Why people side eye white westerners, international adoptions from poorer or war torn countries sometimes...

At three years old, my memory had been reset. My first memory is the ride on the airplane that would eventually take me to Canada. I remember being sick, throwing up all over myself and crying. Trying to cope with the trauma of being uprooted from my family, my brain had does its best to make me forget everything I left behind. And perhaps for good reason. Because this summer, I found out the real story of my adoption.


For most of my life, I knew very little about my adoption. I was told that my parents had placed me in an orphanage because they were too poor to take care of me. My adoption papers listed my name, my place of birth, and parents’ occupations as farmers.

Almost everything else in my adoption papers was a lie. My birthday was changed to make me younger, and a backstory was invented to make me seem more adoptable. My parents signed no papers and were not aware of my adoption. I left Haiti without my parents’ knowledge. But how was that even possible?

My mother sent me and my two older sisters to live with my godmother, one of her close friends who ran an orphanage in Carrefour. My godmother promised my mother she would send us to school. My mother had hopes that her three daughters would be educated, but adoption was never the plan. My mother would visit us often, bringing fresh fruit and vegetables from our yard. When I was sick, she would breastfeed me, rocking me until I stopped crying.

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The whole thing is worth the read.