Family Camp 2022 Highlights

Thank you to all our families that attended Transracial Journeys Family Camp 2022, “Commitment, Community, Courage and Culture”

This year, fifteen new families came to camp for the first time. They were hosted by the board and given an introduction to our community at our first ever New Family Orientation. We hosted a bibliotherapeutic book sale, we toasted marshmallows for smores and had a great talent show. Some of us fished and some of us tumbled with Mr. Todd. A lot of us tie-dyed our camp t-shirts. And one thing is beyond certain, we could not have done anything without our amazing camp counselors!

Our parents attended sessions curated by Executive Director, April Dinwoodie, and facilitated by transracially-adopted presenters Zack Fried and Hannah Jackson Matthews. They each discussed our families’ unique challenges in navigating racism. Avril Sargeant, LPCC focused her seminar on resilience. Megan and Jeffrey Bain discussed their connections to their children’s family of origin. 

We recognize our parents, our children and our Transracial Journeys community for making Family Camp 2022 so special.  We appreciate each of them contributing to an environment of joy, connection and transformation that happened at our Family Camp this summer.

For sharing any photos on Instagram, please photo credit by adding in the caption, "Photo Credit: @Adam_Michaels and @jade_hambrick." On Facebook please credit

TRJ Announces Hannah Jackson Matthews M.S. Ed as a Featured Speaker for 2022

Transracial Journeys is pleased to announce Hannah Jackson Matthews, M.S. Ed., as a featured presenter for Family Camp 2022, August 4-7th. Hannah will be sharing her experiences and expertise helping us to better understand the importance of connections to family and culture of origin as well as how to navigate racism. As a writer, an educator, a speaker and a transracial adoptees champion, Hannah has made it her mission to advocate for the needs of transracial adoptees. Matthews, a transracial adoptee herself, offers invaluable insight, experience and passion as she works to support transracial adoptees by helping to shift the responsibility of facing the realities of racism from the adoptee to their adoptive parents.


More About Hannah

Without the racial literacy necessary to navigate racism, the endless song playing in her childhood mind was "I don't belong".

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a white birth mother and Black birth father, Hannah Jackson Matthews, M.S. Ed. was adopted privately and domestically adopted. The Jacksons eagerly brought home their last baby and only baby girl and raised her in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Matthews enjoyed romping around her suburban neighborhood with her older brothers. And despite the simple joys of childhood, it seemed her joys were often being interrupted by the bias and discrimination of others.

In a town comprised of not even one percent of people who shared Matthews' brown skin and curly hair, she didn't know how to navigate these painful experiences. Deeply lonely and insecure, she longingly searched for if and where she belonged.

Her journey seeking what was missing continued on for years. In those years, Matthews found solace in the croon of Ella Fitzgerald, the flowing poetry of Q-Tip, the prose of Audre Lorde. She found beautiful friendships within my racial community. She found love with a beautiful Black man and in their two incredible children.

Ultimately, with all of the help of those previously listed, and many more, she found herself. She discovered that in many ways, she was what she was missing. Today Matthews works tirelessly to support transracial adoptees as they find all the magic that they are, too.


More About Transracial Journeys

Transracial Journeys is a social and educational organization designed to provide practical tools and support for families experiencing transracial adoption.  Our goals include:

  • Building community and promoting racial justice and equity
  • Developing healthy racial identity for all members of the family
  • Encouraging greater cultural competence for parents
  • Fostering a deeper understanding of core issues of adoption

To learn more about our flagship event, Transracial Journeys Family Camp, go to our Family Camp page and check out our schedule of events. If you would like to be notified as future camp details become available, please make sure to sign-up for our monthly newsletter by using the subscribe feature on the bottom of this page..

The Arc of Identity

In our April, 2021 Newsletter article entitled “What’s in a Name?,” We wrote about identity and the names our children carry. In this month’s set of cards, April writes,

“When your child is adopted, there’s another world, another narrative, and perhaps another name that accompanies them along with their “who am I?” journey. The way in which we build a strong and healthy identity often begins with our names as one of our central building blocks.”

Finding Community

Identity development is a large part of a child’s journey throughout adolescence and young adulthood. Finding community is also a large part of answering this “who am I?” question. For those of us who have been involved with Transracial Journeys for several years, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing our children and some of our camp counselors mature and enter young adulthood.

Trans Racial Journeys Camp Counselors
Family Camp for Transracially Adoptive Families
Support for children in transracial adoptions

On The Board, we work to provide support to our families and children - that’s a given! But, in the wings, we also work to nurture, train and support our camp counselors who themselves are often adopted persons and therefore older versions of our children. When you come to camp, you’re not only supporting the healthy growth of your own family, but you’re also supporting this community of your child’s future peers.

For the past few years, we have been fostering the transition of our young campers into counselor-in-training and counselor roles at camp. We have been observing a “rite of passage” of sorts from camper to counselor. We’ve discovered one of the gifts of growing up in TRJ is this transition where a child leaves their family of experience and enters a new family of friends, advocates, and peers who share a lot of the same lived experiences. Finding your people and availing yourself of their support, friendship and wisdom is incredibly nurturing to the development of your sense of self and to your identity in being part of a group.

"Who Am I?"

The community building that’s happening with our counselors, and their friendships forged is pretty amazing. Several of our counselors have been coming together now for years to work with our children, and in doing this work, they’ve also formed relationships with a community of peers who share intersectionalities of race and/or adoption. Finding a network of kindredness and support will help our children in their search to answer the question “who am I?”.

We look forward to helping our young adults find support and reflection of themselves on their journey to adulthood and beyond. Who knows, perhaps your child will be a counselor someday too.

This post is from our April, 2022, newsletter. If you would like to get our newsletter in your inbox each month, as well as information about our annual Transracial Journeys Family Camp and our monthly Zoom call to provide support for our transracial adoption parents please subscribe.