“It might sound strange, but I actually like being adopted!”

Meet Ariana, a 4th grade, transracial adoptee. She’s a purple loving, horse drawing, audacious and stunning gal.

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Ariana (the only child in last night’s audience) sat in the third row with her moms for the Closure screening and Q &A (hosted by Open Adopt). The Q & A was chock full of discussions about openness vs. closed adoptions, feelings around being relinquished and relationship building with new birth family members and other triggering and emotionally laden questions. Peppered between these carefully worded questions by people thirty years her senior, Ariana raised her hand and fearlessly made her presence known.

“Were you ever bullied for having parents that didn’t look like you?”

and

“It might sound strange, but I actually like being adopted! It’s like I just have more family.”

In front of a room full of strangers, Ariana and I had an open dialogue about what it may look like for adoptees to love both their birth family and their adoptive family.  The beauty of her questions combined with the strength that she brought to this group was not lost on me.  Our conversation undoubtedly served as useful fodder for the other folks in the room to dissect and surmise over. Rather than focusing on correct terminology, or adoptive parenting strategies, Ariana allowed a peek inside the reality through a young adoptee’s unfiltered lens.  I couldn’t help but think back on my conversation with Valeria and immediately notice one glaring and beautiful commonality – their adoptive moms allowing them the space to speak freely.

I am imagining a group of 10 tween or teen adoptees sitting in a circle around my living room having a dynamic conversation (facilitated by myself) about their experiences (filmed by Bryan?). I’m quite certain that a discussion between Ariana, Valeria and others may be more powerful than any of my breakout sessions or keynote speeches. Email me if you have a child that may be interested in being part of this project.

 

*** This post was written with the verbal consent of Arianna, and her moms.***

18 thoughts on ““It might sound strange, but I actually like being adopted!”

  1. I would so ask my 12 year old to participate, except we live in Tucson. She counts all siblings as hers. Her bio bro she has met twice. The older brother she never has lived with, of course her pesky older brother she lives with, all of his bio sibling (6) and the sister of the one who is also adopted. This expansion of family can be one of the positive aspects of adoption.

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  2. I was there last night at the screening as well, and was incredibly moved by the whole experience. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story. I’m the parent of an 11-year-old transracially adopted boy, and returned home after the movie to see him snuggled in bed, reading, and my heart melted all over again.

    To paraphrase Arianna, “It might sound strange, but I actually like being an adoptive parent in a transracial adoption!” As a white male with all the privilege that affords, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to be the dad to a wonderful kid that allows me to explore these issues. Clearly, transracial adoption has issues, and any adult who adopts transracially thinking that “oh, I don’t see anyone’s race, I just see the person” is clearly white and doesn’t understand the reality of American life — but for me, selfishly, it has allowed me to grow in so many ways.

    I would love for my son to be involved in any group that you start. I’m Christopher in Seattle, at cr777@uw.edu.

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  3. Hi Gwen. Oh, I wish I could we lived closer as I would’ve loved for your 12 year old to participate. Thanks for sharing about your inclusive extended family.

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  4. Catherine, I will be working on some logistics for such a group. It would be such an honor for me! So glad to have met you and your family last night. ~Angela

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  5. Christopher,

    Thanks for this eloquent comment. Such wise truths you’ve shared, and I love your paraphrased sentiments! 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed the screening last night. I’ll be sending out an email with some details soon.

    ~Angela

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  6. That’s great Angela. I showed Ariana the blog post and the budding idea of a group for teen and tween transracial adoptees, and she just lit up like a light bulb! She’s definitely ALL IN! Looking forward to hearing more from you about this. Catherine

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  7. My 10-year old has recently started gotten questions from friends at school about her adoption and the response she gets is “that’s so sad”. I think it surprised her that anyone would think of it as sad. We’re in Seattle and she may like to join your group. She has another adopted friend who may want to join also. Though we (the parents) are not sure about having it videotaped.

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  8. My daughter is 8 years old. She may be too young for your group but I am always awed by her responses to people. She was born in Guatemala and joined our family at 8 months old but she has met her biological mother and siblings since then. If you think, she would fit in your group – I would talk to her about it. We live in Portland so could get to you fairly easily. You can reach me at: sharonscheurer@yahoo.com

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  9. Oh my goodness thank you for sharing this strong young ladies thoughts. I would have loved to hear the dialogue between the two of you.

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  10. Angela you are a beautiful young woman and I am so very proud of you👏 The documentary was so amazing and full of love (and suspense). I’m looking forward to an update for the family meetings/reunions. God has given you these blessings and you are obediently following His direction and Will.

    P.S. I shared the link to Closure on my google+ page and I want to share on my instagram page but it’s not included in the share group, however I will figure it out 😎

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