In which I respond to Mr. Stephen Thatcher and his May 2019 critical commentary on Korean adoptees. Mr. Thatcher is a Korean adoptee representing the Korean Adoptee support network, Me & Korea.

Author’s Note: I rarely republish from my blog to here and back again, but I’m making an exception because I am just that outraged. Mr. Thatcher, a Korean adoptee, shared his remarks in a conference brochure in May 2019. Find his full essay on page 93.

Dear Stephen,

It’s with great professional restraint that I don’t open my letter with a descriptive passage detailing my initial reaction to…

Photo credit

I’m not a singer, I’m not a consumer of pop culture, and I’m definitely not that into music. But when I watched this kid’s amazing rendition of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up,” I was taken not just by 13-year-old Jeffrey Li’s unquestionable talent but by something else completely.

I write a lot about racial mirroring and its importance for children of color. As I kept pushing replay, though, it wasn’t because of Li’s goosebump-inducing vocals. I realized it was the first time in my parenting life I saw a young boy on a stage and said, “Damn. That…

What adopted children really need.

Anyone following adoption news and adoptee writers knows adult adoptees are extremely dissatisfied with adoption’s portrayal: It’s too happy, it’s too sappy, it’s too focused on the adoptive parent’s journey.

Of course, I helped them out a bit:

But I believe most adoptive parents want to do good by their children and it’s under that assumption that I share this with you.

I know many adoptees have asked you to #JustListen, but what does that mean? Does it mean reading our tweets, our blogs, and our books? …

Parents are rehoming their adopted children on the internet, just like pets. And it must stop.

What’s rehoming? It’s the practice of adopting children and then sending them back to the adoption agency — or using sites like Facebook to find them a new home — when they’re no longer wanted.

As a Rehoming 101 for public awareness, this ongoing series/investigative report aims to expose and end rehoming, using evidence-based research, historical and current analyses, and recent adoption commentary.

To see how this got started, review Dear White Woman Who Returned Her Adopted Kids and In response to those who support returning adopted kids, two open letters to those supporting this practice.

Don’t miss the next…

A Korean Transracial Adoptee’s Perspective On A Traditional Asian Debate

Asian activists know of the intense controversy surrounding dating partners, particularly concerning white male-Asian female relationships. In this two-part series, I’ll present a transracial adoptee’s perspective using academic literature and studies. I hope it encourages more intercountry and transracial adoptees to speak out.

I started my writing journey back in November 2017, solely an adoption writer hoping to confront race within the confines of transracial adoption and the American family. Like all great ideas, I built mine on 70% strategy and 30% whatever happens.

As I took on this space, I didn’t feel I had enough credibility to speak toward…

Recently, a young white girl wore a qipao to her prom, a traditional Chinese dress typically worn by Asian women. Backlash against this young lady’s style choice ranged from accusations of racism, discussions of cultural appropriation, and support — from both whites, Asians, and even China.

As a Korean adoptee, I felt uncomfortable in both Western clothing and traditional Korean clothing, because my identity didn’t fit either societal-enforced mold. To some, my dressing in trendy American styles was a sign of my assimilation; my complete and wholehearted embracing of America. …

Because yes, there are people excusing this behavior

In less than one week after I shared Dear White Woman Who Returned Her Adopted Children (and anyone else who thinks this is okay), I’ve been accused of

  • Harboring “white hate”
  • Being judgmental
  • Not knowing how hard/traumatic adoption is (?!)
  • Hating adoptive parents

I’ve also been told

  • My “adoptee perspective” limits my ability to see clearly
  • The adoption agency didn’t adequately prepare the parents
  • The children “dodged a bullet” by possibly finding a new, loving home
  • The parents likely realized they didn’t have it in them to parent, so they wanted to cut their losses early

I’ll be addressing each…

(and anyone else who thinks this is acceptable)

In response to an article explaining a woman’s decision to actually return her adoptive children only four months after bringing them to her home, I’ve composed this letter addressed not only to her, but to adoptive parents who excuse this unconscionable behavior.

Dear Every Adoptive Parent Who Thinks This Is Okay,

You promised to love your adopted children like your own, thinking adoption was the solution to whatever inability you had to bear your own biological children.

You underwent the process to obtain someone’s children, tiny human beings with souls already marked by uncertainty and insecurity. …

And other things transracially adopted people of color deal with


#BeingRaisedByWhitePeople should be a hashtag any non-White who was, well, raised by white people, should use because #BeingRaisedByWhite people doesn’t so much suck as it leads to terribly awkward and painful lifelong confusion if done completely wrong.

My parents thought the word “racism” was a term used by minorities to exact revenge against perceived inequalities, a weapon drawn so people of color can instantly get a pass for nearly anything.

What my white mother’s view on makeup taught me as a Korean adoptee

Editor’s Note: This article is by guest writer Sunny J. Reed

In a beautifully reflective article written to honor her mother’s beauty routine, Plan A’s Jessica Rhee writes of her Korean mother’s skin care products:

Tokens of luxury, a psychological cocoon, a tangible sign of privilege, of finally belonging — these were what my mom really bought with her hard earned money in the heated years of the Reagan and Bush administrations. And let’s face it, all the “good” stuff was incredibly, starkly, white people stuff.

Jessica, now an adult, says that:

the lineup I rely on to unwind and quietly indulge myself, are unabashedly and proudly Asian. …

Sunny J Reed

Transracial adoption writer/researcher, budding PhD student, mom, excellent home chef. I enjoy fitness.

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