Hey world! Samantha Coleman was born at the “Ultra-Chicago,” Cook County Hospital.
Created for a time such as this! Sandria Washington* was born in Chicago, IL at Cabrini Hospital. (*not original birth name)
Samantha graduates from University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.A. in Psychology, beginning her career as a mental health professional on the West Side of Chicago
Sandria graduates from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Advertising, beginning a career a publishing, media and communications
Samantha and Sandria become friends during the Myspace era.
Samantha receives her Masters Degree in Community Counseling from Concordia River Forest and sits for her licensure exam, completely unaware of how her educational path has been aligned to her adoption story.
Samantha’s mother discloses that Samantha is adopted.
On May 21, 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law providing adopted adults greater access to their birth certificates—without having to get a court order.
Samantha gives birth to a baby girl - her first known blood-related relative.
Sandria’s mother, Alexandria Washington, passes suddenly from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) at age 65.
Samantha receives her original birth certificate (OBC), one of the first disbursements of certificates post-2010 bill signed by Governor Pat Quinn. Her search and reunion process begins.
Samantha graduates with her PhD in Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, shortly after delivering her son in January 2016.
Samantha discloses her adoption story to Sandria and other close friends.
On Thanksgiving, Samantha meets her biological parents and siblings for the first time.
On Thanksgiving, Sandria learns about her adoption for the first time via an Instagram DM from a relative.
On April 2 (her “REbirth Day”), Sandria receives confirmation from an aunt that she is adopted. She begins to share her adoptee status with friends and receives her OBC.
The hashtag #BlackAndAdopted had only been used publicly on Instagram 2 times. The 3rd use, by Sandria, was the first made by a Black and adopted person.
Sandria meets her first biological relative, a younger sister, who lives in Pittsburgh.
Samantha and Sandria meet at Mesler (inside The Sophy Hotel) and create Black to the Beginning, LLC
Samantha and Sandria travel to Los Angeles to attend Werk It: A Women’s Podcast Festival and left feeling overwhelmed and thinking podcasting might not be for them.
Sandria meets two more biological sisters, her birth mother and birth father - separately - all in the same week!
Black to the Beginning goes “public” with its first Instagram page!
Black to the Beginning meets with award-winning filmmaker Asia Taylor (TaylorLane Creative) to review interview transcripts, the beginnings of their untitled Black Adoption documentary.
Black to the Beginning launches The Black Adoption Podcast with S1E1 featuring Evanston, IL-based adoption agency, The Cradle.
Black to the Beginning receives its first national media coverage, Fox Soul’s “Book of Sean”
July 2022 & August 2022:
Dr. Sam and Sandria speak at Pact Camp East and Pact Camp West and host workshops for adoptive parents of color.
Sandria and her four sisters are all together for the first time!
Sandria and Dr. Sam appear on WGN’s “Daytime Chicago” for National Adoption Month.
Black to the Beginning celebrates 2 year anniversary of The Black Adoption Podcast with their first public event, in partnership with Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) and Northeastern Illinois University Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS)
Season 4 of The Black Adoption Podcast launches with Episode 44!
The Black Adoption Podcast celebrates its 50th episode!
“Dr. Samantha Coleman and Sandria Washington co-author “The Joy of Owning Your Voice” within the book “A Year of Black Joy,” for World Adoption Day