When we talk about adoption, we often talk about parents who want to adopt children. What about the perspective of adopted children? I talked with Lexi Hiland, who was adopted from Colombia and brought to the United States when she was just over one year old, about her experiences growing up in an adoptive family and eventually returning to visit her home country. This trip radically changed her view of family and sparked the idea for a short film, La Lotería de la Vida, that will be released in 2015.
Tell me a little about your story.
I was born in Pamplona, Colombia, on October 18, 1990. I was in foster care for about a year, and then adopted to the U.S. I didn’t know I had been in foster care until a couple of years ago when I went back to Colombia with my adoptive dad. We went back and visited four different cities in Colombia so I could get to know the culture, and I ended up meeting some very important people in my story.
Growing up as an adopted child, what did you know of your story and your history?
I didn’t know a lot about my birth mother. I think any adopted child has these fears and asks questions like, “Why was I given up? Where is my family?” And especially around my age, I struggle with this identity of wondering, “Where’s my home base?” I had a lot of questions, but also an understanding they might not all get answered.1