Multiracial Family Man: On being Afro-Latina, transracial adoption by White farmers, coping with tragic accidents and physical disability, and writing a memoir, with author Lorie Tensen, Ep. 64

Ep. 64: Lorie Tensen is an author. She’s also “bionic.” It’s not hard to see why. Having been dealt a number of challenges in life, she’s rebuilt herself stronger than ever before. She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 7, 1966. The result of an affair between a married, Black detective and a foreigner: a woman from Honduras. Seven months later, she was adopted into a White, Dutch family and raised in a small, farming community two hours west of the Twin Cities. At the age of 12, Lorie suffered a terrible accident, resulting in the loss of her right hand and lower arm. This led to years of grappling with her own self-image and self-esteem. Later in life, she struggled through college, where her racial background set her apart. Then, she was a single mom working hard to make ends meet. She later married, but the marriage ended in divorce, and Lorie found herself struggling again. But, by focusing on her passion, on raising her kids, and on her goal of giving back, she found herself on the right career path. Hers in an inspirational story, and you can read about it in her memoir: “Taking My Hand Out of My Pocket” available here: For more on host, Alex Barnett, please check out his website: or visit him on Facebook ( or on Twitter at @barnettcomic To subscribe to the Multiracial Family Man, please click here: MULTIRACIAL FAMILY MAN PODCAST Intro and Outro Music is Funkorama by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons – By Attribution 3.0

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I screamed out loud twice during this podcast. 


The meat grinder was horrific, but the comment stating that an Afro-Latino would not want to go to a college that had Black people, that comment cuts deep



A Conversation Defining Transracial Adoption with Anderson Cooper (CNN)

Earlier this week I, along with 21 other adoptee’s, adoption professionals and activists joined together to write An Open Letter: Why Co-opting “Transracial” in the Case of Rachel Dolezal is Problematic. The result was a media blitz, helping to define the word transracial. I was interviewed by the New York TimesWashington Post and International Business Times, as well as other outlets who supported adoptees in our desire to reclaim the integrity of this word.

View my conversation with Anderson Cooper here.

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My Transracial Adoption Journey – Part 1 | Mixed Space

I must admit that when my wife first suggested we adopt I wasn’t sure if I was up for it.  We already had our daughter but we wanted another and circumstances were such that this was probably the only way.  The question I kept asking myself was “Could I love a child that wasn’t my own?”


My Transracial Adoption Journey – Part 2 | Mixed Space

We didn’t set out to transracially adopt.  In fact, quite the opposite.  When you apply for adoption they give you a form with boxes to check to indicate what you’re looking for.  They give options such as age, gender, and even what disabilities or medical history you are willing to accept (such as depression or deafness).  Of course, they also include race.  This is no guarantee that this is the kid they will offer.  Their goal is to find a child as close to what you want as they can.  They’re not interested in just dumping children on people.  But you also have to understand that the more restrictive your options the longer a placement will take.


My Transracial Adoption Journey – Part 3 | Mixed Space

Suddenly we were parents of a baby again!  And anyone who has had a baby knows that “sleeping like a baby” is anything but!  Unless of course they meant “wakes up every two hours wanting to be fed.”  Still, he was our little guy from three weeks old.  Honestly, it felt more like we were over-glorified babysitters for the state at first.  But in time he found a place in our hearts and that place grew and grew until we couldn’t imagine him not being in our lives.


Chile Tales: The green addiction | Mixed Space

In Texas, when my parents were still married, we ate fried chicken, mashed potatoes laden with cream gravy, green beans flavored with bits of bacon and buttery light biscuits.  Every item on the menu had its own serving dish, and cloth napkins were always used.


My Transracial Adoption Journey – Part 5 | Mixed Space

These last few years have been about building closeness in our family like any other. To catch you up, we have a daughter and adopted a then baby boy. Now he is 4 years old. We signed him up for itty bitty soccer, he performed in his pre-school Christmas singing program, and then there have been frequent but brief stints in the timeout chair. He and his big sister get along great for about 20 minutes at a time. Truly, most days I don’t feel our family is particularly different than most.


Mixed Space-Memoirs of an Uncharacteristic Biracial Child: The world is not so black and white

Many people feel the need to write about the “black experience” in America and how challenging that can be. The “white experience” is already touched upon in history textbooks and most all of pop culture. But an uncommon topic to hear about is the “biracial experience”.  I