Mariette Williams is a rock star. No, she is not living a life of fame or fortune. She has yet to make all of her dreams a reality. None the less, ask anyone in her circle and they will tell you that she is a rock star. Mariette’s rock star status is contingent upon her almost magical ability to get things done. And boy does she get it done! Rearing children, educating children, penning memoirs, taking missions trips, being a wife, speaking on panels, blogging and, advocating for the adoption community are just a few of the things that Mariette gets done. She makes it all look so effortless and her story truly inspires. Mariette is my real-life friend circle 'Beyonce” and after you read a little bit more about her work she might become your Beyonce too! Learn a little bit about Mariette and why HerStory is so inspiring!
Who is Mariette Williams?
Mariette Williams is an adoptee, an advocate, and a writer. Her story began in Jeremie, Haiti. At the tender age of 3 Mariette was adopted and moved to a small city near Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Mariette’s experience as a transracial adoptee has greatly influenced her work. In 2014, Mariette fused her love for writing with her commitment to exploring adoption stories. She created a blog dedicated to highlighting the diversity of adoption narratives. Mariette’s personal adoption journey is both complex and miraculous.
How is she Defining/Redefining HerStory?
A desire to know more about her birth family would lead to one of Mariette’s most challenging and defining moments. Mariette was able to find a lead on the whereabouts of her birth family in Haiti through Facebook. Her relentless searching produced results and she decided to make her life log dream of reuniting with her birth family come true. Mariette shared her story with the associated press. In 2015, she was accompanied by the Associated Press and returned to Haiti to reunite with her birth mother and several members of her birth family.
The reunion with her birth family was a beautiful and life changing experience. However, some of the Associated Press’ depictions of her reunion did not adequately line up with Mariette’s actual experience. Mariette did not agree with the way that the AP decided to share her reunion narrative with the world. She would not be silenced. Mariette penned a piece on her reunion experience. She also discussed some of the issues that she faced as a transracial adoptee. More than anything, she made sure that the love of her birth parents and adoptive parents were both highlighted in her reunion story. The piece ran in “For Harriett” She also gave a detailed account of her reunion on her own blog MarietteWilliams.com.
Read an excerpt from her For Harriet piece below:
"Twenty-nine years ago I was stolen from my family. It’s foolish to think my life is suddenly fine now that we have reunited. That I can just forget about the last 29 years. My adoption has had an impact on every single aspect of my life. The absence of my mother has affected my friendships, my marriage, the way I parent my children, and my identity.
I am hyper aware of how others perceive me, wanting to always project an image of someone who is well adjusted, emotionally balanced, and normal. But under that facade, I vacillate between an intense fear of rejection and severe feelings of apathy towards everyone around me. My entire life I have battled low self-esteem, my personal accomplishments a thin veneer over the gaping hole where my mother’s love should have been."
Mariette’s story is truly inspiring because it is a reminder that no one should let anyone navigate their own story or own narrative for them. The media is a strong vehicle. Yet, we live in a renaissance age of sorts. Through the internet, we have the ability to reclaim our stories and tell them in a way that is honorable. Mariette’s HerStory is a testament to owning your own narratives!
How Can I Find HerStory and What’s Next?
Mariette's stories have been featured in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, For Harriet, and Canada Adopts. She is also a columnist for the Lost Daughters blog and a contributing author to the book Black Anthology: Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space. Mariette is currently writing a memoir about her adoption and reunion. Make sure you follow her on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with her journey through HerStory!