Imagining I belong

Although I am part Caucasian, I do consider myself a Transracial Adoptee. I don’t think we hear enough about transracial adoptees. We get our title from being adopted by families of a different race than ours— usually whites. Racial identity crises is common among transracial adoptees:

what’s in the mirror may not reflect which box you want to check

Prior to ICWA, a significant number of Native American children were removed from their homes and placed in non-Native American homes. The numbers aren’t much better post-ICWA, either. ICWA was enacted in 1978 but it was still too little, too late for most of us. Would it have changed our situation if it was enacted sooner? That is a question that will never be answered for my family. In 1979 my “Egg Donor” was in prison and lost her parental rights. So maybe ICWA wouldn’t have been the answer to my situation, but you never know.

I’ve spoken on this subject more than once because it has affected me emotionally and mentally. Transracial adoption is a seriously over looked subject and the long term affects can be damaging. I’m not saying ALL transracial adoptions are bad, but they aren’t all good either. Thousands of Native American children were forcibly removed from their tribes and sent to white families because it was believed that they would be much better off.

So now here we are, a different generation of Native Americans. We lack the knowledge and history of our people and don’t speak the language. We have no real identity because we don’t feel like we belong anywhere. I recently made contact with another cousin on my Native side through Ancestry.com, and she is what prompted me to write about this again. I recognize my addiction to Ancestry.com and I accept it. My “Egg Donor” used to ask me all the time what it was that I got out of the whole thing. She still can’t understand why the search for family history is so important to me. Because of her, I lost my identity and my entire family and that’s why Ancestry.com is so important to me. Although I will probably never meet a majority of the people I find, at least for a moment, I can imagine I belong somewhere.

 

~Kasper 2018

 

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