This month, we are excited and honored to welcome a new member to the Adoption Choices of New York team: Rachel Strom! She has been part of the Adoption Choices of Nevada team for the past six months as an Editorial Intern, and has chosen to renew her contract for an additional six. Because she lives in New York, she wanted to gain more experience with the New York team, and we are so lucky to have her.
Before she resumes her regular blogs, I wanted to give her a chance to introduce herself and for you all to get to know her.
RR: When you hear the word,” adoption,” what comes to mind?
RS: Adoption is who I am. I have always identified myself as being an adopted the day I was able to put the pieces together that I was indeed adopted. I can’t recall the exact day or time that I understood my adoption or, most importantly, that I looked different from my adoptive family. Adoption sticks with me everywhere I go. I understand that I don’t look like my family, and it has taken a lot of reflection on my part to accept this change. So the word adoption I do not fear as I once did when I was younger. I am able to look and hear that word with a sense of pride.
RR: Who inspires you?
RS: My grandmother and adoptive mother, whom I call my mom. When my grandmother was alive, I was very close to her during her final years. My mother and I would go to her house every weekend and spend time with her, and I learned a lot about the person she was. Both as a child, and how those experiences made her who she was towards the end. Heartbroken and stubborn. My mom went through a lot growing up that mentally and physically changed her. I have a lot of respect for both of these two women in my life. I am grateful to have known my grandmother, Emma, whom I miss every day.
RR: What was the last book you read?
RS: AFTER by Anna Todd. My good friend and I love to read the same books at the same time. We love romance thriller books, even when they are predictable and cheesy. We are hopeless romantics, even though we are two different stages in life. She is married with two beautiful children, while I’m currently enjoying my independence, but looking forward to the day I can experience married life and motherhood as well. I suggested the book AFTER because it was becoming a film, which we’ve both already set a date to see together soon. Overall, I love young adult (YA) novels. I recently am getting into horror and mystery genres because I enjoy a lot of those types of shows.
RR: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
RS: When I ran for president at my college during my final year. It was an experience I will never forget. There were a lot of challenges, but plenty of learning experiences. I have never put myself out there before where people would have to vote and judge me based on my capability to lead. When I won, my number one job was to put together a physical copy of the college literary arts magazine, something I had never done before. I, along with my co-president, spent countless hours and days working on its production. We both managed twenty members, different large and small events, budgets, meetings with the president of the college, and other chair people of different departments almost every day. It allowed me to challenge myself in ways I never imagined. So yes, I would consider that to be a rather crazy time in my life.
RR: What are you passionate about?
RS: My adoption. I am struggling with who I am as a person every day. I struggle particularly with searching for my birth family and my adoption lawyer, both of who do not live in the United States. Not only is distance an issue, but also the language barrier. I may be Hispanic, but I do not speak Spanish well. I hope to be fluent one day, so I can feel confident and secure with traveling to my country.
RR: What are you currently watching on Netflix?
RS: There are a lot of movies and television shows in my “watch list” I haven’t started yet. I am happy to say I am currently enjoying the final season of French show called, Versailles. I have been waiting for this show to come on for a few months now. Sadly, it is ending, but it’s rather excellent. I love historical pieces, even if it twists the historical facts.
RR: What did you want to be when you grew up?
RS: I suppose I am still growing up. Although, my age may not necessarily match my thinking. I am still learning and still growing into the woman I want to become. Strong and Independent.
RR: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
RS: Watching newly released films with my mother. Her tastes in movies compared to my own tastes are slightly different. I’ve been exposed to some great classics and learned to appreciate films, not only because of who is starring in it but also through the storyline and setting of the film. During my summer days, I will often swim laps at my pool in the morning. It is one of the fondest memories that I have in summer.
RR: What are your career aspirations?
RS: I want my writings to inspire someone and encourage them to feel that they are not alone. A lot of what I write outside of Adoption Choices is to help and influence the adoption world. I hope to continue on that journey one way or another.
RR: Over the last six months, what have you learned and what do you hope to learn in the next six?
RS: I have learned that there are a lot of other adoptees, prospective parents and current parents of adopted children who need help with adoption. Over the years I have been focused primarily on my own adoption struggles I never gave a thought there may be others struggling the same. However, over the last six months, I have been learning so many new things through my research and reading for Adoption Choices. I have grown to admire those in the adoption field, those who are adopting, and those who may be adopted. It takes a strong person to raise a child, but an incredibly special individual to raise an adopted child.
Adoption Choices has a six-month long internship program that offers fellow creative minds the opportunity to write articles on adoption, and have them published on our websites and social media pages. It’s a great way to build your portfolio and learn about the adoption industry, particularly for those who have a special interest or passion for it. The requirement includes one to two articles a week, and also comes with mentoring from me, the Writing Director, and the Executive Directors within Adoption Choices. For the entirety of the six months, you write blogs for a specific Adoption Choices entity, and gain knowledge of how they operate. There is something new to research and learn everyday, making the position as Editorial Intern exciting and rewarding every step of the way. For those of you who are interested, or have any questions about becoming an Editorial Intern with us, please feel free to reach out to me.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.