In 2005 I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from The University of New Orleans and went on to graduate with a master’s degree in mental health counseling in 2013. Throughout my studies, I learned that none of my classmates and the majority of my professors understood or had much experience with adoption related trauma. It was honestly scary. These were the professionals that would open their doors to adoptive parents and adoptees seeking guidance and healing. Mental health facilities are flooded with those who have a background in foster care and/or the adoption system.
We can change that, and it starts with open conversations, empathy from adoptive families, and a safe place to grieve the loss. Many of the adoptees I encountered had never spoken about the loss of their first families, and many adoptive parents do not know how to talk to their adopted child.
Much of my life I hid my feelings, and it was almost overwhelming. I often isolated myself and endured a great deal of anxiety and depression. It did not have to be that way for me, and I don’t want it to be that way other adopted children.
As a mental health professional and adoptee, I want to help provide youwith the tools you need to feel confident and continue on this unique journey. Test
- Domestic Adoption
- Individual Counseling
- Group Counseling
- Case Management
- Psycho-Social Education
- Public speaking
Adoption for me, personally, has been a life-long journey. Like most journey’s, you hit some roadblocks along the way. Adoption has colored my life in both positive and negative ways. In 2006, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in tele-communications from The University of Florida. I decided to use my education and experience of my own adoption to help other adoptees tell their stories. In 2012, I filmed my first adoptee interview. Since then, I have encountered with hundreds or adoptees, adoptive parents, and professionals. It has been truly rewarding. I was born in Korea and adopted by a White Middle-class American family. As a birth mother, my adoptive mother was able to empathize with my loss. She and my adoptive father showed my brother and me love and created a safe environment that allowed us to grieve. The empathy I received particularly from my adoptive mother allowed us to be extremely close. I feel that without that open dialogue in the adoptive home, it can easily cause deep rifts in the relationships.
I understand that it can be scary for any parent to hear their child is in pain, but we cannot ignore the trauma associated with adoption loss. Growing up, I struggled with separation anxiety, self-worth, a sense of belongingness, and not feeling loved enough. Open and honest communication is key.These conversations may even include difficult and controversial topics that include race.
Although it may be uncomfortable for you, these are the same struggles that your child endures daily whether it be at school, the community, or surrounded by their adoptive family. Color blindness is not realistic for a child of color. Always be culturally sensitive.
- International Adoption
- Transracial Adoption
- Public speaking
- Film editing
In life, how often do we reflect on why we do what we do? There can be one or many factors that play a role in influencing the decisions we make, or how things may happen beyond our control, especially when we are children. Through a collection of interviews from authors, foster care parents, adoptees, adoptive parents, a trauma therapist, biological mothers, social workers, and a legal guardian; the world of foster care and adoption unique to Appalachia is revealed.