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Adoptee Spotlight: Adaline Bara

Hunan, China --> Kansas City, Missouri

Hi, my name is Adaline Bara, and I was adopted from Hunan, China when I was 8 months old in 1995. I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri with my two younger sisters and our two moms.

It’s hard trying to sum up my childhood in a nutshell, but a few blunt words of advice that were drilled into my head since I was younger come to mind. My mom used to always tell me “you do you” whenever I struggled to make a decision, even the insignificant ones. She would say it simply and clearly, in a way that made you doubt it as any useful advice. I cared a lot about what others thought. Being myself didn’t feel as simple as her three words of advice, but they still stuck with me. I’m nearly 26 now, and I still have to remind myself of them sometimes, like huh? You would’ve thought that I’ve learned my lesson by now!

It wasn’t until I started traveling and meeting new people when I began to feel more comfortable in myself. As time moved on and places and people began to change, I remembered more words of advice from my mom. “The only thing guaranteed in life is change.” I absolutely hated it, but only because I knew it was painfully true. In the midst of many changes, I decided that art and design was important to me and I moved to Vietnam to study fashion. Fast forward a few years, and I moved to Scotland with my boyfriend.

Most notably though, I met Hannah and Jo, who I now work with on our adoptee project: Whatever Next. Together, we chat a little bit about our lives, a lot about adoption, and eat noodles and dumplings whenever we can. We want to change the narrative, open dialogues and connect. Our page is full of chunks of conversations with people who we dragged into recording with us, messy thoughts that have the potential to be genius ideas and our beloved son, Leaf Boi, who sits on the throne of ABCs of Adoption.

Art by Adaline.


Slide descriptions

Slide one:

Solid purple background with illustration of a boy wearing a green leaf as a hat and shirt. Yellow top center text reads "ABCs of Adoption."

Slide two:

Solid green background with illustration of a pink woman in hair curlers sipping on a cup of tea. Pink top center text reads: "whatever next?" Left text read:, "with an adoptive mother." Right text reads, "coffee chats" and 'When you adopted, race wasn't a big consideration?' 'I couldn't get over there quick enough, I have to admit, the interracial adoption I don't think, apart from wondering how you'd look, I wasn't thinking about that."

Slide three:

Solid purple background on left half and solid yellow purple on right side. Illustration of woman with wavy hair in center. Top center text reads "Splitting Hairs." Left text reads "#adoptionistrauma" Right text reads "#adoptionislove".

Slide four:

Solid pink background with portrait illustration of a pink woman with short wavy hair. Right text reads "I'm fine" and below reads "balance what you consume and what you create."


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