It is about 45 minutes until midnight and I have just become comfortable with where I am. As I sit here in my private condo, I can’t help but feel grateful and privileged to be here at the Pact family camp. After a beautiful drive through the mountains and the Lake Tahoe National Forrest, I arrived to the resort. When pulling up onto the long driveway, I immediately heard and saw little brown kids running up and down the rocky hills with their white parents watching from the parking lot. I glanced to my left and I noticed teenagers playing a friendly game of basketball and families splashing in the pool. It had finally hit me that I was in a safe place that I had never been to before. It was absolutely surreal to see and to know that there were so many families built and structured the same way my own family is. Growing up, I thought that I was alone. I mean, I knew there had to be other brown kids with white parents out in the world somewhere, but to actually see their faces in person made the truth come alive. When hearing the sounds of the kids voices in the background as I drove up in search for the lobby, I told myself to not only be present in the moment but to also acknowledge the child inside of me that longed for this type of connection.
The thought and feeling of belonging, acceptance, and community grew quickly inside of me. Even though, I am now an adult, this opportunity to attend this camp will help me deal with a lot of uncertainties and lack of identity questions that I have been holding onto since I was a young girl. I am here to share my journey with parents and other adult adoptees, but just as important, I am here to heal and discover what was once never acknowledged and talked about when I was a child surrounded by white people.
everyone joined one another again in the main ballroom for a welcoming session. Beth Hall, the director introduced herself, and the purpose of the camp. To welcome everyone, she acknowledged every group that was attending. She first asked for all the adoptees and foster children to raise their hands. I stood in the back of the room and I raised my hand along with 80% of the 347 persons in the room. I raised my hand proudly and I shed my first tear. I was so overwhelmed to be joined by so many others who get me, who sees my joys and struggles, who knows me, who is just like me. I was completely relieved and exhilarated at the same time. The feeling is indescribable. To think that these kids in the same room have this community at such as young age and that they are experiencing it with their parents, non-adoptive siblings, birth parents, counselors, volunteers, staff, and experts. I am so happy and grateful that these kids have a caring and loving support group, not just within their families, but also nationwide. It is absolutely a beautiful and incredible advantage that will contribute to their overall health and journey as a transracial adoptee.
Checking back into myself and watching my feelings, I realized that I am now settled and comfortable with where I have been, where I sit now, and where I’m headed tomorrow. I am breathing easy. Thank you again. - Nisha G. 7/3/14