Sanjana, with her grandfather
“I was adopted from South Korea when I was 5 months old to a family in Minnesota. I grew up being teased for not looking like everyone else, wearing an eye patch with glasses, and not being able to say my “r’s.” On top of that, I was told to “go back to my home country.” After being teased all through elementary, I realized if you excelled in other areas and made people smile, people liked you, so I became an overachiever, perfectionist. I put pressure on myself to get straight A’s and win competitions. I started making self-deprecating jokes and being energetic all the time. The high level of stress caught up to me in high school. A darkness came over me and I became depressed and had mini anxiety attacks. I felt like I was a burden and would never be good enough. Thoughts of suicide became an everyday occurrence. Years went by and I put walls up of a happy façade because I thought sharing my feelings would only make me seem weak and more of an annoyance to people. My depression led me to overdose, but luckily, I did not succeed in my suicide attempt.
Through therapy and training, I learned how to cultivate a positive mindset around adoption, the skill and value of being vulnerable and how to accept myself as myself. This journey led me to leave corporate life to go live in Korea for two years. There, I was able to connect with my birth mother and other family members and assure them that the hard choice of putting me up for adoption, was the right choice. Living in my birth country explained the culture and mindset my birth mother was in and her selfless reasoning for putting me up for adoption. In 2019, I founded Pineapple Mindset LLC. I have had the opportunity to speak internationally about my adoption story to discourage adoption being a taboo subject and launched the first online course, Lost to Leader, to guide adoptees through my 4-step process to find a Pineapple Mindset: self-confidence, vulnerability, and community building.”
Chloe founded Pineapple Mindset LLC (https://pineapplemindset.com/) as a platform to help adoptees cultivate self-confidence to become leaders within their own lives through her online course, Lost to Leader, (https://pineapplemindset.com/lost-to-leader) and working with adoptees as an Adoptee Life Coach. You can follow her work on Instagram and Facebook @pineapplemindset.