The Adopted Life Episode [VIDEO] - Washington D.C.

 

Bryan and I have spent countless hours developing The Adopted Life episodes concept, running a successful 30 day fundraising campaign, drafting the legal contracts, traveling to DC to film the episode in partnership with Adoptions Together & Kathryn Hamm, collaborating with Tomi Adewale to design the opening graphic sequence and editing down hours of footage (all while holding down my full-time day job). After all that, it is very exciting to see the first installment of our dream come to fruition!

The Adopted Life episodes heeds the call from those seeking adoptee voices to be more widely included in the growing body of post-adoption educational resources. Selfishly, this project feeds my working theory that @@positive transracial adoptee identity development is highly influenced by being in relationship with other transracial adoptees@@ - perhaps even more so than heritage camps, or the inclusion of holidays like Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year and Cinco de Mayo. 

Bryan & I sharing a laugh together on the set. Pictured with Ethiopian, transracial adoptee, Abeba (age 10). Assisting transracially adopted youth better understand their identity is such a privilege. Being able to do this work with my husband is a dream. 

Bryan & I sharing a laugh together on the set. Pictured with Ethiopian, transracial adoptee, Abeba (age 10). Assisting transracially adopted youth better understand their identity is such a privilege. Being able to do this work with my husband is a dream. 

On the day of the filming, I hosted six participants over a six hour time period for one hour conversations each - phew! Bryan worked two cameras, managed the lighting, kept a quiet, comfortable and distraction free set. Family members of the participants waited in the "green room" while we filmed.

My conversation with Vietnamese transracial adoptee, Sophia Bremer felt like a tennis volley - back and forth, back and forth, devoid of any judgment, pre-determined questions or pat responses. The minutes ticked by faster than either of us would have preferred. Sophia lingered in the green room for a few hours after our interview concluded, taking advantage of the opportunity to meet the other participants, their families & attempting to soak in every morsel of adoptee aura. Sophia's desire to spend half of her Saturday on The Adopted Life set was affirmation that normalizing the complexity of the adopted life can decrease the isolation that is often felt by transracial adoptees. Upon returning home to Seattle, I received an email from her, it reads (in part):

When I first heard about this opportunity to be a part of such a growing and inspirational community of adoptees, I was ecstatic! Growing up as an international adoptee, born in Vietnam and being raised in Germany by a German father and an American mother (both Caucasian), it just felt “right” to finally talk about my adoption in public. The conversation I had with Angela was real. It was comforting to know that she knew how I felt. @@The connection which adoptees have is so different than any other relationship.@@ People who are not in that same situation, cannot truly and fully understand.
— Sophia Bremer (Age 20)

This summer we will travel to Los Angeles and New York to film the other two episodes. Stay updated on the progress of The Adopted Life on the Facebook Page.