The Gaze: Psychotherapy and Race in the Treatment of Transracially Adoptive Family Members.

This is an edited  transcript of a presentation by Joy Lieberthal Rho, LCSW  and Martha Crawford, LCSW for a psychoanalytic institute symposium on adoption. The annual symposium had a history of primarily white, non-adopted  presenters speaking to an audience of white, non-adopted psychotherapists and psychoanalysts  about adoption issues. This presentation was our attempt to assert a different paradigm for adoption competence: One that remains grounded in psychoanalytic theory, acknowledging the psychological and cultural impact of race and racism, and is centered on the perspectives of adoptees of color.

JOY: A composite case: Chelsea is a 30 year old, Asian American woman, working in a non-profit organization in Human Relations.  She is adopted from Korea and came home at 9 months of age to a family from Philadelphia.  She felt she grew up in a middle class family with little incorporation of Korean culture.  Once in a while her family would attend a local Korean Church that would invite adoptive families for a picnic.  She hated attending these events.  Her parents tried to send her to culture camp but by the time they found out about such a camp, she was 13 years old and she hated that too.  After college, she went to Korea and decided to stay for a year.  She met other adoptees who lived in Korea and felt a strong connection to the group.  She searched and found her birth mother who have decided to keep her a secret and not reveal their reunion to anyone in her current family.  She has a strained, tense relationship with her adoptive parents.  She does not discuss her search and reunion with her adoptive parents.  She socializes primarily with other Korean adoptees.  She would like to be in a relationship with a Korean American man, but finds herself consistently with White men.  I am her third therapist.  She went to therapy when she was 14 years old because her parents felt she needed to speak with someone.  She liked her therapist but felt that her therapist tried too hard to speak for her parents so she took to not participating openly and honestly.  This was for one year.  She decided to enter therapy when she was in college, because it was free.  She felt it went well but she again found herself not able to be open about her wishes to search and go to Korea.  Her therapist revealed that she was in the process of adopting and was very interested in Chelsea’s decision to search.  Chelsea felt uncomfortable with having to teach her therapist.  Frustrated, she stopped therapy.  Through her network of adoptee friends, she came to me because she wanted to work with someone who “got her” and she would not need to educate me about being adopted or being Korean.  She was very interested in “just how Korean was I?” She came to discuss her workaholic ways as she is realizing she uses work as a way to distance herself from meaningful relationships.  Having discussed much of the content of this overview in our first session, Chelsea visibly is agitated at the close of our first session.  As she stands up, she asks, I think I am going crazy.  Am I crazy, do you think I am?    

As I share this profile, I wonder what you heard, how you pictured this woman and where would you go with her?  How do you think she identifies herself?  Where does being a person of color impact the way she speaks about herself and her relationships?


In white culture,  people are taught NOT talk about race – in part because when we did talk about race, most of what we had to say was denigrating – Archie-Bunker-esque racism, those uncomfortable moments when an elderly family member busts out with a startlingly racist statement at Thanksgiving, and is met with polite silence. White people don’t talk about race, because when we have talked about it, most of what we have have to say is explicitly racist, stereotypical, and denigrating of others.

So white psychotherapists and white adoptive parents have learned to stay silent – and we too often believe that our silence is an anti-racist stance.

We never talk about our own race, or our own racial identities. Again, in part, because those who have talked about  Whiteness are usually promoting white supremacy, so we make no reference to our culturally informed inheritances, privileges, biases, and assumptions as white people.

If you ask many white people about their racial/ethnic/cultural identity – they will respond saying “I’m Nothing, regular, just American”

As  Reni Eddo-Lodge, a British, Black writer & feminist puts it:”It’s vitally important to name and identify whiteness- it’s so often invisible and posited as the ‘norm’ whilst people of colour are the ‘other'”

We believe this is vitally important in the psychotherapy office in generally, and absolutely essential when working with members of transracially adoptive families – including adoptive  parents, adopted children, and adults.

For the purposes of discussion: we thought we should review some of the terms we may use today, what we mean by them. They are by  no means final and there are many people, sociologists – etc, who have far more developed definitions than these.

MARTHA:  Racism vs Prejudice:

“Racism is the practice of discrimination and prejudice based on racial classification supported by the power to enforce that prejudice (Barndt, 1991; Garcia & Van Soest, 2006).”

This can be discriminatory acts of commission or omission – exclusionary behavior, hate crimes, gate-keeping, acts which assert white supremacy and dominance based on biases that assert that non-white populations are inferior.

Only the dominant culture, in this definition, can commit racist acts, as racism is a systemic form of oppression.

An example: Once, as I held my infant in front of him, a tall white male pediatrician  informed a very short Asian American woman resident that “Koreans are the largest of the Asian races” and that is why “Americans” liked adopting them. “Moreover” he continued “adoptive parents never need to feel guilty if the children end up incarcerated or alcoholic, or flunk out because it is all genetic.”

This was a prejudicial statement toward me, as an adoptive parent – and a racist communication about my son – but additionally  – it indicates the existence of  a professional  barrier for the intern trailing him, now explicitly devalued at the workplace, who must professionally contend with securing a review and recommendation from a white superior,  who sees “little Asians” as genetically inferior.

People of all different races can hold prejudices about other racial groups. Prejudices are sometimes individually hurtful. Racism enacted by dominant culture manifests in creating actual systemic barriers and very real emotional/psychological obstacles to negotiate for people of color.

JOY – Unconscious Racism & Microaggressions:

–       Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults towards people of color.” Those who inflict racial microaggressions are often unaware that they have done anything to harm another person – Dr. DW Sue and colleagues

We seem to be in the deep waters of discussing this aspect of racism.  This is a positive movement toward a better understanding of the nuances of discussions of race and identity.  However, in international and transcultural/transracial adoptive families, we are still nowhere near where we could be.  In the intimacy of our families, I find our discomfort incredible and the strain of feeling betrayed by the ones we love and are supposed to be loved by mires us in having truly open dialogue.  Some examples I have heard, experienced and witnessed over the years:

–       When White adoptive parents speak about Blacks and Hispanics in derogatory terms in front of their Asian adopted child

–       Korean Culture Day Celebration – overhearing a White mother tell her Korean adopted child, looking at kimchee, and saying, “you won’t like that, it smells terrible”

–       Casual conversation with friends, “It must be because you were in an orphanage that makes you have such a “can do” attitude”


Institutionalized Racism. is something all white people benefit from. It is a statistically established advantage, and the accumulated result of the biases, preferences and “norms” created by all the conscious, unconscious racism of the predominantly white  individuals who design institutions, create laws, Even impoverished  white people receive advantages at negotiating governmental, medical, criminal, and academic institutions that people of color do not. White people are less likely to be stopped and frisked. People with names from white culture are more likely to be called in for job interviews. Our institutions are designed around specific socio-economic and cultural  assumptions that prefer and advantage white people.

JOY – Internalized Racism a method of viewing oneself, or members of ones own racial/ethnic group as a person of color, from the perspective of the dominant white culture.

We don’t like to talk about the racism we experience in our families, how we create our sense of self with a White mirror looking at us at all times.  It can feel a bit like the chicken and the egg situation.  How do we formulate a positive or negative sense of racial identity when we can often be given contradictory thoughts and feelings about us and our racial/ethnic tribe?

–                “I have had only positive things said of me…of course, I will be a doctor because I am so smart.  I believe because I am Korean, I was tracked.  Sure, I was smart, but I am not a genius.  I didn’t become a doctor, I am just an office worker at a financial company.  I feel like a failure, I have not lived up to their expectations.”

–                “I hate Korea, I can’t be there seeing the overtly objectification of women.  Sure we do the same thing in the United States, but it’s terrible what they do in Korea.”

–                “I would never date an Asian man, I just don’t find them attractive.”

MARTHA:  White privilege/White culture/Privilege – cultural beliefs assumptions, entitlements, accepted as universal, which derive from being the consistent beneficiary of institutional racism, as well as from being  exempt from having to negotiate the ongoing injury of explicit, unconscious and institutional racism.

JOY: the tricky bit is that as an adoptee of color, I do live in white privilege as I was taught to believe that what my parents didn’t have to negotiate, neither did I.  Social class and education has allowed me privilege to see others as others and not the same as me.  Feeling disenfranchised was more apparent when not in the company of my white parents.  Many of my clients, friends and colleagues talk to this as well.  We can be called Whitewashed or passing as White.  It takes conscious work for us to stay in that place being uncomfortable being judged by standards that are not our own and yet gain a sense of pride of seeing and experiencing the world through the lens our parents and White friends/colleagues are not always conscious of  – thereby allowing us to feel a sense of a greater social justice calling us to participate.  There is strength and pride in that too.

JOY:  Transracial – this term was historically  looked as only applying to a black child adopted by a white parent.  My only issue with this is that it is incredibly reductive and silos the adoptee’s experience unnecessarily, dividing our community.  My life experience calls for an understanding that “transracial” applies to any child of color adopted across racial lines to adoptive parents who are not of his/her same racial make-up.  When I made this statement in graduate school I was corrected by a Black professor who told me  I was inaccurate in defining myself as a transracial adoptee – “unconscious racism” or his “internalized racism”?

MARTHA:  The Gaze – Lacan & Foucault

So – The title of this presentation is “The Gaze” – and here we are discussing not only the voyeuristic guilt, and power implicit in sitting in the psychotherapists chair, but additionally, sitting in that chair, as a white psychotherapist – gazing at clients who live in transracially adoptive families: Who do we identify with easily? Who do we view as “other’?

For Lacan, this term refers both to the experience of looking and being looked at  – and the anxiety that is generated for both parties by an apparently “objective” gaze.

In The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Lacan recounts a story:

In his early 20’s, Lacan, as a young intellectual, spent a summer laboring on a boat with a crew of working class fisherman. One of whom pointed out a sardine can shimmering in the sun – “You see that out there?” the fisherman said, as the bright sun glared into Lacan’s eyes off the shiny can – “You can see it, but it can’t see you…”

This experience activated a unique crisis of shame in Lacan, and called attention to Lacan’s  lurking political guilt at his own privileged position in relation to the working class fishermen. 

He began to elucidate on a special type of objectifying experience of looking and being looked at – The Gaze. The Gaze originates from a viewer with a privileged stance, objectifying those without the privilege who do not  have the status to return the gaze back  – and then when the privileged viewer recognizes the power differential in this voyeuristic transaction  – the anxiety of objectification  “reflects back” –  surprising the privileged  viewer.  Once that privilege  is recognized, it  “disturbs him (the viewer)  and reduces him to a feeling of shame”  

Michael Foucault elaborates further on Lacan’s construct by defining The Gaze as a relationship that exists across power differentials – and emphasizes the material, political, and biological effect on that the Gaze has upon those who are gazed upon.

In Foucault’s view – the Gaze of the dominant viewer claims the field, defining their own experience as “normal” as healthy, as baseline, as universal and unobservable –  and stands in their field  scrutinizing the Other, defining and describing the  Other, placing a narrative burden upon the Other to “explain” their differences and divergence from the “normal” position of the observer.  

This is reflected in all our language about race in the United States:

“My family is regular American  but  my African American son goes to school with several Chinese immigrant kids”  – is a very different statement than: I am a culturally White American, my child identifies himself, and is likely to be identified by others as Black although of course he is being raised in white culture as well  and there are many first-generation families who have recently moved from China at our school”

MARTHA: White people often cry racism whenever anyone speaks of race at all – in part because our culture never requires us to really THINK about our experience as our own cultural assumptions as racially bound up in Whiteness. White adoptive parents are often deeply distressed when their child of color asserts that the parents are indeed white. It is also fairly common for white parents to worry that an adoptee  “will be  prejudiced against white people” while happily and continuously introducing their child is a Chinese adoptee.

JOY: As an example – as an Asian adoptee being questioned about my loyalty to this country by those close to me. For clients, colleagues and friends, to be unfriended on Facebook by their White friends who feel they are no longer able to relate to their identification as a person of color.


So lets  examine  this transacted Gaze, and its impact on all  participants in the psychotherapy office:

~  transracial adoptees as objects of white culture’s Gaze and the special anxieties that emerge as adoptees negotiate the power differentials between themselves and their parents –

~   On white adoptive parents as Gazing members of the dominant culture and the unique shame filled crisis they may either face or retreat from when these privileges are called to their attention or they are forced, by circumstance or by their children to see this for themselves.

~ And of course, the Gaze of the  psychotherapist:

MARTHA:  White therapists –  who are working with transracially adoptive family members  -must contend with this reflected shame and anxiety in themselves, in order to be able to offer members of adoptive families support and mirroring.

JOY:  when the Gazing therapist is a person of color with a client of color, when the Gaze is mutual.  This can be an incredibly powerful experience for both client and clinician, where codeswitching is seamless and the fluidity of conversation deeper and more intimate. It does force the clinician to be more conscious of countertransference and transference, no two life experiences are the same.  But as both the client and the clinician, I have found the work to be intense, relieving with feelings erupting more vociferously.

The  Gaze  Bounces back  – THE CRISIS OF WHITENESS.

MARTHA: And what I would suggest is that, for transracially adoptive parents, and for transracial adoptees –  the unfolding and growing recognition  of the impact of the parent’s, and in some cases a therapist’s whiteness on the adoptee constitutes a kind of reflecting crisis of shame and anxiety – a parallel process between adoptive parent, adoptee and therapist.

– and it is important for psychotherapists to remember that it is at core a developmental and relational crisis:

A crisis akin to many of the kinds of crises of shame, development, guilt, remorse, concern, empathy and reparation that we are familiar with through contemporary psychoanalytic theory: 

And it is a healing, maturational crisis: expanding awareness that all parties can either forge through or retreat from.
A Lacanian crisis of shame and anxiety of the Gaze:  recognizing suddenly  what you cannot see about yourself as a parent and as a therapist – the impact of the white cultural Gaze upon transracial adoptees, what we cannot easily see about our own whiteness and unconscious bias.

JOY: Lacanian crisis for the adopted:   The adopted child/adult grows speaking the same language as her White parents by virtue of the shared family history.  Therefore, she speaks only within the context of White culture, ie.  Referring to other people of color as “them”, “special”, “unique”, “other”.  The adoptee then has limited vocabulary to describe the “other” and how they feel in the category of “other.”

What can happen when the adoptive parents do not acknowledge this difference is a feeling of betrayal by the adoptee when they realize that they are not White.  This can lead to a sense of shame for not being able to accurately know how to describe their feelings of being “other.”  Thus the adoptee thinks pathologically, she must crazy.

MARTHA-  A self-psychological crisis as white parents & white therapists experience their inability to serve as mirroring self-objects to adoptees of color  and the inevitable empathic failures that occur because of this –

JOY: This same self psychological crisis can exist for the adoptee when he knows he cannot walk in the same privilege as his White parents and extended family and friends.  For example, being a Latino adoptee raised on the upper east side of NYC by White parents.  Knowing that the real estate agent will be skeptical of him when he goes apartment shopping. This leads to a melancholia or an ambivalence about having to constantly choose and negotiate reactions and responses depending on the situation making the adopted feel like a chameleon.

MARTHA: A Winnicotian crisis of  inadequate parental holding as an adoptee matures into ever complex needs regarding their racial identity. When it comes to negotiating the realities of living in a racialized  world a “colorblind” parent is not prepared &  cannot accommodate or prepare  to their child’s  experiential reality. 

As a result ,  adoptees are  often pressed to create false-self  identities. While many many white parents say lovingly and confidently and explicitly  “I don’t see my child as Asian, Black,  Latino ” there is also an implicit unspoken:  “I see my child as White.” and the child constructs an accommodating   “white” false self for the family and a true self  is left to forge a racial identity alone, unparented.

JOY: For the adopted person, she then must go on the quest of realizing…acknowledging and then seeking affirmation that her adoptive parents cannot be a mirror. This would mean then, that the adoptee can feel forced to go outside of the family unit and seek others.  For some, they come to a therapist.  This can again feel like a betrayal of knowing that they must step out of a circle of trust and security to explore this “other” “True Self”  aspect of their identity.

MARTHA: An  intersubjective, relational crisis where white parents and white therapists are challenged in their unconscious subjective experience  of white privilege and believe their perceptions and experiences negotiating life as white people are normal, universal, useful and applicable to the the lives of transracially adopted people.

JOY: The intersubjective crisis for the adopted person? – We suggest then that the adopted person cannot negotiate the world as White person and so he must go through a new normative process of identity formation. As Fenton Moore, adoptee, therapist, adoptive parent presented, “There is nothing that describes us in a scientific way.  We don’t have a cultural adjustment disorder but rather, the adopted identity is a normative process and needs to be negotiated at every stage of life.”

JOY: The Therapist as holding the Gaze –

Because so much of adoption is personal, I would like to share with you some of my personal reflections of therapy and then as a therapist.

My first therapist:

  •    White
  •    Wonderful
  •    Normalized the various traumas of growing up in my adoptive family
  •    Allowed me to give voice to the abuse and negative experiences of my childhood
  •    But we rarely discussed race.  I brought it up and often, but while it was received and held by her, we didn’t discuss it
  •    I was conflicted and loyal and only stopped my work with her when I could no longer commute

My clinical supervisor:

  •    Korean American
  •    Learned that my impulses did not just come from adaptive behavior but also because I am a Korean American woman having lived in Korea for the first 6 years of my life
  •    She used words like – legitimate Korean/Asian woman
  •    As a supervisor and mentor, she knew the chaos in my life of being with a Korean American man, raising fully ethnically Korean children and living with my Korean birthmother and brother for a spell
  •    I was good with the adoption narrative, not so good at the “person of color” and multicultural aspects of my identity
  •    Encouraged me to see an Asian American therapist

My Asian American therapist:

  •    She gave me words
  •    She reminded me that I was not crazy
  •    She helped me to see my unique and varied coping mechanisms – some were Asian in style, some were from the adoptive family I grew up with, some were trauma based
  •    She looked like me, spoke like me (with no accent) and she was a seeker

This is all preface to mirror the journey of many of my clients who come specifically to see me based on my profile.

Odd because the therapist should not be the reason people come to therapy, but I have grown to appreciate they seek a mirror too.

JOY: Examples of engaging in therapy with therapists of color:

They come to me saying things like:

  •    I can tell you the exact day I realized I was not White and from that moment, my life has been hell
  •    I want to talk about this abandonment thing but I don’t want to talk about adoption
  •    I can’t understand what the importance of family is when I sit there with my adoptive family at Thanksgiving trying to eat all the foods I hate and don’t agree with me
  •    I can no longer spend time with my extended family sitting in the living room with the confederate flag up on the wall over the fireplace. I know they are good people, but how can they not see how offensive that is?
  •    And an 11 year old child said, I know I can talk to you about racism, I have no doubt you have experienced it, you speak my language

This goes back to the case composite I presented earlier:

  •    Chelsea’s narrative was within the normative experiences of the adopted person\

o              Little or no exploration of cultural identity as a child

o              College – awakening

o              Korea trip and search in her 20s

o              Struggles with intimate relationships

o              Her definition of family – compartmentalizing herself – adoptive family, adoptees, Koreans

Where it becomes really interesting though is when the Gaze from the client alters the dynamic between my client and me:

  •    My caseload has consistently been Asian adopted clients between the ages of 9 to adults.
  •    Invariably the questions become personal as they project their exploration of their ethnic identity – what foundation I use, who perms my hair, magazines I read, music I listen to, what dramas I watch, food do I cook, will I respond in Korean if they speak to me in Korean, how will I respond when prejudicial thoughts about Asians come out
  •    For some the kids I work with – same questions, but also want to sit closer to me, find excuses to touch my face, my hands
  •    My supervisor always reminds me to just let my clients drink me in

MARTHA: For white therapists working with transracial adoptees – it is important to realize that the conversation around race, and racial difference in relationships may have been largely silenced for the client.

 I don’t have a practice that specializes in adoption, and I don’t market myself as an adoption expert. So the adoptees that do find their way onto my caseload usually come to therapy for other reasons -work problems or difficulties in their romantic relationships –  rarely explicitly seeking support for “issues related to adoption.” That being said: consistently about a quarter of my caseload has been adopted teens or adults since beginning my practice.

A conglomerate case: I was contacted by a very kind, soft-spoken, somewhat introverted light-skinned African American woman, who was unhappy at work. She made no mention of adoption, even through my assessment of her family history – She described her mother, and  father – as school teacher and a lawyer, raised in upstate New York. Her brother – worked as a car mechanic.  I visualized all her family members as black, and it wasn’t until the second or third month – when she described her father walking through her  neighborhood “fearfully” that she mentioned that she felt protective of her father and how he would be seen as a white man in a predominantly Black neighborhood. I said: “I didn’t know you were raised in an interracial family – do you identify yourself as Black or biracial?”  “No”  she said.  “I’m black and so is my brother. Both my parents are white. I’m adopted.” and she changed the subject to her most recent job interview -in a manner which made it clear that this was not a tree she was planning to bark up with me.

At the end of that session, and several times afterwards – I made explicit invitations to talk about race in the therapy “Listen – if your parents are white, and you are now seeing white therapist – it seems to me like it might be an important opportunity for us to be aware of together about the way my being white may affect  what I can or cannot understand about your experience or what we talk about together and what we don’t. Or for example – you mentioned feeling protective of your father seeming vulnerable and out of his element. It may be, that at some point, you do or will feel similarly protective of me about parts of your experience  that you think I won’t understand, or that I can’t understand easily. I just want you to know, that it will be very helpful to me if you notice any dynamic like that – to bring it up”

On Tuesday July 16th 2013, she brought in this dream:

“I am in an airport parking lot somewhere in Florida. I have no idea why I am in Florida, I never would go there. But, so, I’m in Florida and I’m in this parking lot, and I am walking in between the cars – and I look in the window of this big white car – and there is this black baby trapped inside. And it’s hot. And the windows are all rolled up – and I can’t get to this baby. – and the baby is like, all sick. There is something wrong with the baby – like it might die – and at first I walk away like this has nothing to do with me – but then I think: No. This is the most important thing in the world – this is what I have to do – and I start screaming and screaming and screaming for someone to help me get this baby out of this car and get him some medicine or something – and I was so terrified that I woke up – shaking”

She claimed to have no idea what the dream was about.

“So lets start with Florida” I said, “since that is right there at the beginning.”

“I have a negative impression of Florida – but no other thoughts”

“Well, I have a thought, an association – can I share it?  As soon as you said it, I thought  about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case that was just handed down on Friday. Many many people, myself included, found it deeply distressing and disturbing.”

At first she said, shaking her head “I didn’t really didn’t track that case at all. It didn’t have anything to do with me”

“Those are the same words you said about the black baby in the white car….”

She looked stunned and then began to choke up and sob, stating that she didn’t know why she was crying. She spoke  about was like to be a black teen ager separating from her white  parents, incidents of humiliation, shame, harassment and disorientation and terror about the protocols of learning how to manage being seen “as black only” without her white parents privilege intervening  protecting her.

In subsequent sessions we explored the ways she compartmentalizes and splits off her awareness of herself as a Black woman when she is with her white parents, and the ways she, without awareness, felt the need to protect me from the reality of her experiences too.

White therapists – when the anxiety of their own Gaze bounces back –  too often encourage white parents to retreat from this crisis into the apparent safety of staying ensconced in white culture, by reassuring white adoptive parents that “love is enough” or diversity is schools and role models is not important to seek out. 

White therapists can also retreat from the anxieties of talking about race, about their own race blindness, or by making race based assumptions which help to silence adoptees of color, as I did.


Adoption/Racial/Cultural identity begins with the adoptive parents.

In order for the adopted to organize this multifaceted identity, she needs to be held by adoptive parents who have come to seek an understanding of their own white privilege and racial identity.

If an adoptive family comes to you, the therapist, then they need a therapist who has examined her own privilege, unconscious racism, and negotiated the anxiety, shame and discomfort that is reflected back at her.
In closing: I will share with you a series of 6 word essays  discussing race, a format commonly known as “the race card project”  shared by Asian American youth, adopted and non-adopted, written at a Korean culture camp that Martha and I both contribute our support to:

We are all people of color

Not one or the other, in-between

I eat with forks and chopsticks

Toast for breakfast, rice for dinner

Oriental is a cookie, not me

You know you have yellow fever

Race is only one broad term

Life is more complicated than speaking English

We are doctors but also patients

Korean-American is not Korean or American

I don’t eat cat or dog

I decide what shapes my identity

Race is nothing but a word

No, I can’t do your nails/laundry

Everyone has feelings, so be nice

Adoption is different, difference is pride

Color is just color, not identity

Guess what?  I suck at math

I do not bow like that

Not all of us are cousins

Asian doesn’t mean I am Chinese

I bet I’m a better driver

I don’t speak like Ching Chong

I do not love my calculator

I’m just as American as you

I heart my long Asian hair

I am a yellow rice love

I’m actually good at math

My parents actually loved me

I am not a rice farmer

I’m from Korea and I’m adopted

My heritage is who I am

Racism will last until the end


40 Developmental Assets List for Transracial Foster/Adopted Youth – Robert O’Connor, MSW, LGS

Sue, D.W., Capodilupo, C., Torino, G, Bucceri, J., Holder, A., Nadal, K., & Equin, M. (2007). Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for Clinical Practice. The American Psychologist , 62 (4) 271-286

Minority identity developmental model – atkinson, morten, sue – 1979

My internal racism as an Asian American woman is the only way for me to fix it

A Dialogue on Racial Melancholia – Shinhee Han, LCSW, Ph.D. and David Eng, Ph.D.

The Cultural-Racial Identity Model: A Theoretical Framework for Studying Transracial Adoptees by Amanda Baden & Robbie Steward – Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families, ed. Rafael A. Javier & Amanda L. Baden & Frank A. Biafora & Alina Camacho-Gingerich – Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: June 22, 2009 | DOI: | Print ISBN: 9781412927512 | Online ISBN: 9781412976633 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

Cultural Competence for Transracial Adoptive Parents.Author: Vonk, M. Elizabeth, Publication:  Name: Social Work Publisher: National Association of Social Workers Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Sociology and social work Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2001 National Association of Social Workers ISSN: 0037-8046 Issue:  Date: July, 2001 Source Volume: 46 Source Issue: 3

Available online

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