Transracial Adoption

Parenting Across Race

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 in Family & Friends, For Educators, Race & Culture, Transracial Adoption | Comments Off on Parenting Across Race

Parenting Across Race

A new essay I wrote,”Raising Yunhee,” on transracial adoption and parenting across race, has just been published at Korean American Story.   “Adopting Yunhee was one journey; raising her was another. My own passion for Korea, which became my second homeland and the source of my second culture and second language, made me determined to give Yunhee a sense of her birth legacy. But how does a white American, even one who grew up in Korea, raise a Korean American – on an island in Maine?“   Yunhee was the model for Brianna in Brianna, Jamaica and the Dance of...

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To be Cambodian American

Posted by on Apr 10, 2012 in For Children's Book Creators, For Educators, Race & Culture, Transracial Adoption | 6 comments

To be Cambodian American

Ten years ago, when I received a commission from the Maine Humanities Council under their New Mainers Book Project, my assignment was to create a picture book representing the Cambodian-American experience.  I considered it an impossible task; that is, on my own, I could not produce an authentic Cambodian-American story. But I thought that if I listened long enough, perhaps a story might come through me. I read every book I could find about Cambodia, the war, the escape, and life in the U.S.; most titles were survivor accounts. The local community was wonderfully supportive, especially my...

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Race Talk with Young Kids: How to Start

Posted by on Apr 27, 2011 in For Educators, Race & Culture, Transracial Adoption | 1 comment

Race Talk with Young Kids: How to Start

When our Korean-born daughter was four or five, one of her favorite adults was Hyo-Jung, a young Korean-American friend. At some point during each visit with our daughter, Hyo-Jung would lift a strand of her glossy, straight black hair, then a similar strand of Yunhee’s, and sing, “Same hair!” The game never failed to delight Yunhee and I’m sure helped forge a deep bond with this lovely woman who looked like her, as none of her immediate family members did. Hyo-Jung was simply pointing out the obvious, in a relaxed, playful, affirming tone. For people who’ve...

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Voices of Adoption

Posted by on Nov 22, 2010 in Changing White Mind, Transracial Adoption | 4 comments

Voices of Adoption

  Anyone connected to adoption from any angle should check out the first issue of a brand-new magazine, The Adoption Constellation. It will be a quarterly print publication from Adoption Mosaic, a website which seeks “to create a safe space where adoption community members can voice their experience, dialogue about issues, and learn from one another.”   I’m honored to have been invited to adapt my “White Mind” columns, directly addressing white adoptive parents of children of color. Many of the articles in the magazine touch on aspects of transracial adoption.  ...

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Dreams 2

Posted by on Aug 10, 2010 in Family & Friends, Korean Books & Culture, Transracial Adoption | 3 comments

Dreams 2

Our daughter, the bride. photo by Angela Tran

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Dreams Coming True

Posted by on Aug 7, 2010 in Family & Friends, Korean Books & Culture, Transracial Adoption | 4 comments

Dreams Coming True

This week I’m transported with love, joy and wonder: Our daughter Yunhee married her beloved Josh (ours, too) on July 31. The night before we held a Korean ceremony complete with traditional wedding hanbok and ritual bows. Tomorrow I arrive at Camp Sejong in northwestern New Jersey, where I’m the creative writing teacher for the Korean-born campers, ages 7-14, from both adoptive and Korean-American families. (For an account of my first year at Sejong in 2007, see “Hong Kil Dong Goes to Camp”.) We’ll be creating vision maps, titled “A Bridge of...

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