I can’t believe that the year 2013 is almost over. This has been a profound year for me in many ways personally, and also one of the most exciting and eye-opening years for me as an adoptee and emerging activist. My timeline of events from this year happened as follows:
This was the first day of a course I took about transnational/transracial adoption. Prior to this class, I had always had complex and conflicting ideas about adoption. This class gave me the vocabulary to articulate myself in a way I could not before, provided me with a safe place to explore my feelings as well as the historical and political contexts necessary to discuss adoption, and allowed me to solidify friendships with fellow adoptees that I hope will be lifelong.
Guest Speaker Sandy White Hawk visited our class and graciously spent an additional hour of her time with fellow adoptees. She’s a very funny woman who is deeply compassionate. It was around this time that I began to understand that it was okay to recognize that I have both benefited and been hurt by the international adoption system.
Four friends and I started an identity collective on our campus for other students who were transracially or transnationally adopted. We held our first meeting on this day.
After toying with the idea of starting a blog, I finally decided to create Red Thread Broken. I uploaded my first piece, a poem I wrote when I was 17, called Lost Daughter, in which I tried to write from the perspectives of a set first parents, adoptive parents, and an adoptee.
A few adoptee friends and I went to see Sun Mee Chomet perform in her one-woman show How to Be a Korean Woman at the Guthrie theater in Minneapolis. This was the first time I saw a professional piece of adoptee theater.
Five other adoptee friends and I volunteered at the Adoption Policy and Reform Collaborative Conference held at Macalester College with the goal of “reframing the adoption discourse.” This was an all-day event followed by a dinner/after-party. Being surrounded by other adult adoptees in such an intentional setting was such a powerful experience and reminded me just how many other people share a similar life beginning to me.
The current president of Families with Children from Asia – Midwest began following Red Thread Broken. This was an extremely exciting moment, as I didn’t think my blog would reach someone with such a presence in the adoption community.
Red Thread Broken hit an all time high and had nearly 1,200 visitors this day.
Kevin Vollmers, founder of Land of Gazillion Adoptees asked me if I, as well as some of my adoptee friends, would consider contributing regularly to a College section of Gazillion Voices magazine. We all accepted!
This has been a remarkable year full of challenges, encouragement, and growth. I’ve developed so much as a writer and thinker, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring!