alliemoreno-1

Allie Moreno, CA

Senior Writer

A freelance writer and poet, Allie was born and raised in the San Diego area. She received a BA in Literature and Writing from CSU San Marcos and an MFA in Writing from UC San Diego. Her first book, Still Prime, explores her identity as a Filipino-American woman and a transracial adoptee. Allie has a passion for telling stories and uses her background in poetry to find great stories in details and descriptions. She also teaches English at a local community college and enjoys spending time with her free time with her husband and son.

As a Story Terrace writer, Allie interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

When Nature Meets Nurture

I met my father when I was 26, just after Easter of 2014, at a welcoming party coordinated through Facebook messages and hosted by his family. The door opened and there were camera flashes, tearful hugs, and video recordings. There were even interviews that made it all feel a bit like a reality TV show. On MTV’s The Real World, I think they call it “the confessional”. Though don’t ask me what was confessed–our episode never aired.

I met my mother a week later in the Nordstrom at the local mall. We had planned to meet for lunch and I spotted her immediately as I came down the escalator. A rush of emotion including a sense of instant familiarity washed over me.
There she was.
There we were.
She hugged me and whispered, “Don’t cry.”

We have no say in the defining moments of our lives. They happen to us whether or not we’re ready for them. And they happen in ways we never would have imagined.
In many of my own versions, Oprah was there with encouraging pats on the back.
Other times, it was Ellen.

It’s important to note that I have other parents. Real or adoptive as opposed to biological or birth-parent. However we qualify parents in the culture of adoption, it always seems wrong. Someone is always discredited. I have a mother and father who loved and raised me. Who taught me most of the things I know. Who shaped me.

And therein lies the puzzle. The thing that I might never have the right words for. What happens when nature meets nurture? How does this family all fit together? Who are we if we were so recently strangers? And who am I if I am somehow perpetually displaced?

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