Books

When Gazillion Voices’ parent company Land of Gazillion Adoptees, LLC (LGA) partnered with CTQ Media and Publishing in 2012 to release Parenting As Adoptees, the companies’ founders – Kevin Haebeom Vollmers and Adam Chau – did not plan on doing additional books, at least not in the immediate future. Adam and Kevin both had other aspirations, goals, and projects that needed their attention. Nevertheless, in the last two years, LGA and CQT Media and Publishing have worked with The Lost Daughters collective on Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption From a Place of Empowerment and Peace and Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston to publish...

Bridging false divides

TRACING POPULAR VOICE In a project I give in my illustration classes, I have students deconstruct a Lebanese proverb literally and figuratively in order to illustrate its meaning. In the ensuing research, we examine how proverbs condense and resonate historical and cultural roots that still carry forward. Students are often amazed at what is gleaned from interviews with grandparents and other relatives as to historical meaning. Many of the proverbs examined comment on the role of children in society. For all of the proverbs I’ve come across that speak to me concerning my adoption, there is one that readily stands...

Bisexual Adoptee Identity, Invisibility, and Inclusivity in Asian American Activism

It’s a sunny summer day in Insadong, an art gallery and souvenir shop-filled neighborhood in central Seoul. I’m inquiring about prices with a shop owner as we stumble over each other’s languages, and to her my face doesn’t make sense with the English coming out of my mouth. Where Am I From? she wants to know. Why Don’t I Speak Korean? Am I Japanese?Aniyo, mi-guk, I reply. Ibyang. American. Adopted. She looks at me, shrugs, and quotes me 15000 won. Back in the States, I sit in a packed room, listening to an Asian American community leader talk about the...

Becoming

Save Me, Acculturate Me, Inform Me The evolution of how our society views children has been changing with every generation. I am of the generation of parents who would like to believe I treat my children as individuals with potential, not mere vessels to fill. Not so in the world of adoption. The stagnation of how we, adopted children, are viewed is troubling. We were and still are the commodity for those doing God’s will. We continue to fill the void of infertility. We are the recipients of many years of purposeful re-education of parents to be more holistic in...

Beauty, Control, and Adoption

Beauty, Control, and Adoption With poetry that’s raw and evocative and prose that’s honest and thought-provoking, I always know I’m in for something special when I read anything by writer Mila Konomos. Her essay, “Beauty, Control, and Adoption” is no exception. Mila’s article is excerpted from Adoption Therapy, Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption Issues. With contributors who are adoptees, counselors, or both, Adoption Therapy is a much-needed tool for adoptees (and adoptive parents) entering therapy or processing on their own, and for those professionals tasked with helping them. The anthology covers topics such as the...

Batman, Harry Potter and the Myth of the Exceptional Orphan

A few years ago, I taught Intro to Playwriting for kids, ages 11-13. On the first day, I asked students what kinds of plays they each wanted to write. To my surprise, nearly half of them wanted to write plays that featured an orphaned protagonist. As someone who had once been legally classified as an orphan, I had grown up with mostly negative associations with the word. “Orphan” always conjured up images of hungry children, cold and alone. In my young mind, orphanhood was something I had needed to be saved from. So what was the attraction for these kids,...

Are You Done Ruining My Movie Yet, Overly Critical Adoptee? Sure. When You Stop Watching Shitty Movies.

Below is a transcript from a conversation I had with myself. All selves are fictitious and any resemblance to real selves, living or dead, is purely, most likely coincidental. Contains random spoilers to movies. Read at your own risk. Me: Oh my god, come over here and sit down. I’m watching this flick called Orphan. It is so fucked up. You should make us some popcorn. Me2: Are you serious? You’re watching this? Do you even know… anything? Yes. Let’s portray adoptees as murderous evil children, who by the way, try and seduce their daddies. I mean not only EWWWW...

Angela Breckenitch

Name: Angela BreckenitchAge: 33Gender: FemaleIdentify as: Asian or Korean, but I’m Italian at heart. Have you always felt comfortable in your skin?: I’ve never felt comfortable in my skin and probably never will. I was teased relentlessly in my youth, not only for being Asian, but for being fat, ugly, and flat-chested. I have always felt like there was a stranger looking back at me in the mirror. I don’t know what I should look like, but the person looking back at me never felt right. I have suffered from eating disorders and body dysmorphia since I was 11-years-old. I...

Angela and Bryan Tucker of Closure

When I was preparing to meet up with Bryan and Angela Tucker, I had no idea I’d have two models on my hands. As luck would have it though, the pair showed up impeccably dressed in stylish summer wear that blended perfectly with our backdrop of choice: the Lake Union waterfront near Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). Many of you might be flipping through these photos in disbelief at the blue skies and shining sun, but here’s a secret: Seattle summers are among the very best. Visit the Emerald City between July and September, and you’ll have picture-perfect...

An Unwavering Voice

“Did my voice shake?” I was taken aback by the question Kimberly asked me as she brushed her bangs away from her face. “No, your voice didn’t shake,” I whispered. “Are you kidding me?” Kimberly, who omitted her last name for this interview, had every reason to be nervous. She had just descended from a stage after introducing the dean of a prominent graduate school to more than 200 guests. On the night of December 12, 2013, students, professionals, policy makers, and concerned citizens from all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey filed into the large meeting room of a cozy...