Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A room of our own

At this point in my life, I am not extremely close to any other TRAs (transracial adoptees). There is that small handful of childhood friends from adoption group whom I still see a few times a year. Even though we have all grown up and gone separate ways, our families maintain a connection that cannot be replaced. I do treasure these relationships and think of them as family. This week in particular I cannot help but think of them. One is getting married this Saturday. My mom and I are really thrilled to be attending the wedding. I've known this girl since we were three maybe? It's incredible. (And now I'm reminded that I must get a tube of waterproof mascara for the occasion.) I also recently hung out with another KAD friend (the one with the unrequited crush). He told me that a girl once mistook him for the only other Asian boy in the high school. You know, because 'all Asians look the same'. Ouch. It's not exactly a picnic recalling those times being offended or hurt, but it's a comfort to know we weren't alone. Thank goodness for other adoptees. We need each other's voices, maybe more than we realize.

I think that at some point I would like to join an adult adoptee group. Or form one myself, depending on where I'm living and if there's a need. It's hard right now as I'm a graduate student without a notion as to where I'll be in a year (besides employed..fingers crossed!). About a month ago, I did attend an online seminar about starting adult adoptee support groups. I found it to be very useful and especially loved that all the speakers were adoptees themselves who started their own groups. Each group was unique in its own way. One question that cropped up a few times throughout the seminar was whether to keep groups closed to adoptees only or to include their families/support systems. It got me thinking, too. I think there are benefits to both formats, but I admittedly lean more towards the 'adoptees only' approach. Or perhaps a compromise in which the group does an occasional event including everyone. Adoption, without a doubt, affects many people and certainly not just the adoptee. However, I just like the idea of adoptees having a room of their own to express what is on their minds without fear of being judged by someone who has not been in their shoes. My childhood adoptee friends mean so much to me, even though we've grown apart in some ways. I want to be able to maintain relationships with other adoptees throughout my adulthood. I need them. And I'm an independent person who has an impossibly hard time admitting that I need anyone, but I ultimately don't believe that people, adopted or not, are meant to walk through life alone. We need each other's voices. We need each other.


  1. I think starting a group would be wonderful! You could always see if there's interest on Meetup.com. It costs money, but it could be a start. It's probably presumptuous of me to say this being white and middle class, but as someone from an alternative and misunderstood religion, I can understand the benefit from finding a community I can really identify with. Solidarity can bring comfort. I understand that we face different misconceptions and discomforts, but I hope you know what I mean. :)

  2. Absolutely! We both identify in ways that don't necessarily fit the norm/majority and it can become quite isolating at times. I know there is an adult adoptee group back in the city where I'm attending school, so I may consider getting involved there (crazy grad student life permitting). No matter where I end up, I know I will have to actively seek out community, but it seems like it would be worth the effort.