Determined to discover where she came from, Sana L. Cotten recalls her ventures to uncover her past, face her family’s trauma, and reconnect with relatives who are part of her story. Hear from Sana how the process of learning about her birth family after adoption has helped her break generational cycles, shape her identity, and begin a journey to healing through empathy.
Trigger Warning: Descriptions of rape and sex trafficking
00:01:19 | Meet Sana L. Cotten, as she recalls, through the reading of her case files, how she and her twin brother were taken by child protective services as children after undergoing traumatic experiences in their home.
00:06:24 | Sana paints a picture of life as a young child in Bridgeport, Connecticut
00:09:30 | Sana describes the limited relationship she had with her mom as a result of being in foster care and her mother being incarcerated.
00:11:05 | Sana shares a memory of her mother’s attempt to visit Sana at her foster home, which was rejected by Sana’s foster mother.
00:14:58 | Sana talks about her experience of being adopted, still yearning for a relationship with her mother, and beginning a journey to find her.
00:15:38 | Sana learns that her birth mother, who was incarcerated, had been longing to connect with the twins.
00:17:46 | Matt asks Sana about the opportunities she had to ask her mother about the details of her childhood.
00:19:38 | Sana shares her experience of developing a relationship with her mother once she was released from prison and why it was brought to a halt.
00:21:10 | Sana recalls being 18 years old and pregnant and feeling an urge for her birth mother’s presence after being written off by her adoptive family.
00:24:18 | Sana learns of her birth mother’s passing. She recalls being angry and feeling victimized because of the harmful events she endured as a young child.
00:26:28 | Sana reflects on impact of the reunion she had with her uncle on her healing journey as she learned more about her family’s history and her mother’s regrets.
00:31:12 | Matt reflects on the nuanced conversation on framing experiences with ‘what happened to you’ versus ‘what’s wrong with you’ with guest Dr. Bruce Perry as it applies to Sana’s journey finding love for the inner child of her mother. See more on S1 E3: PEOPLE CHANGE THROUGH STORIES.
00:33:55 | Sana shares that she originally intended on learning more about her dad when she reunited with her uncle.
Meet Sana L. Cotten
Book: “Everyone will know it was God” by Sana L. Cotten
Connections Matter: Relationships with Birth Families are Important for Foster, Adopted Children | The Imprint
Human Trafficking | Child Welfare Information Gateway
Child Trafficking and the Child Welfare System | Polaris Project
Connect Our Kids
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