Adoptive Mom And Adoptee Jillian Lauren Talks About Adoption, Identity, And Storytelling


As an adoptee, an adoptive mother, and a writer, Jillian Lauren was invited to speak at a TEDx event. Her topic? Adoption, identity, and storytelling. As she and her husband have raised their son Tariku, who was adopted from an orphanage in Ethiopia, Lauren reflects on what she’s learned. She says, “Who we are and where we belong in this world is not just a function of nature or nurture. who we are is an act of imagination. We are not just our genetic material of how we are raised, we are also the stories we tell ourselves.”

She has observed her son using his own stories to create his own image of himself. “Slowly, piece by piece, and with  great courage, my son is inventing himself,” she says, “And he is inventing himself as a traveler who is looking toward his journey forward and his journey backward at the same time. And witnessing this sometimes painful but often very inspiring process has shed a lot of light on my life, because I also was adopted.”

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