Meet the Founder: Claire
For the most part, I ignored my adoption when I was younger. I knew a bit about my orphanage and city of origin, but still, I felt embarrassed about my mixed family and wanted a "traditional" story. I grew up in a predominately white suburb of Chicago, and as an Asian child in a white family, I felt unsure of where I belonged. Growing up, I had many Asian friends, but there were not many adoptees around me, and my environment did not allow me to explore my background. So I retracted my story, and focused on putting myself into a mold. At this age, social media and entertainment began to enter my life. I noticed adoption is rarely featured in the media, and when it is, it is portrayed inaccurately. This lack of representation, both as an Asian American and adoptee, discouraged me.
As I grew older, I realized my identity as an adoptee will stick with me, whether I like or not, so I should make the choice to embrace it. I created this community both to give adoptees an inclusive community and give young adoptees a space to see themselves, two things I wish I had earlier. Through this community, I've been able to meet hundreds of adoptees, with diverse and fascinating experiences. Meeting more adoptees has helped me internalize my adoption and process its effects. I can open up about emotions that I've suppressed for most of my childhood. It's very comforting see others that can relate to the experiences I've had. I'm incredibly thankful to be a part of this supportive community, and I'm excited for you to start your journey here.
The Importance of Representation
Growing up as adopted child often raised questions. "Why were you abandoned?" "Do you know your birth parents?" "How are you related to [family member]?" "Did your parents buy you?" Despite how hard I tried to stray away from my roots, these questions were guaranteed. While kids are just curious, it is hard not to take these questions personally as child. I felt alienated for my background, a factor which I could not control. I did not have an adopted role model to lean on while growing up, and did not know how to better understand my situation. And with no one to turn to I became quite self-conscious of my story. The lack of representation certainly shapes the way society views adoptees, and how we view ourselves. There needs to be a push to portray adoption accurately, and in a positive light. This small act could give adoptees the confidence to own their stories, and non-adoptees more understanding and sensitivity when approaching adoption. Providing adoptees with a space to have their stories represented by fellow adoptees is a key factor is this process. By empowering our youth, we are giving them an opportunity to own their stories with pride and allow them to feel seen.
1. Give adoptees a space to see their story represented
2. Provide a safe, tight-knit community
3. Hear from adoptees with varying perspectives
Many projects are often happening that require the participation of the community. There are virtual meetings, adoptee spotlights, and newsletter writing, among so much more. For more ways to get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @adopteesofchina on Instagram. Join us on Instagram or subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."