Today I intoduce to you a uniquely talented and creative soul, Chloe. We crossed paths a few years ago and recently reconnected online. Read on as she shares some insight into her journey of self-discovery. Over to you, Chloe.
My name is Chloe meaning ‘flourishing shoot’ but in Greek mythology Chloe is the Goddess Demeter and Demeter is the archetypal mother but at the same time the eternal child. I struggle with names and at the orphanage my name was Mercy. I’m on the journey to being able to hold both names as my own.
I was born in Zambia and adopted around 6 months of age, we lived in Zimbabwe for a little bit and then moved to Cape Town shortly after my first birthday.
I do a lot of things but I feel the most important part of my journey is about to start, I am heading to London to complete a doula training course. I want to be able to support women giving birth especially in public hospital settings. In South Africa women have to birth alone for a myriad of reasons and if I can be there for just some of those women then I think the work of soul would be complete.
What is your definition of adoption?
I still don’t know what adoption means. For me it means the day my life changed and the day my adoptive mum became a mother.
How do you feel about adoption in general?
I don’t have the words yet… I’m getting there.
How do you feel about your parents?
I love my Mum, I hate my Mum and then I Love her again. Hot then cold, yes then no just like that Katy Perry song.
How do you feel about your biological parents?
I feel like they will always be a part of me, I just don’t know which parts. That being said (the child part of me) still cant get her head around what it would take to abandon your child. The adult part of me has many theories.
At what age, if ever, did you want to find your biological parents?
I never thought I could find them just because of the way I was left but now a part of me thinks I can or I could. As my trip back to Zambia comes closer I imagine that maybe someone has worked at that same bus terminal for years and caught a glimpse of my mother that day.
How were you told that you were adopted?
I cant remember.
Has race been an issue? Has race affected your friendships?
Yes race is always an issue, I don’t feel I fit into any racial group and with that comes all the identity issues.
What has been the hardest part of adoption for you?
My adoptive Mum is very academic and I’m very creative and up until the last 3 weeks or so I haven’t known any other adoptees so the most difficult thing for me has been the lack of mirrors and shared experiences, the lack of the simple phrase “I feel this too”
Is there anything in particular your parents did really well?
My mum allowed for a lot of travel to very unconventional places, this meant that I was exposed to many different cultures and ways of being. She also would take me out of school sometimes to listen to a talk or a lecture she thought I may enjoy.
Anything they could have done differently?
I just wish she had found more adoptees for me to connect with when I was younger. I also wish I didn’t have to grow up in Cape Town.
Can you speak an African language? What are your thoughts about this?
No I can’t, I had to learn Afrikaans for high school but I won’t speak it. I wish I could but there is still just a huge block if I’m going to learn an African language the first one would be one from my place of birth.
How can adoptive parents best equip their children to deal with the hard parts of being adopted cross culturally?
By acknowledging the fact that we are different but also stressing that the difference doesn’t mean there is less love.
Are you treated differently by people of your birth culture when they discover that you are adopted by parents of another race?
I only really know one person from my “birth culture” and I’ve only known her for a year but we connect on a soul level, I’m not dismissing culture or race but Lucy and I find each other somewhere else, somewhere amongst the stars.
Was/is “belonging” and feeling like you belonged ever an issue?
I’m still on a journey to that word. Right now I feel most at home and most able to breathe near big bodies of water and between the trees. I’m still learning to take up space in the world, still learning I can exist wherever I choose and however I choose.
What would you say to other kids who have been adopted?
I don’t think there is anything I could say because every adoptee experiences life in a different way.
What to say to your adopted child?
I see you.
What not to say to your adopted child?
You should be grateful.
Would you ever consider adoption in your future?
I thought no for a long time because I looked at myself and thought I would never want another me but now I’m leaning towards a yes.
Search @cocotheblog on instagram to follow Chloe’s visually stunning feed.