Joy Lieberthal Rho

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Korean, American, adopted, mother, social worker, therapist, secret keeper.  I find myself thinking about the identity of being adopted now that I am an adult and it isn’t visibly obvious. Having worked in all areas of international adoption from policy to placement to advocacy to direct clinical work, adoption is not THE identity that is front and center and yet the prevailing compass from which everything is perceived in my life professionally and personally.


Cover Photo: Illustration by Lindsay Stripling for Catapult
One Mother, Two Mothers, No Mother

Adoption didn’t give me a forever mother. Being in reunion with my birth mother did not make me wholly mothered, either.