Just before I left for my semester abroad in China, I posted a watercolor painting I made of a tree stump titled “Ripped From My Roots: An Adoptee Family Tree […]
During the 7 years I was in my orphanage in Shanghai, I remember this one boy who was my mentor/big brother. We hung out a lot, and I remember just admiring him a lot. He was also one of the only male figures in my life during my orphanage years. His name was Chen Yijie. Please help me find my friend.
Though we both have white partners now, in this conversation, Rosita and I ponder what our youth and early romantic experiences would have been like if Asian men had been a predominant demographic in our areas and if Asian men had been celebrated as masculine and desirable and if our own identities as Asian women had been validated by society.
I recently participated in a FCCNY book club discussion of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. The book revolves around a Chinese adoption story. The author, Lisa See, is not an adoptee, and her limited knowledge of adoption and adoptee identity development was very apparent throughout the book. At the end of the meeting, the adoptive mothers in the group began discussing book possibilities for future meetings. This prompted me to put together a list of adoption reading for anyone considering an adoption themed book club or wanting more information about adoption.
On Wednesday evening, Jeff Yang, Phil Yu aka Angry Asian Man, Dan Matthews (DANakaDAN), and I had a conversation about Asian adoptions to the U.S., Dan and my personal experiences growing up as Asian adoptees, stepping into our Asian identities, and our perspectives on some recent, troubling news stories about Asian/Pacific Island adoptions, including the Myka Stauffer rehoming case, the Paul Petersen case, the murder of Johanne by her adoptive brother, and the arrests of 3 Iranian men for selling babies for adoption on Instagram.