My Life as an Adoptee in Q&A


Almost any adoptee can relate to the curiosity one’s friends and peers might have about what it’s like being adopted. Some questions are household staples, others come dangerously close to being too personal and some are flat-out inappropriate. I’ve compiled list of some of the common questions I have been asked over the years and my responses to each: Continue reading “My Life as an Adoptee in Q&A”

Advice from an Adoptee to First-time Soon-to-be Adoptive Parents

Two years ago my friend Gabriel (not her real name so as to protect her privacy) reached out to me, wanting to talk about adoption. Gabriel is an accomplished, single woman in her early 40s who, like many girls and young women, always thought she’d one day marry and have a family of her own. Except it didn’t quite happen the way she was led to believe it would. Continue reading “Advice from an Adoptee to First-time Soon-to-be Adoptive Parents”

Iowa, China and Ethiopia: How One Couple Built Their Family through Birth, Adoption and Love

The following is reprinted on this blog with permission by AsiaTrend Magazine. It originally appeared in AsiaTrend Magazine’s August 2015 issue which can now be accessed online by following this link.

Iowa, China and Ethiopia: How One Couple Built Their Family through Birth, Adoption and Love

By Jodi Katherine Kiely

When I first set out to interview Jane and Dave Jensen of Decorah, Iowa, I envisioned walking away from our interview with a story about how the international adoption process has changed over the years for adoptive parents like the Jensens. I thought I would hear how adoptive parents now travel to the birth country of their child to meet him or her prior to bringing them home to the United States. (This is in comparison to earlier days when adoptive parents would hold their child for the first time at a U.S. airport after waiting hours for their new son or daughter’s international flight to hit U.S. soil.) Or a how the actual adoption process is now carried out in U.S. and local government offices in the child’s birth country, an approach much different from earlier times when such formalities were conducted in a U.S. courtroom. Continue reading “Iowa, China and Ethiopia: How One Couple Built Their Family through Birth, Adoption and Love”

From the Perspective of an Adoptive Parent

Picture 3
Childhood photo with me and my brother Ben.

Even to this day, our mom likes to tell the story of people’s reactions to seeing her as a young mother with me and my brother when we were babies and young kids. (Because I was adopted and my brother was not, we are essentially so close in age that we qualify as Irish Twins. There is one week in September when we are even the same age!) Apparently strangers would come up to her, showering my brother and me with attention, which scared us because they’d be right up there in our faces, sometimes even touching us. All the while they would be saying to our mother, “Oh, did you adopt?” To which she would always reply, “Yes, but for the life of me I can’t remember which one.” And with that, she’d take off with us, leaving the well-intentioned but over-bearing strangers behind trying to sort out what exactly they just heard.

It’s a cute story, but it did get me thinking…adoptees are used to hearing it all, sometimes personal questions from well-intentioned people and sometimes ignorant reactions from those who just don’t get it. But it never occurred to me until hearing this story again as an adult that adoptive parents have probably heard it all too.

Living in a blended family can certainly draw all sorts of attention, both good and bad. And it’s not just the adoptee who is affected. It’s an experience the entire family goes through at one point or another.