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“It’s interesting because I’ve never felt the things about CHSFS that you’ve written about, such as feeling used or taken advantage of.”: My Conversation With Colombian Adoptee Jennie Anderson

What’s up, dear reader?!  I missed you!  Let’s catch up, shall we?  To begin, here are some housekeeping items:

Okay.  Enough of that.  Below is my conversation with Jennie…Children’s Home Society and Family Services (CHSFS) sympathizer!  (Tee-hee.)


Land of Gazillion Adoptees: What are you doing in DC Metro? Do you like living there?

Jennie: I’m actually working on my thesis for my MPH (Masters of Public Health) and working at a gym out here. I moved here from Minnesota with my boyfriend as he got a job in the area. I LOVE living here! There’s so much to do and it’s so diverse. However, I haven’t ever lived outside of Minnesota (apart from being born in Colombia); it’s been quite an adjustment. I’ve found that some feelings from adolescence have resurfaced (also adoption-related) — feelings of loneliness and feeling like an outsider. I have connected with a few other adoptees through an adoptee discussion group in the area, but, at the same time, they have their own lives and have lived here for awhile. So, I still feel like I’m an outsider since I don’t know many people here yet and don’t have the circle of family and friends that I have in Minnesota.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: I’m sure you’ll find your circle soon enough… What’s it like dating another adoptee?

Jennie: It’s absolutely AMAZING dating another adoptee. He understands me on a level I have never had with another person. He is exactly what I never knew I always wanted… if that makes sense.

He was very involved in the Colombian and Latino communities in Minnesota and speaks Spanish fluently. I have never felt comfortable in the Colombian/Latino community since I don’t speak Spanish quite as well.  Because of this, when we were living in Minnesota it was nice to attend events together. Also, we have been to some Spanish conversation meet-up groups both here and in Minnesota, and it’s nice to have support with that, too. And it’s really nice that we can go to adoptee discussion groups together.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Sweet! As a former Resource Committee of Adopted Adults (RCAA) board member, what do you think of the critiques about Children’s Home Society and Family Services (CHSFS) I sprinkle throughout Land of Gazillion Adoptees?

Jennie: It’s interesting because I’ve never felt the things about CHSFS that you’ve written about, such as feeling used or taken advantage of. I’ve volunteered with RCAA because I’ve wanted to, it’s a passion of mine. And I have never felt like I wasn’t fully able to express my opinion, especially if it differed from that of the Directors of CHSFS or the institution that is adoption. I feel that our CHSFS liaisons have always encouraged us to be honest about our feelings about adoption and about our experiences growing up (whether they are positive or negative) throughout my time as a committee member of RCAA and my other volunteer experiences through CHSFS. However, I do wholeheartedly agree that CHSFS needs to continue to support Post-Adoption Services (PAS). I realize that these are tough times in the economy and organizations need to make program cuts. Nevertheless, it seems as though the programs that are frequently cut are the ones in PAS. As an adoptee, this is very disappointing to me as these programs are important to have throughout an adoptee’s life — from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. We never stop being adopted and making connections through adoption is so important.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Thanks, Jennie!

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