Shanta Loecker (named “Pooja” at the Kolkata orphanage), was born in 1983, somewhere in Bengal. The narrative she learned as a child was based on a fill-in-the-blank petition used to buy & sell hundreds of babies by the International Mission of Hope Society from 1977 to 1999. The petition begins, “The child known as [insert name assigned by prospective adopter] is an abandoned child with a ‘limp,’ born at the [insert nursing home or hospital of choice] to a young, unmarried woman, unwilling to disclose her identity…There is no other document or record stating this birth and no other document has ever been registered.” Forms were signed, money was wired, & at just under 7 lbs, her tiny unconsenting body was shipped like a Fedex parcel to complete strangers in the United States. On a lifelong journey to uncover her origins, Shanta recently learned her ancestors are Bangla, likely from present-day Bangladesh. She dreams of soaking her feet in the Umngot River & finding solace in her roots. She’s never found or met anyone she’s biologically related to; this void has contributed to intermittent bouts of intense anxiety – at times materializing in night terrors & panic attacks. She’s learned to accept that the sometimes debilitating symptoms of complex trauma are not “bad” – they are simply the reality of growing up in a world that forced her to filter her grief, longing, & preverbal trauma through a colonial, White-centered sieve. Painful experiences with tokenism, racial gaslighting, & workplace abuse jump started a rollercoaster healing ride in her 30s. Shanta is a writer, musician, & creative who aspires to invent spaces for ALL of us to thrive. This is reflected in her personal essays, original music, & the Human Regards podcast (@humanregardspod). Shanta currently works & resides on the unceded land of the Gabrieleño-Tongva people, where her day job consists of facilitating custom anti-oppression education & media projects under the umbrella of her small business, 75/25 Impact (@7525impact).