therapy. I kept reading, processing the trauma. Now, 20+ years later, after identity crisis, finding identity mirrors, speaking my truth, therapy, and leading thousands of workshops around cultural competence and identity, I can honestly say the best education for me has been my “INTERNAL GUIDE”. If I had let fear take me over then I would not have searched for my birth-mother, or my birth-father’s family -my birth-father died when I was around 1 year old. If I had let fear take me over, I would have not started Mosaic Experience, my second business where I have met and coached so many amazing people.
I am a transracial adoptee who has a story, but I am also so many other things.
I am attracted to love and kindness. I am attracted to truth. So, when finding your way in this world, adoption or not--remember to be YOU. Remember whichever part of the triad you are, reach deep to find your essence. If you are an adoptee, this serves us by being all that we are, and not just “a transracial adoptee”. If you are a birth-mother, finding your essence in your full life, and celebrating that you are AMAZING just as you are. If you are an adoptive parent, we -your children who you adopted- are looking at ALL that you are- not “white parents”, but HOW YOU DO LIFE everyday, the riches you bring to us! The biggest lesson I can share is to be TRUE TO YOU. Not what everyone else thinks you should be. If your internal guide is telling you to reach out to find others to help you. DO IT! If your internal guide is saying I need to learn more about my child, then do it! If you are feeling society puts you down because you placed your child for adoption, know that you are an amazing human who made a decision, and did the best for your child, YOU MADE A HUMAN! You made ME! I am so grateful to my birth-mom for giving me life. If you are an adoptive parent who wants to parent “all the right ways” know that EVERY parent makes mistakes. SELF REFLECT, and be the best version of YOU. Be aware and willing to learn. My adoptive parents raised me, cared for me, cried with me, made me my first HOME! If you are a transracial adoptee then be unapologetically YOU, even if others are telling you who you are supposed to be (based on their own cultural competency, or bias and expectations) find YOU--Love YOU! If others can’t understand or embrace who you are, let them go. Adoption is complex, but it is also ONE part of who we are. I do believe education is critical. Finding your tribe is essential. Seek out support. Go to therapy. Find communities that support you. Let your internal guide do its job. I am very grateful for life. Adoption has shaped who I am in many ways. It’s not always an easy road, but love yourself deep when you don’t think others understand your journey. Remember, we come onto this earth alone, and leave alone.
Love yourself on your journey, it's your time to be you!