Bonnie Buchanan (BB) and Diane Tells His Name (DT)
BB: When did you first feel like you were different?
DT: Probably elementary school. I had a younger sister, and I really didn’t like doing the same things that she would do. She would do tea parties and play with dolls and things like that. And I was always outside looking at the clouds or the stars. And my sister was blond, tall and thin like my mother, and I was round and brown [Laughs]. I remember going through the family albums looking for my face in the old photographs, and I didn’t see me. And eventually when I was 37 years old, I happened to see a picture of my mom in October of 1951, and it shocked me because I was born in November of 1951, and my mother was not pregnant. So that’s when I knew that I was adopted.
BB: How did you feel?
DT: It was very satisfying to know that I wasn’t crazy. I didn’t blame them, I wasn’t angry with them. In 1951, you just didn’t talk about those things. So, when I got my original birth certificate it said on there my birth mother’s name, and it said that she was born at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. So I went to South Dakota to receive my Indian name and get a crash course in how to be an Indian. After that, my husband and I told Indian Family Services we wanted to adopt a child from my tribe–a Lakota child. And finally they faxed us a picture of a little Indian child, and she was drinking chocolate syrup out of a Hershey’s bottle. And our son said, ”That’s her! That’s the one we need to adopt.” And it was you.
DT: I started doing research on your family. And when I started looking at your family tree, I saw one of my relatives on your paper. So, we are cousins. I thought that was just–that was amazing. I’m glad you’re my baby.
BB: I know. I’m glad you adopted me.
DT: I am too. It’s like our whole family was just planned out so that it would be best for all of us.