Chronicles of an Adoptee’s Transitions in the U.S.

After working as a library media assistant at an elementary school on the Navajo Reservation for a school year, it looks like I’m back to the drawing board. Back to job searching, since the school I’d worked for lost critical amounts of funding during the RedforEd strike and I won’t be able to return next year. What happened was unexpected for me. But I guess budget cuts happen a lot to small, high-needs elementary schools and other organizations in rural areas.

Now I’m facing new hurtles since I might have to move away because of limited library jobs and spiked housing costs. As an intercountry adoptee, I wanted to blog in this taxing phase because so much of my adopted life has been freckled with transitions like this. I thought it might be interesting to share. That maybe instead of pretending my life is perfect right now, maybe these chronicles could meet someone in their own transitional times too, adopted or not.

Traversing Life as an Adoptee

My life has been immersed with transitions like this so I guess this challenge isn’t new to me, although it’s still terrifying. In a way, maybe I’ve become accustomed to sink or swim circumstances ever since I was adopted and flown to the U.S. to live with white parents whom I’d never met. As a brown-skinned adoptee, I’ve lived mainly in Arizona and have had to navigate a tricky web of socio-economic terrain within the demographics of the Southwest too.

So in my adopted life, I’ve learned to view phases like this as an adventure despite my internal struggles from my complicated upbringing. Needing to view unexpected changes like this as opportunities in disguise.

Two Interviews in Southern California

I’ve been invited to two interviews since my job search started. One in National City. Another one in El Segundo. Both in California, which is awesome but jarring. Mainly because the high cost of living.

One reason why I’ve applied to these areas is to be in a city. To broaden my perceptions since I’m used to demographically limited areas. I grew up in a small Midwestern town. Later, moved to a metropolitan suburbs in Phoenix, and recently I’ve been in a small, mountainous college town in Northern Arizona for ten years. Still not making an adequate living after all these years.

Working for my own Dreams

As an intercountry adoptee, I feel I don’t have Filipino dreams or American dreams. I have maybe an adoptee’s dream, to one day have a home of my own. An idealist’s dream, to better the world. My professional dream is to work at a library and facilitate the progress of all demographics. I want to work with individuals of all ethnicities, build connections, help the youth and others like me to identify with who they are. Push society forward. But it’s scary to think of leaving my comfortable Arizona bubble behind.

I’ve lived in Arizona for so long now.


3 Replies to “Chronicles of an Adoptee’s Transitions in the U.S.”

  1. Brent Snavely – Fraser, Michigan – A construct of upbringing and society, holder of a BS. JD and an MA, I have practiced law more than 25 years. "The Truth shall set you free", but only if it is a Personal Truth that is based upon facts. Parrhesia may be humankind's only hope (see,
    Brent Snavely says:

    I just turned 59 and I am still in a state of liminality (which is what I relate to your “transitional” status). My circumstances have not improved much during my life, but I have become accustomed to them…

    1. Desiree Maru – Flagstaff, AZ – Writer, educator, life explorer and adoptee based in Hawaii, born in the Philippines and grew up in the United States. Pushcart Prize nominee with writing and multimedia art featured in magazines, literary journals and online places.
      stephanieflood says:

      That’s sort of the theme I was trying to express here. It’s this liminality phase, where I’m never really certain about where I’m going in life. Navigating through certain places of the U.S. with its challenges like demographics or high costs of living, still trying to live my dreams.

  2. Great article! As an intercounty adoptee, I struggle with my identity and acceptance. We all face challenges; however, being an intercounty adoptee is a little more complicated. At 42, I still face the challenge of the sense of belonging. If I ever had the opportunity to meet my biological parents/family would my challenges change.

    Again, great article.

    Dawn Wilkerson

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