Greetings KAAN family! We don’t even know each other yet, but I already feel a warm welcome from this community that expresses such rich ideas, intentions, and support in the words, pictures, and videos that live on the KAAN website. My name is José Taborda (he, his, him). I am a transracial adoptee born in Medellín, Colombia and raised in Northern New Jersey. I currently reside in Brooklyn, New York, and have been living here for nearly twenty years. I am the father of my beautiful 12-year old daughter. We love to ride bicycles together when I am not bothering her to clean her room. I spend most of my time as an academic ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) instructor for the Borough of Manhattan Community College, but I also do some part-time English instruction at Hunter College and at a community-based organization in the Bronx.
I found KAAN when I was doing an online search for adoption conferences. I was so pleased to find such a vibrant community that centers the voices of adoptees. I have spent just about one year exactly coming into a heightened consciousness about my adoption and how it has affected my life. I spent a good part of my young adulthood exploring my adoption when I was engaged in a focused search for my first mother. My reunion with her proved to be such an intense experience (good and bad) that I decided to shove my adoption down and mostly ignore it for the last fifteen years. However, as my hair turns grey and I feel my knees more all the time, I have become more reflective, and a major part of that has to do with reconnecting with my identity as a transracial adoptee. I have come to realize that adoption is trauma, and that I need to embark on a journey of healing. One way that I have found profound healing is in connecting with adoptees and with the larger adoptee community around the globe. As soon as I started to research adoption, trauma, and therapy, I was blown back by how much amazing work has been done since the early 2000s when I was solely focused on search and reunion. You all have been very busy people creating and finding ways to support yourselves and each other. Beautiful!
The next leg of my healing journey is to figure out ways to give back to the adoptee community. I have learned so much in the last year by reading, listening to podcasts, watching panel discussions, enjoying live theater, and observing amazing art produced by adoptees young, older, and somewhere in the middle like me. I’m honored to have been accepted to sit on the education committee so that I can make the small contribution of my time, knowledge, and efforts in order to serve KAAN, and by extension the larger adoptee community.