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What Do I Want You to Know

What do I want you to know?

A Poem by Rachel Forbes

I want you not only to know about the times

that were clearly and expectedly confusing and heartbreaking,

but also about the moments that lived and live in silence

and loneliness.

The moments during which

there were no words, no shared

or taught language.

The slight, and glossed in pity ~or love~,

glances and clichés that were assuming or spoken

at the super market

in line

in the waiting room

in class

at a stoplight

or while standing in a room with no one who looks like me

or sees me. 

The simultaneous distance and yearning

when you’re betwixt and between,

a l w a y s .

The constant flow of curiosities

that feel like secrets, even when I’m told they’re not.

But they show up in moments that are intimate,

sacred, and just between me and her.

I want you to know that I carry them.

And those who also experience them carry them too.

I also just want you to listen with love.

Just love.

And that’s it.


Rachel is a Korean American transracial adoptee and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private psychotherapy practice based in Connecticut. Utilizing mind/body and holistic therapeutic approaches, she specializes in attachment trauma and adoption, helping individual clients strengthen their connection with their inner worlds and self-leadership. Rachel also speaks publicly about the adoptee experience, offers trainings for professionals, and hosts and facilitates support groups for adult adoptees. Check out her website here.


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