top of page
06 2 Year Anniversary.jpg


January 1980.jpg

January 1980:


Hey world! Samantha Coleman was born at the “Ultra-Chicago,” Cook County Hospital.

March 1980.jpg

March 1980:


Created for a time such as this! Sandria Washington* was born in Chicago, IL at Cabrini Hospital. (*not original birth name)

December 2001.jpg

December 2001:


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

May 2002.jpeg

May 2002:


Sandria graduates from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Advertising, beginning a career a publishing, media and communications

64db70b545ec33003a2fdc5a_Circa 2005 Sam and Sandria photo.jpg.jpg

Circa 2005:


Samantha and Sandria become friends during the Myspace era. 

64db70b745ec33003a2fde13_May 2005_edited

May 2005:


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.

64db70b945ec33003a2fdfb1_October 2006.jpg.jpg

October 2006:


Samantha’s mother discloses that Samantha is adopted.

Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 8.07.40 PM.png

May 2010:


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. 

April 2011.jpg

April 2011: 


Samantha gives birth to a baby girl - her first known blood-related relative.

December 2011.jpeg

December 2011:


Sandria’s mother, Alexandria Washington, passes suddenly from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) at age 65.

May 2012.jpg

May 2012:


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.

July 2016.jpg

July 2016:


Samantha graduates with her PhD in Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, shortly after delivering her son in January 2016.

October 2016-Option 2.JPG

October 2016:


Samantha discloses her adoption story to Sandria and other close friends.

November 2016 - Option 1.jpg

November 2016:


On Thanksgiving, Samantha meets her biological parents and siblings for the first time.

November 2017.jpg

November 2017:


On Thanksgiving, Sandria learns about her adoption for the first time via an Instagram DM from a relative.

April 2018(1).JPG

April 2018:


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.

April 2018.jpg

April 2018:


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. 

May 2018-1_edited.jpg

May 2018:


Sandria meets her first biological relative, a younger sister, who lives in Pittsburgh.

July 2019.HEIC

July 2019:


Samantha and Sandria meet at Mesler (inside The Sophy Hotel) and create Black to the Beginning, LLC

October 2019.HEIC

October 2019:  


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.

December 2019.HEIC

December 2019:


Sandria meets two more biological sisters, her birth mother and birth father - separately -  all in the same week!

Screenshot 2023-06-21 at 10.31.12 AM.png

May 2020:


Black to the Beginning goes “public” with its first Instagram page!

September 2020.HEIC

September 2020:


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. 

November 2020(1).jpg

November 2020:


Black to the Beginning launches The Black Adoption Podcast with S1E1 featuring Evanston, IL-based adoption agency, The Cradle.

November 2020.jpg

November 2020:


Black to the Beginning receives its first national media coverage, Fox Soul’s “Book of Sean”

July 2022 - Option 2.jpg

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.

September 2022.JPG

September 2022:


Sandria and her four sisters are all together for the first time!

04 Daytime Chicago.jpg

November 2022:


Sandria and Dr. Sam appear on WGN’s “Daytime Chicago” for National Adoption Month.

November 2022.jpg

November 2022:


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)

February 2023.PNG

March 2023:


Season 4 of The Black Adoption Podcast launches with Episode 44!

64f75e1dcfe11c003a9451a6_Season 4 Podcast Cover.png.png

June 2023:


The Black Adoption Podcast celebrates its 50th episode! 

64db70b145ec33003a2fd9ca_A year of black joy book cover.jpg.jpg

October 2023:

“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

…to be continued

bottom of page