Get to Know Cosette

Come get to know me 

Hey guys! My name is Cosette Eisenhauer. I am a 22-year-old transracial adoptee from Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China. I am currently in my advanced year of my master’s program. I graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with my Bachelor’s in Social Work in Fall 2023. I am studying Social Work and I am in the Community and Administrative Practice specialty. My hope is to work with adoption and foster care or work in the legislative area to help pass and create new laws that might help adoptees, while still advocating for adoptees. I am also interested in going into Sports Social Work and helping athletes. I was adopted into a transracial household, meaning my parents aren't the same ethnicity/race like me. My mom and dad are both Caucasian and I have a younger brother who is adopted from Dalian, China. I got married on January 6, 2024 to my husband Jordan Epp.

Some things about me: I cheered for 5 years and spent 1 year as a D2 collegiate cheerleader & a flyer in STUNT. My favorite color is blue, and I really love sunsets and sunrises. I'm pretty introverted when you first get to meet me. I love and adore pandas and dogs. I'm very involved at my church, work in the children's ministry, and help with the 7th-12th graders at my church as well.

I got married on January 6, 2024! This is my Husband Jordan Epp, we've been in a relationship since May 2019.

I spent my freshman year at Dallas Baptist University. Two of these girls were my roommates/Suitemates

I was a part of an internship group at my church. These were the people in the Spring 2019 Internship group. 

I have had the privilage to go to South Africa 4 times! 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023

This is my best friend, Savannah. We've been friends since 7th grade. 

I started cheering in 9th grade and cheered during my first year of college! My main position was being a flyer

My Adoption Story

I was adopted on August 12, 2022, from the Zhanjiang Social Welfare Institute in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China at 14 months old. We have documents from the Chinese government that says “I was born on June 9, 2001, and was found at the PoTou hospital on June 11, 2001." I was in the orphanage for about 3 months until I became a failure to thrive baby. This means I was dying in the orphanage due to the lack of care and love. I was quickly placed in a foster home for about 11 months. My parents and my mom’s parents flew to China to get me and I have lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex since I was adopted.

Growing up, I was always somehow connected to my Chinese culture. I grew up attending China Camp (a heritage camp held in Tulsa, Oklahoma by Dillon International), FCC-NT (Families with Children from China – North Texas) events, MyTreehouse Adoption camps, and many more. These allowed me to connect with other kids adopted from China or other kids that were adopted from different places. I always knew I was adopted, and I always knew I was Chinese. I never had a doubt in my mind that I was a Chinese adoptee. My parents never tried to hide the families that I had before them. They were always willing to talk about adoption and my feelings about adoption.

In September of 2008, I was given the opportunity to meet my foster parents. I was 7 years old at the time, and looking back on it now, I wish I was a little bit older because I have so many questions for them that I didn't have back then. I’ve always been curious to know more about my background and my ethnicity, so I took the 23andMe DNA test about 6-8 years ago and uploaded it to WeGene and GedMatch. I’ve also been on the search for my birth parents for about 4 years. I still have so many different questions that I want to ask my birth parents that started from when I was such a young age. Being adopted and not knowing who my birth parents are hasn't stopped me from learning more about my adoptee identity. Rather, it has allowed me to genuinely open up about the struggles that I’ve faced as an adoptee and everything that comes with it.

Why I Wanted to Co-Create Navigating Adoption

Growing up being in a transracial adoptee, I didn’t really have a place to talk about the struggles and triggers that I felt as an adoptee. I felt like everyone would say the same thing,But, you should be grateful that you got a second chance”; “There’s no trauma related to adoption”; “At least you were a baby and not older”; “I know an adoptee, and they don’t feel this way”. The list goes on and on. I’m grateful that my parents never wanted to hide the life or culture that I had before they adopted me. It has helped me learn and grow my adoptee identity.

As I grew up, I realized that I wasn’t the only person that felt like they didn’t have a place to talk about all of the negative feelings that I’ve faced as an adoptee. This led to me co-found and co-create Navigating Adoption. I wanted it to be a platform for adoptees to realize they aren’t alone in this world and allow a safe place for adoptees to speak their minds and thoughts without getting gaslighted. Everyone talks about the positives of adoption, but the negatives aren’t talked about or discussed enough. Navigating Adoption was created to talk more about these negatives. Its goal is to uplift the voices of adoptees and to help educate people who know nothing about adoption, parents that want to hear adoptee voices, and even people who already know some things about adoption.