The Cradle Blog

Adoption and Identity Intertwined

The Cradle had the great fortune of sponsoring Mei Kelly for her Senior Studies project at Evanston Township High School. Adopted at nine months old from Southern China, Mei wants to share the stories of adopted teens in the U.S. today.

Among other projects during her time at The Cradle, Mei produced a documentary entitled, “Adoption and Identity Intertwined.” This powerful film is told exclusively from the perspective of adopted teens. When preparing to create her film, Mei reviewed other adoption-themed documentaries, such as “Somewhere Between” and “Twinster.” I consulted with her on how to approach certain topics that could be difficult to address for some teens.

“Since I am adopted, I have been curious about how other adoptees in my community processed their adoption and developed their identity. In my junior English class, I did a research paper on domestic and international adoption in China. I realized how little I knew about the adoption process in China, even though it was an important part of how I met my adoptive parents. 

I interviewed 12 adoptees in the Evanston community and through the process, I learned more about each adoptee's views on their adoption story. The documentary has snippets of all the interviews I did to show the diversity of their stories and perspectives.

I was very honored that the adoptees let me share their personal stories with the community.”
-- Mei Kelly

In addition, Mei coordinated The Cradle’s Lunar New Year celebration and created a display of original art made by adopted teens. She also added her voice to, a website for adopted teens, and encouraged her adopted friends to join as well.