The creation of this website was born out of the experiences of two openly adopted adoptees who grew up as friends (yes, that's us up there!). As open adoptees, we both had very different experiences with our biological and adoptive families, but there were some things we had in common as we grew up. Much of what we had in common was feeling at a loss for what family meant to us, how and where we belonged in the world, and at the very core, what to make of who we were.
As we sought out other adoptees' experiences and perspectives, gathered information, and tried to gain answers, we found very little that helped us understand our own experiences. What we found instead, was the information provided by adoption agencies that was geared towards the marketing of open adoption. What information we did find that was not oriented towards marketing, was information and chat rooms geared toward parents (biological and adoptive) and children of closed adoption. Mostly though, the resources we found were for parents.
In our search to make sense of our experiences, we looked towards the perspectives and answers of adoptees from closed adoptions. While we identified with some of the experiences, much of it also felt entirely foreign. There was one unavoidable difference between open and closed adoptions: adoptees of closed adoptions either never knew their biological parents or met them much later in life. While the information and perspectives were helpful, they could not help us begin to unravel the complexities of knowing our biological parents from a young age.
We are dedicating this site to the children of open adoption because, although the choice of adoption for adults is big and life altering, it is the a decision that encompasses the entire existence of the child and follows them for the entirety of their lives. We want to be able to help bring the voices of adopted children to the forefront of the experience and cultivate a sense of belonging and community for those who struggle with and question their sense of identity.
Tisa was openly adopted and grew up in Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in San Francisco and is pursuing writing and adoption advocacy. Her writing has been published in Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, The Bridge Literary Journal, and will appear in Essential Truths: The Bay Area in Color. Her interests are rooted in understanding people’s experiences and how they influence who they become. Tisa holds a B.A. in clinical psychology from Tufts University.
Ellis Stemple was openly adopted and grew up in Portland, Oregon. She is currently spending her time between Washington State and Oregon. Ellis is deeply drawn creating to music and visual art, but also using it as a way to help understand and process our experiences.