By Sheila Steffen, CNN
(CNN) - Rachel Noerdlinger says she felt "a big void" when she was in her 20s and went through an identity crisis.
"My parents thought we could be color-blind, and they raised us in an environment where we didn't talk about race," said Noerdlinger, who is black.
'My parents were color-blind'
Adopted by white parents and raised in New Mexico, she grew up without any knowledge of where she came from.
"It was hard. I went through a lot of different confusions."
She is quick to point out how grateful she is for her adoptive parents. And although she would not change her experience, she offers this advice: "At the end of the day, the most important thing to your child's well-being is that he or she is around diversity."
Thirty-nine percent of adopted children in America have parents of a different race or ethnic group. Domestically, transracial adoptions were made easier by the Multiethnic Placement Act in 1994, which essentially keeps race from being a factor in adoptions. Still, the majority of transracial adoptions are international; others are from foster care and from private adoptions. FULL POST
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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