Mother to a special child, wife, life & leadership coach, writer and recovering perfectionist.

“I was adopted around 18 months & raised by both my adoptive parents. I have 3 brothers biological to my adoptive parents. My strength is my compassion. My life has been full of many experiences, some wonderful, some heart-breaking.As a result I can sit in non-judgement with most anyone. My worst day was finding out my husband had cancer. I cried on the hospital floor. I think that was my first real conversation with God. I’ve always had a fear of him dying before me. I’ve struggled to find confidence in my voice. My heart can race when I feel unready to speak & think about it too much. This began when I was 6 years old when I was asked to tell the mother of the teenage boy who had been molesting me what had happened. I couldn’t. I froze. For years the anxiety & nervousness I felt in that moment could return to my body almost as if on command. It messed with my ability to show up, present or speak with confidence. These days there’s no blame, lots of work and forgiveness has transpired since that day. But a 6 year old sure can sow deep seeds of anxiety and self-doubt. Now, I call on my self-command muscle, it’s like a wakeful meditation. I breathe, acknowledge my racing heart, & connect to the ground. In my 40s I started “waking to the truth of myself”. I started looking inward instead of outward for the answers. I’ve felt like I don’t fit in with “True Asians”. I carry myself differently, and speak all wrong – too direct. I’ve been yelled at for not speaking my language by old Korean women & had had to explain that I do speak my language, I was adopted. I remember the strange stares I got in the streets of Beijing, later to be informed I walk like a Western woman. I used to wish I could be white. I thought white girls were the beautiful ones. I was insecure about my face & eyes but I’m learning to love my eyes, they tell the truth of who I am. I believe beauty invites others in, it reflects others’ inner love & joy back to them. I’m really proud of being a Mom. I value kindness. I’m a supporter, doer & life-long learner. I’m Melissa. I AM joy & I love to laugh.”


Kristie Dean, Melissa, 2022. Digital Photograph. ©Kristie Dean. All rights reserved.

Kristie Dean & Denisha Fisher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other work from The Soul Project