Susan R. Harris


In these two works, Susan Harris gives voice to the realities of her experiences as a transracial adoptee and the experiences of other persons of color adopted into white families. "Can You Imagine?" is a narrative of stories pieced together and drawn from the stories of transracial adoptees whom Harris has met, counseled, and known. It unmasks the unique complexities of race and racism, so often ignored, in the lives of transracial adoptees, and challenges adoptive families and adoption professionals to honestly confront the role of race in the adoption process. In "Come Celebrate My First Birthday," Harris discusses the painful and joyous revelations of her search for information regarding the first fourteen months of her life-when her "baby-self' spent this "holding period" in foster care. During this search for her baby-self, Harris discovers that her baby-self was very likely the victim of some of the many types of racial assault depicted in "Can You Imagine?" In her telling of her story, Harris points out the need for increased attention to adoptive searches which target the holding period, an area of exploration crucial to an adoptee's understanding of herself.

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