I’m a Latinx Adoptee — Here Are 4 Ways I Reconnect to My Heritage

I’m a Latinx Adoptee — Here Are 4 Ways I Reconnect to My Heritage

Growing up, the wall art in my bedroom consisted of an iconic poster of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, an American Girl calendar, and a piece of embroidered Paraguayan lace, called ñandutí. The word means “spider web” in Guarani, the predominant Indigenous language of Paraguay, and mine was embroidered with vibrant red, pink, green and blue threads. I remember looking at it and thinking it looked like a flower, and how special it was that this piece of lace traveled all the way from Paraguay, like I did. To that end, it was a physical reminder of my identity: I was born in Asuncion, Paraguay, and adopted into a family in the United States as an infant. The art on my wall was a reminder of where I come from. 

There was never a time where I didn’t know I was adopted or where I was born, and it was never a big deal to me throughout my childhood. But like most things, my adoption and my identity became more complicated and nuanced as an adult. People in my community began to identify me as Latina, and while the concept of Latinidad is vast and can often imperfectly encompass so many different experiences, I felt an incredible sense of imposter syndrome, especially as an adoptee who grew up in a non-Latinx household. Yet denying this part of myself felt wrong: My biological family is in Paraguay, and not being able to embrace this part of my identity felt like an erasure. Instead of feeling defeated, I wanted to feel proud and confident in my identity as a Paraguayan adoptee. I wanted to learn how my story and I fit in. 

During the summer of 2020, I began my process of reclaiming my Latinx identity. I worked with Hannah Matthews of Hey Transracial Adoptee, a platform that empowers transracial adoptees to develop a positive racial identity, and I enrolled in three months’ worth of weekly identity reclamation coachings. These sessions were specifically created for transracial adoptees who need help reclaiming their racial and ethnic identity, especially if they were raised in white families or communities, and focused on creating a positive racial and ethnic identity, combating racial and ethnic imposter syndrome, and doing a deep dive into the effects of white supremacy on society and our lives. As a transracial adoptee herself, Hannah guided me to a place of self-acceptance, and made this time especially sacred and powerful. 

More and more, transracial, transethnic, and international adoptees are opening up about our need for support as we grapple with how to confidently identify ourselves. I wouldn’t have known where to start or even how to reclaim my Latinx identity without Hannah’s work and those sessions. Here are four ways other Latinx adoptees and I work to reclaim and reconnect with our heritages.

I Display Latinx Art and Mementos in My Home

I have a small space on top of my bedroom dresser that holds a few items I have from Paraguay; my parents brought the ñandutí lace and a few other mementos home with them when they traveled there to adopt me. My dresser also displays an art print by Anna Alvarado and a small Paraguayan flag. It’s simple, but the display is my way of honoring my birth country, and it serves as a space that reminds me of who I am and where I come from, especially given that I didn’t grow up with day-to-day customs and Paraguayan culture in my life. I see my display every morning as I get ready for the day, and it’s a small yet meaningful part of my morning routine. 

John McCormick, a Colombian adoptee in Chicago, Illinois, not only has Colombian art in his home — he makes it himself, and Colombia is his muse. For him, making digital collages is an intimate and creative way for him to connect to his birth country. His work includes images of jaguars, the Amazon jungle, and the mountainside of Quindío, Colombia, given that he loves nature and the country’s landscape.

“Making Colombian artwork has been super empowering,” McCormick tells Apartment Therapy. “I get to learn while I’m creating. I keep a tab of the images I pull from so maybe one day I can visit these places.” His art has also connected him to other adoptees who feel culturally lost, and has allowed him to explore the totality of his identity. 

“It’s a duality of sorts, being adopted, because you simultaneously feel super blessed and special, but also extremely lonely,” he says. “I am here to share my story of adoption. I’m creating artwork centered around reclaiming my culture and identity, and this is my purpose: To create and to share.”

I Find Community Both Online and In-Person

Over the years, my search for Paraguayan representation in the U.S. has been challenging. According to the 2010 Census, Paraguayans are the smallest Latinx group in the U.S., and make up more than 1 percent of the entire population in only five communities nationwide. To that end, groups like Adoptees of South America have been great for me; it’s one of the few places where I am surrounded not only by adoptees, but by people who identify as Latinx. Even just knowing the community is there brings me relief, and their Instagram page is a great place to learn and connect. 

Finding community, whether in person or online, can be so powerful, especially for adoptees who grew up with minimal racial and ethnic mirrors. For her part, Adoptees of South America co-creator Maria Fernanda finds community within the group she co-founded, and within Houston, Texas, where she lives. Fernanda, who is an Ecuadorian adoptee, recently attended a Latin Festival in Houston, and was pleasantly surprised by the large Ecuadorian community in her city. “I felt more like I was in a familiar space than not, and that is because I am learning that even though I was separated from my country, I can make my way back to it in ways that feel right for me,” she tells Apartment Therapy.

I Prepare and Enjoy Foods from my Country

I live near Washington D.C., and though I’ve done my share of searching, I believe the closest Paraguayan restaurant to me is I Love Paraguay in Sunnyside, New York. I haven’t made a trip there just yet, so I’m taking the time to learn about Paraguayan food on my own time, and in my own kitchen.

I’ve made sopa paraguaya, which is a hearty and delicious cornbread with cheese and onions that pairs well with chili. The first time I made it, I did so solo. It felt like an intimate moment that I wanted to savor, like it was my time to connect myself back to Paraguay, even for a few moments in the kitchen. And as the weather gets colder, I have my eye set on trying bori-bori, a Paraguayan chicken soup with cornmeal and cheese dumplings. I’m a fan of comfort food and I’ve learned that some of the most popular Paraguayan meals are stews, soups, and corn-based dishes, which all sound delicious to me. 

I’m not alone in this, as other Latinx adoptees also connect to their birth countries through food. “I really love making patacones,” Fernanda says of the popular dish made by frying green plantains. “The first time I cooked them, I was by myself in my kitchen. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel emotionally during the process, so I cooked them and shared them with my family afterwards.” 

For Amy Wilkerson, a therapist and Chilean adoptee who has been in reunion with her biological family since she was 15 years old, Chilean food connects her to both her country and her biological family. “I loved the pastel de choclo my grandmother made,” she tells Apartment Therapy. “But when I asked her for the recipe in Chile, she told me she has no use for recipes and she cooks from the heart.” 

That doesn’t deter Wilkerson, who notes that recreating these recipes has been an incredibly healing experience for her. “Whether the meal turns out or not, being intentional about those moments of connection are so important,” she says. “I am so proud to be from Chile, and experiencing that pride with all of my senses reminds me of the wholeness of my identity and the beauty in my story.”

I Affirm That I Am Enough

South and Central American adoptees make up a small percentage of the approximately 62 million people who identify as Hispanic or Latinx in the United States, all of whom have vastly different experiences, languages, and racial and ethnic identities. While there isn’t concrete data about Latinx adoptees in the U.S., there is room for each of our stories, and for our place in the broader Latinx diaspora.

For me, being Latina means embracing my Paraguayan ancestry and learning as much as I can about my country of origin. I am still a work in progress and am learning new things as I go, and I try my best to be gentle and kind with myself as I reclaim the things I’ve lost to my adoption. Simply reminding myself and affirming that I am Latina is a celebration in and of itself. I denied this part of myself for so long, because I thought being Latina meant I needed to have a certain set of experiences, which is a sentiment I’m not alone in. 

“There have been times when I would try to embrace it [my Latinx identity] and I questioned if I was even allowed to,” Fernanda shares. “Not because someone told me I couldn’t, but because I didn’t have anyone telling me that I could.”

When I feel imposter syndrome creep in, I remind myself that no one can take away my Paraguayan roots, and that my ancestry will never change. “To me, this is not a part of me — it is the whole of me,” Wilkerson says of her heritage. “Connecting to my roots allows me to feel whole and rooted in my beginning so I can better understand who I am and where I come from. Understanding these missing pieces allows me to instill more strength and wisdom into my children and help cultivate a stronger sense of identity for them.”
Ultimately, it’s not up to what people think of us, or whether or not we are Latinx “enough” — it’s how we identify and what we think of ourselves.

6 Ways Becoming a Mom Has Transformed My Relationship With My Home

6 Ways Becoming a Mom Has Transformed My Relationship With My Home

Kara Nesvig

Contributor

Kara Nesvig grew up on a sugar beet farm in rural North Dakota and did her first professional interview with Steven Tyler at age 14. She has written for publications including Teen Vogue, Allure and Wit & Delight. She lives in an adorable 1920s house in St. Paul with her husband, their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dandelion and many, many pairs of shoes. Kara is a voracious reader, Britney Spears superfan and copywriter — in that order.

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The Useful Drawer Your Kitchen Probably Doesn’t Have — But Should

The Useful Drawer Your Kitchen Probably Doesn’t Have — But Should

Maybe your kids are at that age where they’re antsy to roll up their sleeves and help in the kitchen. Whether they’re begging to give you a hand in preparing Sunday night’s pasta dish or asking you to let them mix the cookie batter for an upcoming family party, it’s always exciting to watch your children grow up and want to take on household responsibilities. 

However, despite the excitement, you may also be concerned about their safety in the kitchen. After all, with cooking comes sharp knives, hot stoves, boiling water, and more. As such, you’re probably wondering about what’s truly safe for them to use (and what tools they should avoid). 

Luckily, there are a number of kitchen utensils that are expert-approved and safe for your kiddos, and ones you can even keep in a kid-accessible drawer to keep their interest in cooking curiosity sparked (and fingers unscathed). Coupled with kitchen safety rules, your kids will learn the joy of preparing meals at home (and will be able to assist with clean-up, too, which is always appreciated).

Adult Kitchen Tools Kids Should Never Use

To start, it’s probably most important to know exactly what kids should never use in the kitchen. 

“I wouldn’t let a kid use a chef’s knife until they were properly trained to handle and respect it,” Meg Panchame, a BAKE! instructor at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan, tells Apartment Therapy. “Sharp or dull knives can be a very dangerous tool if you don’t understand how to handle them properly!” 

Anika-Kafi Summers, M. Ed., the Nutrition Education Director at Eastern Market Corporation, agrees. “Dull knives should be removed from the household and sharpened,” she says. “It is safer to have a sharp knife that slices clean than a knife that needs a lot of pressure to do the same job.”

In addition to chef and dull knives, experts recommend that children should never handle a mandolin. “They are extremely sharp and therefore dangerous,” Summers says. That goes double for box graters, food processors, and vegetable peelers — all tools that are supposed to be sharp, and therefore pose greater risks. 

Safe Kitchen Tools for Kids 

“There are lots of tools kids can use in the kitchen that don’t require supervision,” Susan Chagas, another BAKE! instructor at Zingerman’s, tells Apartment Therapy. She recommends starting little ones off with rolling pins, wooden spoons, mixing bowls, small offset spatulas, whisks, bowl scrapers, plastic dough dividers, blunted pastry wheels and cookie cutters, and pastry bags. Be sure to show your kids how to use these tools one at a time, and keep an eye out for little fingers every time they reach for their tools.

Age is an important factor to keep in mind as well. Summers recommends different tools for different ages.

“Younger children (ages one through four) should have a lower kitchen cabinet with everything they can ‘cook’ with: pots, pans, plastic bowls, small skillets, rolling pins are great, wooden spoons, and spatulas,” she says. And don’t forget to model how to use each item as you go. As you stock the cabinet, think of “everything that parents and other adults in their lives [are using] because they are mimicking you,” Summers notes.

For kindergarten through third grade, Summers recommended keeping things as simple as possible. “This is the age of the little people to put everything on lockdown,” she says. “They want to help, help, help, help, and have no attention span. Give this age group easily doable kitchen tasks that they will succeed at such as helping to make the cookies by mixing the batter with the hand-mixer.”

According to Summers, the tools can get a little more safely complex the older your child gets (though always be careful to supervise as you go). 

“Fourth through eighth grade is when using more complicated kitchen tools becomes more fun,” she says, adding that this is typically the age where you can begin introducing safety habits, such as checking that nothing is inside the stove before turning it on, and practicing go-to recipes until they get the hang of them.

This is also the age group where you can truly get your kids more interested in the culinary arts. “They are also creative and may want to search the web for new and exciting recipes to try out,” Summers says. “If the parent can encourage their child’s culinary interests this is a great time to invest in cooking classes, or new cooking gadgets for the family.”

Should you create a kid-accessible cooking drawer? 

All three experts agree that establishing a kid-accessible cooking drawer or cabinet is a great idea — just be sure to make sure it’s at an appropriate height for your little one.

“It may mean less risk of falling to try to reach something,” Panchame says. “Also, it establishes which tools are safe and OK to use.”

Beyond safety, having a cooking drawer accessible to your kids may inspire curiosity, creativity, and a love for cooking. “Another bonus to a kid-friendly drawer is that it creates ownership and excitement about baking and cooking at home,” Panchame adds. “I’d keep a bowl scraper, a hand whisk, a rubber spatula, an offset spatula, and a set of oven mitts in the drawer.”

As Summers notes, your kids are watching everything you do. Since kitchens are a high-traffic area of the home, odds are they will be spending as much time there as you do, and learning along the way. “Parents are always in the kitchen, and if you are there, your kids will be there too,” she says. “The kitchen should be a place of joy and love. It is the heart of the home and family so create that space.”

Making the kitchen a joyful and creative place not only creates happy memories, but also teaches responsibility. Showing your kids how to take pride in their food creations is a great way to kickstart a sense of initiative while also having fun and eating tasty creations.

“My kids always loved to ‘get ready’ to cook or bake by getting their own tools together. They can take ownership of making delicious food and sharing,” says Chagas. 

Kitchen Safety Tips for Children 

Safe cooking goes beyond properly handling kitchen tools; there are a number things kids should be keeping in mind to stay safe in the kitchen. 

“Always assume something is hot before you grab it!” Panchame says, stressing that includes everything from pot handles to metal utensils you’re storing next to your oven. “Also, always announce to anyone else in the kitchen when you have something hot or sharp in your hand. Say ‘Hot!’ or ‘Knife!’ loudly so there’s no confusing who has the right of way, especially in a small space.” 

When your kids get older, Summers says that keeping a firm list of kitchen rules is wise, such as setting time limits when the kitchen is available to your teens. A no-cooking-after-9-PM rule can come in handy if you want to keep your kitchen clean, so late-night cereal bowls offer a no-cook alternative . “Anything that does not involve the oven, stove, or boiling water in the microwave” is within reason, she says. 

Summers also says that running in the kitchen is always a no-go, and stressed the importance of learning how to safely pass a knife. And, of course, whoever did the hard work of making dinner does not do the dishes.

When the World Feels Like It’s Devolving into Chaos, Fold Some Socks

When the World Feels Like It’s Devolving into Chaos, Fold Some Socks

In early spring 2020, just as the country began to shut down, my husband and I moved in with his parents. We had had to close our wine importing business and found ourselves in a precarious financial situation. We also wanted to help my in-laws navigate this new pandemic world; both of them are over 70, and my mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s. So the four of us hunkered down and learned how to live together: We gardened together, we cooked together (our favorite Thai dishes, their favorite Southern comfort favorites), we watched old Westerns and introduced them to Melissa McCarthy comedies, and we did way too much day drinking. For a little while, it was almost like a vacation.

As time went on, though, we realized that this new living arrangement required a lot of adjustment and sacrifice. One area where this quickly became apparent was in doing the laundry. This will be familiar for anyone who has ever had a loved one with a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s: Doing laundry was one of the routines that helped my mother-in-law make sense of the chaos of those early COVID days. It was familiar, she didn’t need help to do it, and she could provide for her family. Great, right? Well, sort of. I quickly learned that I would need to go hunting for shirts and pants that made it into the wrong basket or closet; return underwear that really belonged to my father-in-law, not me (although that wasn’t as awkward as finding my own jockstraps nicely folded for me by my mother-in-law); and schedule sneaky, late-night laundry sessions for the items that I really cared about and didn’t want to disappear. 

Nowhere were these laundry stumbling blocks more evident than with socks. Because if you’ve ever done a washing and drying load in your life, you know that, if Murphy’s Law were specific to laundry, it would go something like, “Any sock that can go missing, will go missing.” And in our family’s case, no matter how hard we tried, we quickly ended up with bags of unmatched socks. Yes, bags. Dozens and dozens of unmatched socks collected in shopping bags and totes. I would order new sets of socks and cross my fingers that they would stay matched for at least a week, but in this house, we wash new clothes before wearing them, so, you guessed it: Some of these brand-new sock pairs never even survived long enough to make it onto feet.

In a world that felt like it was devolving into chaos, it would have been easy to accept my sock dilemma as one more setback in an absolutely garbage year, just another punch in the gut, #pandemiclife. 

Instead, I became determined to make something positive out of the situation. Each week or so, I’d take those mounds of sad singles, dump them onto my bed, put on some music, and get to matching. Or I’d drag the bag to the couch and turn on Netflix before settling into a sock session. I began ritualizing the sorting of the socks, turning it into a meditative, mindful moment. It was a solitary endeavor, one that didn’t require anyone else’s help and forced me to slow down and focus on this one task for however long it took. It was my time — just me and the socks!

I developed a routine. First, I sorted all socks into piles based on color: white socks here, black and gray socks over there, patterned socks in the middle. Then, I’d methodically go through each pile, laying out the socks in front of me so I could have eyes on all of them, training myself to remember shapes and sizes and patterns as I referred to each sock one by one. It was easy to pair up the pink socks with the little green cactuses that my husband loves; the subtly striped ones proved a bit more difficult. The many black ankle socks that were close in size but not exact matches usually just got coupled up regardless; I only had so much patience.  

Sometimes I’d end up surrounded by socks — socks draped over my legs and onto the pillows, or lined up in a row all along the back of the couch. I’d have to shoo away the dogs when they tried to join me and turn down offers of help from my husband or mother-in-law. I had a system! Don’t mess with my system! 

To the casual observer, it would have looked nonsensical; to me, it made so much more sense than almost anything else going on around me. These were moments when I could sit by myself and create some order out of the fear of the pandemic, the pain of living with a loved one with Alzheimer’s, the uncertainty of even day-to-day life. 

Occasionally I’d be able to put together a pile of properly paired socks, a huge victory. I’d gather up all of them in my arms and go show my husband, proud as a second-grader who just built his first diorama. Very often, though, I’d only manage to match a few of the socks. It could be frustrating, especially if it was one of those pandemic days filled with terrifying, continuous breaking news tweets, almost as though my own socks were conspiring with the universe to stress me out. (I found out nearly six months into our stay that my mother-in-law also had a bag of unmatched socks stashed away in her bedroom. Finding that bag was like Christmas morning!) 

But regardless of whether I ended up with two pairs or dozens, my pile of matched socks, no matter how small, served as my win for that day. I hadn’t let Murphy’s Law of Laundry defeat me. Sure, I was destined to deal with another round of missing socks in the coming days. And I would surely encounter more anxiety-inducing tweets, calls from bill collectors, worries about what to do next professionally. But I had my routine. I had my practice. And for an hour or so each week, it felt like everything was going to work out in the end.

Apartment Therapy’s Laundry, Sorted vertical was written and edited independently by the Apartment Therapy editorial team and generously underwritten by Samsung.

5 Ways Remote Learning Can Change for the Better

5 Ways Remote Learning Can Change for the Better

Teaching is unlike any other profession, but that’s an understatement for the job in 2020 and 2021. After living rooms, bedrooms, and other at-home spaces turned into makeshift classrooms, many people now have a more nuanced idea of what teaching is: Gone is the perception of teachers simply being there to provide students with knowledge, and having summers off.

As a teacher, I went from being surrounded by 22 elementary students every day to filming videos of myself teaching so that they could stream lessons on their iPads at home. Like in any challenging situation, my students and I learned as we went what worked for us, as well as what old methods of doing things no longer serve us. Here are five things that I hope never go back to the “normal” that many teachers knew before — and how you can get involved with the students in your own life to support them through their learning. 

Don’t: Compare Students Against One Another, in Academics and Beyond

Unfortunately, the United States education system puts a lot of emphasis on comparing students to each other. Between standardized tests and various competitions, students are taught from a young age that they need to be “better” than their peers in order to succeed.

I have always found the act of comparing students to be demoralizing, given that each student is an individual who deserves more than a standardized grading system. This belief was only reinforced in the past year and a half: Within days, it became clear how resources such as a stay-at-home parent to help, and/or money for a private tutor can give certain students advantages. Where I teach in remote Alaska, few people have internet access at home (myself included); the learning curve for families to even access videos on school-provided iPads was enormous. The added stressors caused by a dearth of resources likely impacted some students more severely than others, in ways we will see play out for years to come. 

Because of this, I hope the routine of comparing students against each other becomes a thing of the past. I’ve switched from using tools like the controversial public behavior chart  in favor of a private classroom management system where I conference with students individually, and remind them of all of the positive choices they have made so that they have a more well-rounded understanding of how their actions affect others. Each student is an individual and it’s time schools and their families and support systems treated them that way.

Don’t: Work All Hours of the Day, Every Day of the Week

Teaching is one of those careers where the hours for which you’re contracted to work and the actual amount of hours you work almost never correlate. When I taught in Philadelphia, my commutes usually began at 6 am so that I could prepare for and teach classes that started at 8 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.; my commute home usually happened around 7 p.m.

This predicament became even more profound when I moved to remote Alaska, where teacher housing is usually only a few hundred feet from the school. It became so easy for my colleagues and I to say we were “just running over to grab something” before staying for three hours to work.

Yes, dedication is admirable and there are times when working more is necessary, but it shouldn’t be an every day, all-the-time situation: Everyone deserves and needs time off. For me, this means setting very specific boundaries with my work hours. Unless there’s an emergency, 6 p.m. is my absolute cut-off and I take at least one full day off every week. It’s a habit I hope to keep in the years to come.  

Don’t: Self-Fund Classrooms (or Other Workspaces) Without Any Support

Another persistent standard in education is that teachers are all but expected to fund their own classrooms. Many educators spend the summers following the sales and collecting books, crayons, paper, and everything else necessary for classrooms to function. Considering that teachers are already making less than most other degree-requiring careers on average, this can have a huge impact on a teacher’s livelihood.

This long-running problem was only exacerbated by the pandemic, given that remote learning meant that I could no longer simply hand a student a pencil when they needed one. When students ran out of something, I would deliver the supplies to their homes. I personally ordered over $2,000 of books for my students to take home with them — an expense I could only have managed with the support of Donors Choose

This shift provided further perspective on how much inequality there is within different school systems. While I am going to continue advocating for more equity in school funding on a national scale, I also have become more confident about utilizing resources like donations and reaching out to higher-ups in the district to tell them what my students need and remind them of their responsibility to provide it. If you have a student in your life, check in with them (or their parent!) to see what they and their classmates need, and contact your local politicians about prioritizing local school budgets. The more people follow up about this problem, the sooner it can become a thing of the past.

Don’t: Exclude Families From Day-to-Day Decisions and Classroom Happenings

Familial involvement has always been one of the most important pillars of education for me and, throughout my career, I have continually involved families in all aspects of my students’ education. Unfortunately, I know this isn’t the case everywhere: I have seen schools exclude parents from decision-making processes, and simply not inform them of happenings at the school. When schools began shutting down for in-person learning, families became even more integral to their children’s educations.

Education is a partnership, and good schools and teachers make it a point to include families in the process, and families should feel empowered to be included as well. When parents or caregivers reach out to me to ask questions about what’s going on in the classroom and how they can be involved, I know that they value the work I do. While I understand that not everyone is able to visit a classroom in person (especially now), getting involved is so beneficial. The saying “it takes a village” is a cliché for a reason, and I know my students have so much to learn from everyone in their lives, not just me. 

Don’t: Focus Entirely on Certain Academic Subjects (or on Work in Your Own Life, for That Matter)

Schools can often switch between  focusing on academics and social-emotional learning, based on which area they think students are lacking, rather than working continuously to maintain a balance between the two. This is especially true at the elementary level, where so much emphasis has been put on literacy and mathematics over the past few years that students often aren’t provided with an opportunity to explore other areas, such as science and social studies. This leads to many students being able to recall information easily, without having the opportunity to explore what might truly interest them. 

There are so many aspects of learning that are vital to a student’s holistic growth, from practicing critical-thinking skills to learning how to name their feelings and having opportunities for social interaction. Each of these skills are important for a child’s development, and are things that parents and siblings can model to the children they know. You can also do this by exploring your own interests and hobbies outside of work — not only will you help yourself recharge and avoid further burnout, but the students in your life will see there’s more to life than plugging into work, and follow suit.

Taryn Williams

Contributor

Taryn is an educator and freelance writer currently based in the Alaskan Bush. After graduating with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, she decided to pursue a life without planning too far ahead to see where the wind took her. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she is off seeking her next great adventure.

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