Skip to main content

Written by Nicole Monique Beede
Art by Efia Barning

My name is Nicole Monique Beede, and I am a Black Transracial Adoptee (TRA). Most people, even some TRAs, don’t know or fully understand this definition of this label. So google it. 

Anyways, I was born Monique Kendick, a name chosen by my biological mother. Upon adoption, Monique became my middle name and was replaced with Nicole. My adoptive mother Pat Beede, who I call Mom, knew the importance of keeping the name I was born with, but she still decided that Nicole would become my new identity. Within the first 30 days of my existence, I had experienced birth, loss, and love. My name change was evidence of this. 

Pat was a victim of Trauma. Pat grew up in an abusive, alcoholic, Irish-Catholic household in Boston, Massachusetts. After marrying and divorcing her high school sweetheart, she stubbornly decided to become a single mother via adoption. In 1993, The Alliance for Children, Inc. in Wellesley, Massachusetts, was the agency she turned to.         

Within the first 30 days of my existence, I had experienced birth, loss, and love. My name change was evidence of this.

The Alliance for Children, Inc. is just one of the 3,000+ Adoption Agencies in the United States. The fact is, Adoptee voices are silenced by the Adoption. By design, Adoption is an industry. So let’s break it down.

The term Industry is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in many ways, including:
1a: manufacturing activity as a whole
1b: a distinct group of productive or profit-making enterprises
1c: a department or branch of a craft, art, business, or manufacture
especially: one that employs a large personnel and capital especially in manufacturing
1d: systematic labor especially for some useful purpose or the creation of something of value (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2020).

Within this definition, I focus on the terms value, profit-making, systemic labor, and capital. But what exactly is value? More often than not, value refers to a numerical quantity, often in the form of money in the Western World. We desperately try to quantify everything, yet we forget that numbers leave out important information. Quantities like money and time are relative. And when quantities are relative, it ultimately means product value differs in every context. 

So how does this apply to my adoption and the story of so many other humans? It provides insight on how to recreate the narrative. Let’s step away from limiting quantities and focus on the experience of Adoption. Let’s stop ignoring the real customer experience, the experience of the Adoptees, and realize that Adoptive Parents, Adoption Agencies, and organized religion are just middlemen. It’s Marketing 101 to focus on the customer, but in the Adoption Industry, the customer has been incorrectly defined as Adoptive Parents. It makes sense. Prospective adoptive parents possess capital (money, medical resources, “acceptable” homes, etc.), along with desperation, grief, and loneliness. They are an easy target to manipulate; the sense of urgency is already there. So what does that mean for Adoptees/Foster Youth/Children of non-White families? We are automatically seen as products. 

Existing as a product has its side effects. While the consumers, or Adoptive Parents, often have support throughout their investment and a lifetime warranty of organizations that cater to them, the product of the Adoption Industry, Adoptees, are left as an afterthought. While this is never the rhetoric that the adoption industry is advertising, adoptees get the message. We KNOW that the industry sees us as disposable. We KNOW that the industry tells us to be loyal to our owners. Unfortunately, until members of the Adoption Industry come to terms with their systemic toxicity, Adoptees will continue to be preyed upon. 

We will not change the industry of adoption with more anger, fear, and secrets.

So back to me. In February of 2020, I began to wake up (thank you psilocybin). In my deepest meditative state, the truth became undeniable and the lies of White-Capitalist rhetoric dissolved. I now knew that a collective energy/spirit was at the root of everything. I now know that when diseased, the root hinders all future growth. So let’s plant a new seed and grow it with love, truth, and unity. In my life, this process has involved detaching from what I have been taught by authorities and refusing to stay silent any longer. Silence leads to isolation and negative emotions that manifest in aggression. We will not change the Industry of Adoption with more anger, fear, and secrets.

All of that being said, I will continue to share my experiences. I will encourage other Adoptees to do the same, especially Black Transracial Adoptees, Adoptees of Color, and Adult Adoptees. It is not selfish to speak your truth. No one is forcing other people to listen. However, group energy is powerful. Let’s inspire each other to thrive in our own unique truths, our complete stories. 

There will always be pain in adoptions, but expecting Adoptees to remain grateful while denying the darkness of trauma helps no one. Together, let us defeat the darkness that comes from isolation. Light defeats darkness and this particular healing light comes from honesty. Let’s get deep, label our emotions, process them, and stay LOUD while doing so. Together we will shine.

Nicole Monique Beede is a 26 year old Black Transracial Adoptee (TRA) who is finding her own path to healing. As 2020 began, she embraced using plants as medicine. After experiencing the healing qualities of plant-medicine, Nicole began to unlock her truth & being releasing the lies she had accepted.
Currently, Nicole spends her free time writing, exploring the concept of Trauma/Complex PTSD, and manifesting abundance.

Follow her here: /theraputic_bitch/