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Facing the Challenges of Asian American Boys and Men with Glenn Morey - Ep 95

Unraveling Adoption

Release Date: 05/29/2023

"The Mulatto Child the Strubes Adopted" with Janell Strube - Ep 122

Unraveling Adoption

I think for my mother, she didn't always really see me quite as a person of equal value. - Janell Strube A biracial adoptee, Janell Strube, shares her powerful journey of navigating racial identity and the impact of racism behind closed doors. Did she ever find the acceptance and understanding she sought? In this episode, you will be able to: Realize the complexities of biracial identity. Begin to understand the impact of racism on identity formation. Navigate the unique challenges of biracial identity. Learn how to create a supportive environment for biracial or transracial adopted...

REPLAY: Adoptee Remembrance Day Virtual Candlelight Vigil - Ep 121 show art REPLAY: Adoptee Remembrance Day Virtual Candlelight Vigil - Ep 121

Unraveling Adoption

While I'm away this Thanksgiving week, I wanted to make the recording of our recent Adoptee Remembrance Day vigil available to you all. The live Zoom event was on October 30, 2023. Hear powerful personal stories, emotional poetry, and calls for greater awareness of adoptee suicide, murder, and deportation. TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE EVENT, click here: TO ACCESS THE WRITTEN PROGRAM FOR THE EVENT, click here: =============== 📆 Community Calendar: ✨Healing the Adoption Constellation database: 💌Sign up for our Unraveling Adoption email list: =============== SUICIDE PREVENTION...

Ayahuasca for Transforming Trauma and Pain with Mee Ok Icaro - Ep 120 show art Ayahuasca for Transforming Trauma and Pain with Mee Ok Icaro - Ep 120

Unraveling Adoption

Reserve your FREE ticket to the Sacred Plant Medicine for Healing the Adoption Constellation webinar featuring Mee Ok as one of the panelists, December 3 at 1pm PST:   When you're in the margins and outside of the dominant narrative, you're very aware of what is just taken for granted. - Mee Ok Icaro A transformative journey unfolds as Mee Ok, a Korean transnational adoptee, embraces the healing power of Ayahuasca, finding dramatic physical healing, challenging her beliefs, and finding spiritual growth amidst the risks and rewards of this sacred plant medicine. In this episode, you will...

Preventing Adoptee Suicide through Compassionate Community Support with Moses Farrow - Ep 119 show art Preventing Adoptee Suicide through Compassionate Community Support with Moses Farrow - Ep 119

Unraveling Adoption

"Being commodified, treated as an object, as a thing that can be returned or exchanged, deeply affects us. I am not a thing." - Moses Farrow Did you know that adoptees are at least four times as likely to attempt suicide as their non-adopted peers? In this episode, Moses Farrow will shed light on the truth behind high suicide rates among adopted people, and will provide resources to help prevent adoptee suicide. In this episode, you will be able to: Gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by adoptees and how to provide meaningful support throughout their journey. ...

Happy Enough Holidays - November 14, 2023 show art Happy Enough Holidays - November 14, 2023

Unraveling Adoption

Register at or at Do you have a child or loved one struggling with addiction or mental health issues? Are you dreading the holidays? Happy Enough Holidays is an interactive workshop hosted by Heather Ross and Beth Syverson Tuesday, November 14th 4:30 – 6:00 pm PST / 7:30 – 9:00 pm EST $20 for 90-minute interactive workshop Here's What You Get: A Supportive Immersive Experience: Curate your holiday experience with other parents who face similar challenges and understand you during this live workshop. Custom exercises tailored to your needs and situation...

An Inside Look at Adoption as Both an Adoptee and a Birth Parent with Dr. Abby Hasberry - Ep 118 show art An Inside Look at Adoption as Both an Adoptee and a Birth Parent with Dr. Abby Hasberry - Ep 118

Unraveling Adoption

"Supporting a birth mother doesn't mean just offering empty words, but actively showing her what support looks like and helping her make informed decisions." - Abby Hasberry Have you ever experienced a life-changing twist that completely altered your life view? Abby Hasberry's story of being raised in a transracial adoptive family takes an unexpected turn at age 16, revealing the complexities and challenges faced by both transracial adoptees and birth parents. =============== 📆 Community Calendar: 💌Sign up for our Unraveling Adoption email list: =============== In this episode, you...

The Roller Coaster Ride of Reunion with Brian Stanton and Rick Wertz - Ep 117 show art The Roller Coaster Ride of Reunion with Brian Stanton and Rick Wertz - Ep 117

Unraveling Adoption

"You can't make this up. It's a beautiful journey of discovery and connection." - Rick Wertz Adoptees searching for their birth family are often met with dead-ends and heartache, which can be overwhelming. But Brian and Rick's story will give you hope. They demonstrate the grace and determination required to HANG ON when riding the complex roller coaster ride of reunion. In this episode, you will be able to: Discover the complexities and emotional challenges of adoption, providing insight and understanding into the adoptee's and the birth parent's journey. Learn effective strategies for...

Art as a Tool for Empowerment for Adoptees and Former Foster Youth with Nicole Rademacher - Ep 116 show art Art as a Tool for Empowerment for Adoptees and Former Foster Youth with Nicole Rademacher - Ep 116

Unraveling Adoption

  "I spend a lot of my life, and even through my art, just looking for belonging." - Nicole Rademacher Join us as we delve into the world of art therapy and adoption with guest Nicole Rademacher. Discover how Nicole uses art to heal on her own journey as an adoptee, and explore her upcoming project, "We Are Not Our Cruxes," that aims to empower adoptees and former foster youth. In this episode, you will be able to: Discover the healing power of art therapy and how it can help adoptees do deeper work on their adoption trauma. Explore the complexities of transracial adoption...

Belonging and Racial Identity for Late Discovery Adoptee Peter Capomolla Moore - Ep 115 show art Belonging and Racial Identity for Late Discovery Adoptee Peter Capomolla Moore - Ep 115

Unraveling Adoption

Belonging and Racial Identity for Late Discovery Adoptee Peter Capomolla Moore Access a written transcript here, in case you have trouble understanding Peter's lovely Australian accent: "It's important for adoptees to understand and embrace their racial identity and sense of belonging. We must challenge the labels we are given and create our own narratives." - Peter Capomolla Moore Have you ever heard these myths about the significance of racial identity and belonging for adoptees? Myth #1: Adoptees don't need to worry about race because love is all that matters. Myth #2: Adopting a child...

Unlocking Adoptees' Genetic Blueprint for Optimal Mental Health with Dr. Evelyn Higgins and Joey Nakao - Ep 114 show art Unlocking Adoptees' Genetic Blueprint for Optimal Mental Health with Dr. Evelyn Higgins and Joey Nakao - Ep 114

Unraveling Adoption

"Don't let shame and stigma add to the struggles of being adopted. Personalized genetic testing can provide valuable insights and guidance for addiction treatment. Let's break the cycle and empower individuals to heal." - Dr. Evelyn Higgins Are you feeling overwhelmed by the endless trial and error of finding the right treatment for your mental health and/or addiction issues? Are you trying various medications and therapies that don't seem to alleviate your pain or provide lasting relief? I think many adoptees (and others!) can relate! It can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening to...

More Episodes

In this episode, filmmaker and adoptee Glenn Morey discusses the painful experiences and anger felt by Asian American adoptees like him. In this thought-provoking podcast episode, he delves into the realities of growing up in a homogeneously white environment and the damaging effects of negative media portrayals of Asian boys and men.

If you are the adoptive or foster parent of an Asian child, do you want to help them develop a strong sense of identity and community? Glenn Morey has the solution to empower Asian adoptees through fostering supportive networks and building a sense of belonging.


📆 Community Calendar: UnravelingAdoption.com/Calendar

💌Sign up for our Unraveling Adoption email list: http://eepurl.com/hVIAVX


In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Delve into the critical importance of adoptee voices when exploring Korean adoption history.

  • Examine the complexities of identity development for Asian adoptees within white communities.

  • Acknowledge the harmful effects of negative stereotypes on the well-being of Asian American boys and men.

  • Embrace the essential role of transracial adoptive parents in fostering their child's sense of identity.

  • Appreciate the power of community and shared experiences in strengthening Asian American adoptees' identity.

My special guest is Glenn Morey

Glenn is a passionate filmmaker and Korean adoptee from Denver who, in his retirement, has made it his life's work to bring the stories of adoptees to the forefront. Together with his wife Julie, Glenn has created the impactful film project, Side by Side, which features the heartfelt stories of 100 Korean adoptees from around the world. Glenn's own experience as an interracial adoptee has given him a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs faced by Asian American boys and men, making his work truly invaluable.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:


Other Resources:


Unraveling Adoption is produced and hosted by Beth Syverson

Music written and performed by Joseph Nakao

Email questions or comments to [email protected]

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

Support UnravelingAdoption on Patreon: Patreon.com/UnravelingAdoption



Growing up Asian in a Homogeneously White Community
The experience of growing up as an Asian adoptee in predominantly white areas can lead to feelings of isolation and a struggle to develop a sense of identity. Adoptees often face challenges in connecting with their racial and cultural background and may feel like they don't quite fit into either world. This sense of displacement can have lasting consequences for their personal and social development. Finding ways to expose adoptees to their native culture and building connections with others from similar backgrounds can be essential to promoting a strong sense of self and fostering understanding between adoptees, their families, and the broader community. In this podcast, Glenn Morey shares his personal journey growing up as a Korean adoptee in a white community. He particularly emphasizes the importance of connecting with other people who share a similar background, as this helped him to embrace his heritage and feel more at ease with his identity. Many of the adoptees interviewed for the Side by Side project also expressed similar feelings of displacement and isolation, showing that this is a common issue faced by many Asian adoptees. By creating opportunities for connections to grow and supports to be put in place, it can help adoptees develop a greater sense of belonging and connection to their roots.

Model Minority Myth and Individual Needs
The model minority myth perpetuates stereotypes about Asian Americans as a monolithic group that materially succeeds in overcoming adversity. This misconception disregards the individual needs and challenges faced by adoptees and other Asian Americans. However, each person's experiences are unique, and the expectations put upon them by society may hinder their ability to find personal success and contentment. Recognizing and addressing the wide range of experiences and emotions among Asian American adoptees can help break through the model minority myth and promote a more compassionate understanding of their lives. During the podcast, Glenn Morey and Beth Syverson examine the impact that stereotypes such as the model minority myth have on adopted Asian American individuals. They discuss the challenges faced by adoptive parents supporting their children's unique needs and emphasize the importance of education and understanding around these often complex issues. Through conversations like these and the continued sharing of experiences, adoptees and those supporting them can work together to counteract this flawed narrative and create a more informed, empathetic, and supportive environment for everyone involved.

Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:00 - Introduction,
The host introduces Glenn Morey, an interracial adoptee from Korea who created the Side by Side film project, an online installation of 100 Korean adoptee stories.

00:01:00 - Emotional Stories of the Adoptees,
Glenn talks about how nearly every adoptee he spoke to during the filming of the project eventually talked about their adoption experiences and feelings in painful terms, even if their journey had been positive.

00:06:43 - Becoming a Filmmaker,
Glenn talks about his career in filmmaking and how he retired in 2012, giving him the opportunity to focus on the Side by Side project.

00:09:09 - Impact of the Film,
Glenn talks about how the film gave many of the adoptees a chance to have catharsis and divulge information they had not expected to share. Many of the adoptees had told very little of their story to their family, partners, or loved ones.

00:12:00 - Aging Out of Korean Orphanages,
Glenn talks about how difficult it was to find people willing to tell the aging-out story. He emphasizes that the stories are important for adoptees to fill in the blanks of what would have happened had they stayed in Korea. The stories are difficult but educational.

00:15:12 - Growing up Asian in a Homogeneously White Community,
Glenn talks about growing up in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, which was almost entirely white. He shares how adoptees try to live as if their adoption and race don't matter, but being in a homogeneously white community presents challenges that are hard to ignore.

00:19:50 - The Effects of Negative Portrayal in Media,
Glenn discusses how Asian men have been portrayed negatively in the media for a long time, making it hard for them to be seen positively or as potential romantic partners. He argues that these portrayals contribute to Asian adoptee's difficulty in seeing themselves positively when they look in the mirror.

00:23:14 - The Anger of Asian American Men,
Glenn shares an interview quote from actor John Cho, who says Asian American men walk around with clenched fists, ready to fight because people have been treating them poorly all their lives. Glenn believes adoptive parents must understand this anger and support their child's identity development.

00:27:03 - Coping with Being Asian American,
Glenn encourages adoptive parents to do more than heritage camps to help their child thrive as an Asian American in America. He believes acknowledging and discussing the challenges of growing up as a child of color in a homogeneously white community is crucial for healthy identity development and successful adulthood.

00:31:31 - Importance of Community for Adoptees,
Beth shares how attending a school with predominantly Asian students helped her son feel like he belonged -- and this school was only ten miles away. Glenn and Beth stress the importance of finding a community for adoptees where they don't feel like they're the only one.

00:33:42 - Finding Strength in Community,
As an adult adoptee, Glenn found strength in his family, the adoptee community, and the Asian American community. He believes that it takes the love and support of other people to fight shame, isolation, and alienation.

00:35:04 - Resources for Adoptive Parents,
Glenn recommends PACT Camp as an organization for parents and families in transracial adoption. He believes that adoptive parents need to get a better grasp on how race affects people and that it's a life and death situation for adoptees.

00:37:02 - Model Minority Myth and Individual Needs,
Glenn highlights the issue with the model minority myth and how it's not helpful to assume that Asians are doing fine. He emphasizes that every individual needs to be met where they are, and it's not a competition from one race to another.

00:40:25 - Takeaway Messages,
Glenn stresses the importance of finding a community for adoptees, finding strength in community, and for adoptive parents to get a better grasp on how race affects their interracially adopted kids. He hopes that this conversation will help Asian American men and boys and other people of color.