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Been There

AF's collection of personal essays—inspirational and thought-provoking, heartwarming and tear-inducing—by adult and teen adoptees.

The Adoptee Identity

"A Hunger for Words," by Susan Ito
A short story I heard as a young child resonated with me. By the time I rediscovered it as an adult, I had found myself.

 

Hand Me Downs,” by Paula McLain
I spent 18 years in foster care, hoping for a placement to stick. None ever did.

 

This Is for Real,” by Allison Martiza
My mom and I have always
had a difficult relationship. But in a moment of crisis, I realized that we're closer than I had thought.

 

Reconnecting With My Birth Culture

Journey to Calcutta,” by Alexis Tompkins-Larrance
For years I shunned my Indian heri
tage—until a return trip gave me newfound pride in my roots and my people.

 

Homeward Bound,” by Jill SBK Morneau
I thought that escorting a baby from Korea to the U.S.—the same journey I had made as an infrant—would be hard. In the end, letting go of him was even harder.

 

Family Ties

The Meeting of the Moms,” by Carol Kaufmann
I shouldn't have worried about my mother and birthmother meeting for the first time. After all, they do have something in common—their love for me.

 

We Always Called You Jason,” by Matthew Grolnic
Despite my best efforts, my birthparents and I never clicked. The strongest connection I have to my past is my grandmother.

 

Mommy, Were You Adopted?” by Jennifer Nelson
I'm not sure why I never told my children.But when they asked, I knew it was tiem to end the secrecy for good.

 

Family Resemblance,” by Dana White
I never knew my biological parents.
Watching my own kids grow up—and begin to look like me–thrills me to no end.

 

Stories from Teens

On Becoming African-American,” by Christa Forman
Growing up in a predominantly white town, I never felt I belonged. So I reached out to African-American heroes elsewhere—in sports, in music, and in history.

 

The Day that Glowed as Bright as the Sun,” by Justin James Laing
After seven years of waiting, I got the gift of a lifetime—a forever family.

 

Three Little Words,” by Ashley Marie Rhodes-Courter
A decade in foster care taught me that life is hard. Then a happy adoption gave me a new outlook.

 

I Forgot to Be Scared,” by Sasha Waggenspack
My first few days in America were full of excitement, curiosity—and finally, love.

 

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