Mel Datugan is one of the sweetest people we know. She shares about her journey with motherhood, adoption, and more with her two sons on her YouTube channel. And in all that she does, she incorporates the phrase, "love one another." She even created her own brand with the mission to “spread love and light.” November 23rd is National Adoption Day and our team hopes to help raise awareness about adoption. We had the opportunity to speak with Mel about her experiences, check out her profile feature below!
Q: Can you share a bit about your journey as a mother and vlogger?
Mel: "My journey as a mom blogger started when my now 8 year old son was 2. We had just moved to Japan and I thought the best way to share our experience with family and friends was through videos. I loved that we were able to go back and watch all the memories we had made, so it became my favorite hobby and I have not stopped since."
Q: What were the biggest lessons you learned throughout Julian’s adoption process? The biggest lessons you have learned as an adoptive parent?
Mel: “Adoption has quite literally changed my life. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from it is that most people see an adoption journey and only think of the great behind it. This is a huge misconception, and quite honestly can be dangerous thinking for future adoptive parents. While adoption can definitely be beautiful, it always starts with brokenness and grief. There is a lot of heartbreak whether you adopt a newborn or an older child. Their experience as an adoptee is something that follows them for the rest of their lives and as a parent, you are responsible to walk them through it in the most gentle and loving way possible.”
Q: Some of our favorite videos of yours include “Celebrating Chuseok (Korean Holiday)” & “Korean Food Mukbang (Celebrating Seollal!)” - How have you navigated including Julian’s Korean culture into your multicultural family?
Mel: “Incorporating Julian’s culture into ours has been so much fun. It can definitely be a bit challenging because we have to be intentional about it. We have learned so much about it and absolutely love celebrating his heritage as much as possible!”
Q: Your clothing brand, “love one another” is wonderful with an incredible mission and message. What does this phrase mean to you?
Mel: “Love one another is a quote from Jesus himself. My faith is my biggest inspiration and leading a life that openly shows my relationship with Christ is very important to me. Loving one another is not always an easy task, but it is so worth it in the long run. It’s something I try to live by daily.”
Q: What has being a mother taught you about yourself?
Mel: “The biggest thing I have learned about being a mother is I now fully understand the definition behind unconditional love. Some days it can be so challenging to put your best face forward and tackle the day when you are not in a good place (whether it be physically, emotionally or mentally), but you see those little faces and you do it anyway.”
Q: What would you tell your younger self?
Mel: “When I was younger, someone I was close with once told me that “being nice isn’t gonna get you anywhere in life” and I wish I could tell my younger self that it does. You don’t need to be unkind to get ahead in life.”
Q: What do you root your identity in?
Mel: “I root my identity in my relationship with Christ.”
Thank you so much for speaking with us Mel! Mel is wearing our Charcoal Tie Dye Pullover & Jogger from our Fall 2020 collection.
Mel recently launched her new merch, two beautiful limited edition tie dye shirts! Check out her website for more details!
Photography by Mel Datugan