This is a pendant that was gifted to me by a Korean adoptee friend right before I embarked on my four month journey back to my hometown, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. This special gift allows me to claim and wear my adoptee identity with pride.
Moreover, my friendship with the artist has provided me with profound insights on possible unique adoptee challenges related to marriage and family life as well as aging that I have yet to face.
As an older adoptee in the first wave of Chinese adoptions, I was often the speaker or babysitter at adoptive family gatherings. It was not until I was in college that I developed strong relationships with international adoptees my same age as well as generations older than me. These mentors and friends have helped me grow as an adult adoptee and have raised and answered questions for me that didn’t cross my mind before knowing older adoptees.
It is so important to have a strong support network, which is something I’ve always had. But I am so grateful now that my support systems include other people who know firsthand the experience of adoption and understand deeply all of the complexities associated with claiming the identity of adoptee.
Check out my friend’s blog here: http://www.mothermade.us/