The adopted life

Strengthening the adoption community by empowering adoptees

Keynote Speech

 Photo Credit: Bryan Tucker

Photo Credit: Bryan Tucker

Title: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Length: 60 minutes

Bio: With a diagnosis of Spastic Quadriplegia, a label of "failure to thrive," and my name being chosen by the spin of a Rolodex, my future trajectory was all but predetermined by the age of 1. My early caregivers had meager expectations for my life and finding a family proved so difficult that it warranted discounted adoption fees. Now, at the age of 32, having played collegiate basketball, managed my asthma and hearing loss challenges and having successfully navigated residual pangs of abandonment, I can't help but wonder; do adoptees like me, owe their parents a lifetime of stated gratitude? 

Adoptees are the experts of the adoption experience. However, we continue to strain to be heard by the general public and thus the media fueled stereotypes and widespread misunderstandings persist. As Chimimanda Adichie states: “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” Empowering adoptee voices to decrease stigmas is not as easy as simply asking more adoptees to share their story publicly, as we are not entitled to anyone's personal experiences. So, how do we solve this problem? 

Let's talk about The Adopted Life. 

Angela epitomizes brilliance and beauty. She is a leading voice in adoption and for the younger generation.
— — Susan Harris O'Connor, MSW, National Speaker & Author
Angela’s poignant keynote immediately engaged our attendees as she shared her powerful story and journey in foster care and adoption. Her authenticity was inspiring and encouraging our audience connected to child welfare. Angela was great at highlighting key elements for our multidisciplinary audience to keep in mind while supporting youth in care. Angela truly amplifies the voices of young people for others to hear and learn from to make things better for those connected with child welfare.
— Shoulder to Shoulder Conference Committee, Portland, OR