Friday, March 12, 2010

Guess What? You Adopted an African Princess!!

The other day, I was sitting in my doctor's office flipping through magazines when I came across the most amazing story in an old copy of Glamour.

Titled, "The Real Princess Diaries," it is the story of Sarah Culberson, a young Mixed woman adopted by White parents in West Virginia. Turns out, Culberson discovered that her birth father -- who is still alive -- came from a long line of chiefs in Sierra Leone, making her a princess. Apparently, her adoptive parents had no idea that the one-month old baby girl they were adopting came from African royalty. Even if they did, do you think they would have raised her any differently?

You can watch the video above to hear Culberson herself tell her story and then if you want more information about the foundation she started to help the people in her father's war-ravaged village in Sierra Leone, visit the website at

How's that for a feel-good, fascinating, Friday story? If you still want more details, Culberson has penned a memoir called A Princess Found: An American Family, an African Chiefdom, and the Daughter Who Connected Them All. It sounds like my kind of book as it tells not only her story of searching for her birth parents and her eventual reunification with her dad (mom passed away from cancer) but it also is a racial-identity coming of age story. I think a lot of people could find something of interest in her story. What about you? Are you interested? Have you heard about Sarah Culberson already?

I'm listening.




Lara said...

I have not heard of her and am very interested to read her story! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I think I remember hearing about this. But thanks for reminding me. I love to read stories about adoptees!

BloggingQueen said...

Fascinating story, for all the reasons you listed above. I'm also glad she took it upon herself to start a foundation to help her father's village.

But I gotta say, it really bothers me that in many African countries, a child is considered an orphan if his/her mother dies (esp. of AIDS). I realize fathers in many African societies are considered strictly breadwinners, not nurturers, for lack of better phrasing. And I also know most of the time, another female relative (grandmother, aunt, etc.) steps in to take mom's role in the kid's life.

But calling the kid an "orphan" always implies to me that the remaining parent has no interest in the child, and that the mother has to remind the father that the child even exists.

Anonymous said...

It's great that Sarah( or like Soledad said, shall I call her Princess Sarah)found her dad, not because he's from royalty, but just idea that she got to learn who he is. We live in small world. It wasn't that long ago that I discovered that I had another younger brother( who lived only a step away from my job)and a sister from Vietnam.

I could imagine how shocked Sarah was when she discovered that she was a princess. If someone had told me that I would have told them that they were lying. It's not every day that someone find out that much about themselves.

LT said...

You're welcome

Me too!

Good points. I think I know a handful of adult adoptees who later found their birth fathers alive and well, often with new families, but they were given up for adoption because they were considered orphans. Interesting.

I agree. I think the best part of this story, is simply that Princess Sarah was able to find her birth family. The princess part was icing on the cake. But I also think this was the storyline for a Disney movie too.