Welcome to 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days, hosted by Portrait of an Adoption. This series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying adoption experiences and perspectives.

An Interview With A Nine-Year-Old Transracial Adoptee

Portrait of an Adoption: “How old are you?”
Kim: “I’m nine. I’m in the fourth grade.”

Portrait: “What is one of your favorite things to do?”
Kim: “I like to play softball. It’s something my friends also enjoy doing.”

Portrait: “What are some of your favorite books or movies?”
Kim: “I just finished reading Dara Palmer’s Major Drama, and I was able to really connect to that book. I really like that book. I love to read graphic novels. One of my favorite movies is Moana. I really like Moana because she’s not a princess that has to kiss a frog. She’s brave, and she doesn’t need a prince or something to save her. I like that Maui is just her friend in the movie.”

Portrait: “What is something you like doing with your parents and your little brother, Luke?”
Kim: “Probably going to Six Flags. We like to share a funnel cake.”

Portrait: “Tell me about your little brother, Luke. What is he like?”
Kim: “We both enjoy goofing around. He really doesn’t look like me and sometimes in school people are surprised that he’s my brother. Like when the art teacher found out we were related, she was kind of surprised, because we look nothing like each other. But at the same time, my best friend who’s not adopted looks nothing like her sister, so it happens.”

Portrait: “How would you describe your family?”
Kim: “Silly sometimes, serious sometimes. Also, we get very into things that we are doing. Once we start something, it’s hard for us to stop!”

Portrait: “How do you feel about living in Evanston?”
Kim: “I really like Evanston. I like the festivals and doing activities in downtown Evanston like making gigantic bubbles. But I wish there were more adopted people in my grade. There is only one other adopted kid, but he’s only been in my class once.”

Portrait: “How does it make you feel to be adopted?”
Kim: “I’m glad to be adopted, but at the same time, things can get kind of uncomfortable. Sometimes people start asking me questions that can be annoying or frustrating. Like, how old were you when you were adopted and is your brother your biological brother?”

Portrait: “What do you if you don’t want to answer?”
Kim: “I’ll kind of ask to change the subject, or if they keep poking at me, I’ll tell them that’s personal. There is one person who makes me kind of upset – They keep asking me who my birthfather is, and I tell them that I just know my birth mom and my birth brothers.”

Portrait: “How often do you tell people that you were adopted?”
Kim: “It depends on the person I’m with. There are some people I really wouldn’t mind telling, but there are other people that I don’t know how they will react. I just say nothing and wait for them to see my dad and realize I’m adopted. My mom comes to school more often, so people see her and notice she’s white and they think I’m biracial. But when they see my dad is white, then they ask. Some people will ask directly and others casually bring it up. Sometimes I feel like they go home and ask their parents about me.”

Portrait: “Do you feel like your family stands out because your family is multiracial?
Kim: “It depends on where I am. If I’m in a place like Six Flags, I probably would notice if I saw families like mine. Sometimes people look at us twice. When we went to my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, a lot of my cousin’s friends asked about me and how we were related. But if I were in a place like New York, I probably wouldn’t notice it, because there are lots of different people there, and everyone is so busy. Families like mine aren’t so different there.”

Portrait: “What is it like for you to be a Black girl growing up with a white mom and dad?”
Kim: “I think this family was the right choice for me. I have lots of things in common with my mom. Sometimes I think it’s really strange how much we have in common. I think this was the better choice for me and my birth family. But it can get uncomfortable to be Black sometimes. We went to a Shiva at someone’s house after a funeral, and everyone there was related to me, but they were all white. Everybody in that house was white. When I was younger, I had more friends that were white but as I’ve gotten older, I have more friends from different races.”

Portrait: “How are you similar to your mom?”
Kim: “We both crave dessert a lot. Our bodies are shaped similarly and we really just think a lot alike.”

Portrait: “What is something you like about your dad?”
Kim: “He’s really funny and no offense to my other family members, but he’s the one who tells the best jokes and can make me happy. My dad can tell pretty good jokes. “

Portrait: “Do you ever get sad? Sometimes my daughter gets sad when she thinks about being adopted.”
Kim: “I really wonder about my birth father and it’s been hard to figure out who he is. We’ve been trying for years to find out and it’s never really worked, and that really makes me sad.”

Portrait: “What is the hardest part for you about being adopted?”
Kim: “Definitely when I realize that there are other adopted kids who know both their birth parents. I’m happy for them, but it’s upsetting for me that my birth father didn’t make the choice to reach out to me.”

Portrait: “You know your birth mom, right? How is that for you?”
Kim: “She’s always really nice to me. It does make me wonder what my birth father looks like, because she looks nothing like me. My birth brothers look nothing like me either. They have a different birth father. Every time we ask my birth mother who my birth father is, she doesn’t tell us. It makes her uncomfortable to talk about adoption. I really just want to meet him and get to know him, but I think I would feel sad because he made no effort the past nine years to get to know me.”

Portrait: “What is something positive for you about being adopted?”
Kim: “Definitely having something special about me. It’s always one interesting thing that I can tell more people about. And I feel like I definitely understand about all different kinds of people. Being in this family definitely teaches me a lot of things I wouldn’t have known.”

Portrait: “What do you think is something your parents like best about having you and Luke as their children?”
Kim: “They always tell us how lucky they are to be our parents, and they always tell us how much they love us. When we were babies, my mom really enjoyed us, because I think she has a thing for babies. She still loves us now, too, though.”


Kim is a smart, insightful fourth-grader living in Evanston. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading graphic novels, and playing softball.

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Carrie Goldman is the host of Portrait of an Adoption. She is an award-winning author, speaker, and bullying prevention educator. Follow Carrie’s blog Portrait of an Adoption on Facebook and Twitter.