Sanjana, with her grandfather
"I am a transracial adoptee born in Haiti and raised in North Carolina. I have an older sister and an older brother. Being the only adoptee and only black person in my family has shaped who I am today. While there were many high and lows; I do cherish and love my family. My parents were missionaries and moved our family down to Haiti when I was nine years old. We lived in Haiti for 2 1/2 years. Through this experience, I was able to connect with my biological family. I learned the language, culture and got to walk the land where my ancestors lived. I was always grateful for this experience, but as I have gotten older, I am truly aware of how the experience has changed my life for the good.
Adoption is trauma, joy, sadness, heartbreak, new beginnings, new ends, being found, being lost and never really knowing one's whole self. I love my family, and I find solace in the truth that I am loved beyond measures. In my adolescent years, I struggled with my identity and feeling like I truly belong. As an adoptee from Haiti, I felt as though I never fit in with the cultures around me. I never was quite Haitian enough, or African American enough and I obviously wasn't white enough. Racism inside and outside the family always affected me, but I did not have the language nor the courage to speak up and let my voice be heard.
I believe that all voices within the adoption triad should be heard. The adoptive parents have controlled the narrative for years. However, the story is about adoptees and birth parents, and we are not truly heard. So, I am on a mission to provide a safe space for adoptees and birth parents to speak the truth as well as adoptive parents. Post-adoption support and education are vital for a healthy adoption, and it should be made mandatory." (North Carolina, USA)
Lynn is actively working on changing the adoption narrative. Keep up with her on Instagram @adoptee_to_adoptee