Image Credit: Daijah Moss

In collaboration with WDET, Detroit Public TV is amplifying the voices of Southeast Michigan’s AAPI community by inviting them to have meaningful conversations and sharing their stories all throughout the year. 

If you have a story about your family’s history, your own personal experience, how you identify, favorite traditions, or other important stories that you want to share, click here.

Check out WDET’s features in this storytelling project here

 

Intro by Dorothy Hernandez / WDET:

When Dan Moen and Joe Hunter first met at Macomb Community College where they were art students, it was not love at first sight. Dan was very irritated and put off by Joe’s overzealous love of Lady Gaga and Joe thought Dan was rude.

But over time they ended up falling for each other, with Joe’s dedication to the arts captivating Dan and Dan’s caring for others and leadership winning over Joe. Dan is the communications director of APIA Vote Michigan as well as a graphic designer, photographer and screenwriter. Joe is a minister of media at the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit as well as a gamer and streamer.

The couple will celebrate their 11th anniversary in June, and over the past decade, they have been through many adventures and creative pursuits, such as Dan’s current project to produce a docu-drama about a fictional interracial family who run a bubble tea shop in Metro Detroit during the pandemic. 

But one of the biggest moments of their relationship was Dan’s search for his birth mom. Dan, an adoptee from the Philippines, grew up in the Romeo area in a loving family with a close-knit group of friends. But something felt off for him. With Joe’s love and support, Dan kept looking for his biological family even when the search seemed futile.

The two recently talked about Dan’s search and what they’ve learned from each other.

 

 Dan shares his adoption story

 

Growing up as a Filipino adoptee in Romeo:

 

The search for Dan’s birth mother begins:

A Facebook search points to potential leads.

 

Dan finds his birth mother:

Dan gets to talk to his birth mother via an online call. Then, a chance arises to finally meet her in person after decades apart.

 

More relatives & learning from each other:

Dan shares that he’s found out about more relatives; Dan and Joe talk about what they’ve learned from each other and how their relationship and advocacy are intertwined.

 

WDET AAPI Stories:

How an Adoptee’s Search for His Birth Mom Fueled His Advocacy for Equality

 

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Watch One Detroit every Thursday at 7:30pm ET on Detroit Public TV.