If you are interested in participating in one of my projects, I would love to hear from you.
Seeking out DOMESTIC ADOPTEES, KOREAN ADOPTEES, and BIRTH PARENTS willing to be interviewed for my next book. I have only one prerequisite: you must be willing to freely share your thoughts and emotions, allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable. Our stories are powerful when we honestly face our adoption stories.
I am working on two projects:
1) I am looking for Korean adoptees willing to share their stories.
2) I am specifically looking for adult adoptees and birth parents who have not previously searched for their biological families or offspring, but are ready to begin the process. My hope is that we can work throughout your journey together, as an adoptee, I am also ready to embark on that intimidating personal quest.
As I wrote my first book, Through the Lens of Ourselves, I learned that self-healing beings when we share our experiences with others, organically extending to our families, birth families, friends, and many unseen readers.
Adoption is an amalgam of grace, fear, joy, anger, and love, which pushes us to know WHY we exist.
Adoption conflicts with the natural order of life. Whether adopted internationally or domestically, many adoptees experience trauma upon relinquishment. While infants cannot consciously remember their adoptions, the subconscious KNOWING is undeniable. Older adoptees remember their lives before relinquishment and have the opportunity of gaining perspective through contrast. Some adoptees have uncomplicated childhoods. However, most adoptees have lifelong dissonance ranging from nagging thoughts to interminable internal turmoil.
While adoptees in racially homogeneous families are not consistently reminded that they are adopted because they ethnically blend in with their family, internal biological reminders often splinter their self-perceived place within the adoptive family. And regardless of how hard they try to ignore or deny their origin:
BIOLOGY ALWAYS WINS
"There was a hole in my life that I didn't know was there. Apparently, I needed to know that."
-William B., Adoptee in Through the Lens of Ourselves
Transracial adoption adds a layer of complexity to the adoption experience, as adoptees often endure external reminders of how they became part of the adoptive family. The jolts range from microaggressions to violent acts of racism.
“I really do have a lot. I really am lucky and fortunate. To be honest, the reason I went into the military was to suffer. To earn the life [that] I had been given – to know some hardship. An affluent family adopted me, and I didn’t do anything to earn it. Basically, I hit the lottery. It was easy for me to take all of my anger and just fight anything I could, any chance I could.”
-Jason M., Adoptee in Through the Lens of Ourselves
Adoptive parents yearn for connection, too.
“Adoption is messy… It’s awesome, it’s awful, it’s everything in between.”
-Anissa M., adoptive mother, in Through the Lens of Ourselves
“The struggle may be that she wants so badly to prove she’s the child’s ‘real’ parent.”
-Wayne W., an adoptive father (and adoption counselor) in Though the Lens of Ourselves, believes that being a mother is more difficult than being a father.
When interviewing the birth mothers, I could see the beauty of their vulnerability. Hearing their stories healed me because I was able to release the resentment that I held about my faceless birth mother for more than half a century.
“The easiest choice would have been for me to walk out of the hospital with my baby.”
-Jill D., birth mother, in Through the Lens of Ourselves
After ignoring her own adoption story for 50 years, SUNI MILLER ZMICH journeyed alongside the interviewees as they described their stories, connecting on an elemental level, her unanticipated reward was she could clearly see herself in the mirror for the first time in her life. She is the mother of two daughters, a retired accounting and finance manager, and a transient ex-army brat poised for the next adventure. Practically empty nesters, she and her husband, Kurt, live in Minneapolis. For Now.
When I first started Through the Lens of Ourselves,
I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish.
I am an adoptee. After conducting many interviews, my personal journey melded with the interviewees. I learned that ALL members of the adoption triad yearn for familial connection. In listening to the birth mothers, I was surprised at my own reaction. For years, I had harbored resentment about my own birth parents and would not fully invest myself emotionally with my adoptive parents. But after allowing myself to see through the lens of the birth parents in my book, I felt safe enough to become closer to my adoptive parents.
My hope is that my book will bring peace to to those who are still traumatized by their adoption experience. I will forever be grateful to the individuals who were brave enough to share their stories with me. They nourished my soul and I hope their stories will feed the world.
Listening to the stories of others touched by adoption healed me.
My hope is that my book will also heal you.