gallery Dear Adoption, There is Always Something Missing


Dear Adoption, There is Always Something Missing

I am Colombian. 
I am Swedish.
I am almost American. 

I can’t say that I’m Colombian without an explanation. 
I can’t say that I’m Swedish without an explanation. 
I can’t say that I’m American yet.

So what am I?
Where do I belong?

Colombia is my home, biologically. 
Sweden is my background, culturally. 
America is my life, by choice.

In my heart and soul I know I belong in Colombia. 
Es mi tierra. 
But I don’t feel the right to claim it. 
I never lived there.
I didn’t grow up there. 
I was born there.
I was abandoned there. 
I was removed from there.

Sweden welcomed me. 
Sweden took my in as one of its own, and cared for and nurtured me.
It’s what I know. 
I was raised there, learned traditions, made childhood friendships there. 
It’s my mother tongue because it’s the language I first spoke.
But I don’t feel tied to Sweden in any way, not even by family.

America is where I found love. 
America is where I chose to live.
It’s where I’ve become adult.
It’s where I’ve built a family.
It’s where I’ve made a life. 
It’s where my home has come to be.

I’m made up of all three combined. 
I wish I could say
I’m Colombian, 
I’m Swedish,
I’m American.

Instead I feel like by claiming Colombian I run the risk of being put to the test. 
Instead I feel that by claiming Swedish I am not being true to myself. 
And I simply can’t claim American yet.

I’m a Swedish Colombian whose home is America. 
I’m a Colombian Suede whose home is America.
I’m partially all three.
I’m none fully.

Recently the pull of my origin is getting stronger. 
I know the day will come when I return.
I can sense the feeling of coming home. 
One day I will feel that I belong, that I have the right to claim my homeland, that I can leave the explanations out and simply say:

– Soy colombiana”

Amanda Medina was adopted from Medellin, Colombia in 1984, at the age of 1 ½ years to Sweden. Always feeling a pull away from Sweden, she went to study in Spain for a year at the age of 16. She learned Spanish, which brought her a little bit closer to her origins. It also confirmed she wanted to head out into the world. Amanda moved from Sweden to New York as an international student in 2005, and has since attended Borough of Manhattan Community College and Columbia University, started a family and a career as a freelance translator and relocated to San Diego, CA. With a love for helping others and being a positive force to those around her, she has volunteered as a tutor, teacher’s assistant and peer mentor. Amanda has written her whole life, but only recently opened the lid to the Pandora’s Box that is the topic of adoption. This the first piece she has ever written on adoption and what adoption means to her. Amanda has just begun a healing journey she didn’t even know she needed.


    • Ginny, perhaps you had better look at your own county’s record of adoption…. before daring to point fingers at any other country…. and why you are at it, do be careful not to ascribe to any country that which you have no knowledge. What a cruel and uninformed response to this woman qui es Columbiana! Shame!


      • Gezallez, stick to French when trying to write in Spanish to correct people’s behaviors in English. Maybe you’ll spell the country’s name correctly.


    • Gynni, are you talking about women from Columbia, South Carolina or Missouri, or from Columbia University?

      If you want to call out inequalities or disparities in the world, please at least spell the people from the author’s country correctly, unless you’re the fool, Steve Harvey too. The level of “corrections” and improvements demanded upon, followed by ignorance in this world is embarrassing. Please don’t add to it.


  1. Buenas dias, Amanda. Have you considered having your DNA analyzed? It may help you to see your regional inheritance as well as to connect with a cousin who may know your earlier story before adoption, or the possibility to find a sibling -or even a parent… You may wish to consider this as an option to cement your cultural and regional genetics by way of ancestral migrations.
    We are all a part of the greater whole of hominins and have divergent inheritance that most do not realize. All hominins share 99.50 % of their DNA,; it is that 0.5 % that makes each of us a little different from our fellows. You, like all of us, are a product of your genes passed down to you by millennia of ancestors. Just from your narrative, I can see that your ancestors were strong, brave and intelligent. Keep hope alive, and remember that your life and its circumstances are as valuable as anyone else’s. Vaya con dios, ma amiga.


  2. I am really confused.? Do they wish they had been left in poverty or worse? My mother adopted a baby from Russia. He feels blessed. Then she adopted Twins, a boy and girl in 2001 from Ukraine. THEY ALSO feel blessed and happy to be American’s


  3. It seems like 2 sides of the triad are largely denied. The adoptive parents are the voice for adoption as a whole and it silences the other parties involved


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