Adoptee Night at Tuesday’s Major League Baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox in Minneapolis, will be a return home for Holly Choon Hyang Bachman, founder, and president of the LA-based Mixed Roots Foundation
This is the 5th annual Adoptee Night at the Twins home field. The night is meant to honor those touched by adoption and foster care. For Holly it’s become an annual affair since founding the Mixed Roots Foundation in 2011. It’s also something that she’s duplicated elsewhere putting together a few dozen similar events with other MLB teams, as well as professional soccer teams, the NBA, and soon the NFL.
“We want to raise awareness and funds,” said Holly, herself an adoptee from Korea who was raised in Minnesota.
She hopes that adoption and the journey of adoptees and foster kids become as familiar to everyone as America’s pastime, baseball.
Holly wants to connect with the families who often flock to these games. As little as a generation ago, it was more taboo to talk openly about adoption, but that has changed. An estimated 100 million people are “touched by adoption” in the United States, meaning that someone in their family is adopted or that they know someone who is adopted, according to the Council for Adoption. There are about 500,000 children are in the foster care system.
Holly hopes that this generation will recognize that adoption and foster care is about more than just finding homes for kids who need it; it also involves supporting families and adoptees beyond the actual adoption process, she said.
“Because I’m adopted, I know that there needs to be more post-adoption resources,” Holly said. “With that, two of our core initiatives for Mixed Roots Foundation are mentoring and DNA testing.”
In particular, testing is used to find biological relatives, but it also helping with family medical history or learning about ancestry. Up to half of all adoptions cross some cultural or ethnic line, according to Mixed Remix Foundation.
For Holly, with her roots from South Korea but adopted into a family with European ancestry, her journey started in high school when she first traveled to Korea and connected with her own Korean ancestry.
With the power of science and technology, adoptees now have access to tools to help them search for biological family, or to connect with their ethnic and cultural roots. Up to half of all adoptions cross some cultural or ethnic line, according to some estimates.
With assisting adoptees and their families discover their biological and cultural roots, Mixed Roots Foundation’s name “mixed roots” came out of this idea of the intermingling of an adoptee’s cultural, biological and adoptive families roots. Part of an adoptees journey is reconciling all of that with their identity, and that’s why there’s a strong diversity message in everything that Mixed Roots does, Holly said.
“We all have mixed roots,” she said. “Learning about that is fundamental to our identity.”
Hosted by the MN Twins and Mixed Roots Foundation, the night is co-sponsored by 23andMe, and the Mixed Chicks, maker of the multicultural hair products for men and women with mixed ancestry will be throwing out the First Pitch. Native MN Korean Adoptee singer and song writer, Kimberly Michaels will perform the National Anthem.