A few years ago, Susan and Kay, a Caucasian lesbian couple, decided to build their family via transracial, international adoption. Susan and Kay adopted Meilyn from China when she had just turned one. Just after they adopted Meilyn, they were told by their adoption agent, Barb, about Colorado Heritage Camps, Inc., an organization that annually runs 10 camps focusing on adoptees and adoptive families with heritages ranging from African/Caribbean to Russian/Eastern European to Chinese.1 While Meilyn was now 7, this was only the third year they had made it off the waiting list of Colorado Chinese Heritage Camp (CCHC) and into the actual camp, held at the YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch facility in Fraser, Colorado.
Resting in the family cabin one morning after staying up too late playing Mahjongg, Kay somewhat mindlessly looked at the camp literature that was on the coffee table along with a listing of services and amenities.
She remembered being told by Barb that at camp, “Parents and kids are literally unplugged. Your cell phone reception will be spotty and there is limited, if any, Internet connectivity. Instead of watching TV with Meilyn, you will have the chance for campfire talks and playing board games and cards.” Barb emphasized how this fosters connection between camp attendees and opens up both a space for and a willingness among adoptive parents and adoptees to explore aspects of identity and culture.