It Doesn’t Go Away

Jan 23, 2021
2020 was quite a year. 2020 has amplified a lot of brokenness, imperfection, hurt within our world, our country, our state, within our communities, in families. 2020 has also magnified peoples’ desire for change, seeking healing, acknowledging injustice, and addressing issues that have only been silenced.

2020: Scam alert over how we write the year in France

2020, as a Chinese Transracial International Adoptee…
Well, it only reopened the wounds I thought healed. It has created an internal war of voices, which I thought I already won. It has resurfaced insecurities, pain, shame, enduring loneliness, and abandonment issues I worked so hard at covering or facing. 2020 has revealed that even as an adoptee who has found answers…reconnected and reunited with her birth family…well, surprise…my struggles are not diminished or vanished.


The hardest part about writing this blog post (harder than other posts on here) is because even on this blog, I have felt pressured to capture both the uncomfortable feelings and the “beautiful aspects” as an adoptee. As I write, I feel a need to be sensitive and considerate of birth families and adoptive families, making sure not to say anything “wrong.” I feel responsible for properly presenting this topic and my story in a raw and truthful way to a person who is unaware of the complexities of adoption. But let me be honest, if you genuinely want to understand adoptee experiences, you will need to learn and embrace all the complexities of our stories.


Adoption is complex.
Adoption is a paradox.
Adoption is not black and white.
Adoption is Messy.

Our stories are multilayered.
No story is the same.
There is a loss. There is brokenness. There is grief. There is confusion. Not just at the single event, but throughout a lifetime.

We grew up with society telling our story for us. Society has told us how we should feel. Society has silenced our thoughts and pain. Society has shamed our differences. So many “well-intentioned” people and communities have only created unsafe places to share our honest journey as an adoptee. It’s to a point in the last several years where I don’t even know how to process my own story because I had such a limited in what I can say about the story to begin. My story was already elevated, and the white savior complex mindset tendencies override my inadequate thoughts. I can’t process my ethnicity and race with confidence because society tells me it has already been defined for me. I can’t share my concerns as a person of color due to the colorblindness and complexities of a racialized society. We came with such little, and though now I know more about my past, I still find myself being unable to comprehend the complexities as an adoptee truly.

quotable adoption phrases ? — tara vanderwoude

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