15 days ago was one of the best days of my life. After working for two years on my book, it was finally done. We arranged a book launch party at a beautiful banquet hall at the Toledo Zoo and in the back of the room sat a table with stacks and stacks of my book. It is an overwhelming experience to be able to share with so many people the story of my life as a transracial adoptee.
For two hours, that went by at the speed of sound, I was surrounded by people that were and are so instrumental in my life. Of course my Mom and Dad were there along with my older sister who looks younger than me (according to her.) Sitting at one of the tables in the front was a former Bishop of Southeastern Michigan whose wisdom and courage saved my Dad’s job when the church wanted to get rid of him because he adopted a small biracial boy. Directly in the middle of the room was the family who treated me like family when we moved in to the white neighborhood where there was no one else like me there. Directly in the back ,at the table full of books was my wife and two sons who worked feverously to sell book after book. In the back to the left were my in-laws who have also taken me in like one of their own. Up front to the left sat two friends from high school who graciously helped me navigate through high school and although I came from a different type of family, never treated me differently. At the same table, sat my biological brother and his daughter who I met just last year. To the right of that table sat my biological mother’s sister and brother-in-law who I also meet one cold December day last year. At a table in front of them sat two transracial families that I meet this year.
All around the room there were people who had impacted my life through family, school, work or church and I felt honored to be among such amazing people.
After about an hour into the event, I got up to speak. It was my chance to thank so many astonishing people for how they poured in to my life. In about 20 minutes, I retraced my life and pointed out the powerful people that filled the room and I was humbled. Several times I wrestled with tears that tried to force their way out as I recalled how these people affected my life. Through laughter and tears I tried to point out how thankful I was for having lived such an unusual life. I tried to convey my incomprehensible gratitude that I felt for those who worked together to create a better me.
In my self-designed version of This is Your Life, I told the group that it was easy to see God’s watermark on my life. Every step of the way God has placed so many courageous people who helped this unsure biracial kid find his way. I went on to explain that now it’s time for me to pay it forward. It is clear to me that my calling is to help transracial families like ours navigate their way through this colorful life they have chosen, and what an honor it is to be able to do that.
Emotionally I was exhausted as I signed the last book and said good-bye to the last guest. It was a night that I spent a life time trying to get to and it was worth the wait.
The next day it was back to business, back to writing and back to giving some much needed attention to my blog. I had been feeling guilty about not posting a blog in several weeks so I was anxious to let everyone know I was still alive. I hurried to formulate my response to the much talked about adoption by Sandra Bullock. The video blog was posted in a matter of days and then the responses came in.
I usually am very excited to see the responses from my blogs. As people leave comments I am sent an email to my phone and immediately my hip begins to vibrate as my phone notifies me that an email has come in. After a few hours I wanted to throw my phone in our pond out back.
My post touched several nerves and the excitement of a few days ago was stomped to nothing. My blog was picked up by other blogs and re-posted and now I was getting those comments as well and the majority of the comments were passionately displeased to put it nicely. The blog that was hurried and not completely thought out was becoming my most popular blog and seemed to be spiraling out of control. Now I admit I did a poor job of explaining my points and the intension behind the blog was not what people were reading and that was my fault.
After a long 24 hours, my hip and phone vibrated less and less and I was thankful. I was thankful and heartbroken because those that never or rarely read my blog got the wrong impression of me and I couldn’t take it back. The thought of deleting the blog ran across my mind over and over but that was not the right thing to do. Instead through my blog I learned a valuable lesson.
After the book launch I thought the journey was over. I spent so much energy getting to this point, I got careless; lazy. In the bible it says, “before honor comes humility,” and with one blog I lived that wise saying. But the lesson learned was worth the sleepless night. At the book launch I accepted the honor of trying to help others but very quickly I learned this doesn’t come without a huge amount of responsibility. So now I still gladly accept the honor of trying to help others but I move forward with a hint of the responsibility that comes with this honor.
Attached is a link to an interview I did on a talk show on our local ABC station. I think it does a great job of summarizing some of the keys points in the book. Bridges with Doni Miller On 13 ABC
Above under “My Book” tab is where you can order a signed copy of the book. The book is also available through Amazon.com unsigned.
My prayer is that with your help in spreading the word we can touch many many families with our experiences as a transracial family.