About The Author

I am one of the 80,000 adoptees from China who currently live in the United States. I was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, and when I was two years old, I was abandoned and taken to the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute, where I stayed for a year. At three years of age, I was adopted and have lived in the United States ever since. I have had the good fortune  to go back to China twice and plan on returning in the near future.

Below is the referral picture my parents received in the mail.


23 responses to “About The Author

    • Thanks for sharing this with me. I’ve seen this tossed around quite a bit on Facebook and might write about my own feelings on the comments and project at large once I have a bit more time. Thanks for following!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Enjoyed your consumer culture piece. This middle-aged. overweight, white woman agrees with you. Consumers must stop buying the blond blue eyed white dolls or they’ll keep making them. Some great new companies out there including the Positively Perfect Diva Collection (now featuring Latin and Dark Skinned dolls) are making strides in the ethic play doll market but Asian dolls are falling behind. Adora’s Jasmine doll is one of the most popular out there and one of the only ones out there. At least some companies are starting to get it. Constructive Playthings distributes Today’s Girl featuring Leah and a limited edition Mia who have “asian” eyes but sallow complexions. Toys R Us’ Journey Girls feature Callie who looks like their other dolls with a slightly almond eye shape. Asian play dolls, much like Asian children, are completely underrepresented in today’s play world. And yes, I’m using the world Asian because I’m not sure there’s a better one out there. There are definitely no dedicated nationality play dolls marketed – the almond eyed dolls are always classed as one melted pot of non-white and non-black (note: Carpetina does make some thin bodied dolls with specific origin stories that are very nice but a real exception to the market). It’s sad. I raised a young lady from China after her adoptive mother rejected her. We had many discussions on the limits of copycat play when you look different from your dolls. Thanks for keeping it real.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love reading, I read more than I should be writing…but in my reading I come across highly intelligent and well-informed articles, and this article is my pick of the week! Thank you and stay strong. I am African-Caribbean-Canadian in a highly dominated “Caucasian” society…for 26 yrs I preserved my voice…I did an extensive amount of observing and ‘journalizing’ everywhere I lived, in every home, community, college, university…I have a voice, thank you, I am so inspired!♥jjf

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is it still possible today that a baby girl would be abandoned at the age of two and taken to the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute? I know of a Chinese woman from Nanjing, who is in her late 30’s and has a sister. They were raised in China with their birth parents. What would a family have to do in Nanjing in the mid 70’s to be allowed to have two daughters?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Taiwanese adoptee checking in. I am not sure if you still check this blog – last I’ve managed to piece together is that you were overseas for four months in Nanjing, starting back in January 2015.

    I’ve read a few of your entries and have to say, I am glad you’ve been around. It has definitely been an interesting take on the mainland perspective of an adoptee who *has* gone back or taken an interest in her culture/language/people. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting – a long time ago! I’ve taken breaks from blogging over the years but feel a strong pull again. I love hearing from other adoptees! Hope you’re doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. What a heart you DON’T have. I can hear the arrogance, selfishness, cold-heartedness, and just generally immature world view you hold! Add into this not a little anger. Anger at the WRONG things, the wrong people, the wrong systems.
    I can tell you are NOT a parent, nor should you ever be.
    Whether an adoptive or natural parent, the sacrifice, gargantuan LOVE, and giving – but let me emphasize that word SACRIFICE again. Those characteristics that go into being a parent is the closest thing on this earth to God’s love, and buddy you just don’t get it.
    I am appalled at your wordy condemnations of adoptions and your naive world-view that foolishly thinks a few changes in politics can change them.
    Shame on you. You have a LOT of growing up to do.
    Frankly, my heart goes out to your adoptive parents to have provided you with such a fine life and education and many thousands more of life opportunities – Only to have such a selfish and ungrateful son become the crusader against international adoptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon – I am appalled by the fast assumptions and harsh personal character criticisms you have made about me after clearly not reading much of my blog. With just minimal glances, it would be easy to know that I am not a son. I am very clearly a woman and often write about the challenges of being an Asian woman in America. Further, if you had read articles I have written on this blog, you would see that I take a very nuanced approach, being careful to not place blame on all adoptive parents and extending empathy to adoptive parents while revealing the blatant corruption in the system.

      Secondly, your false accusations about my personal characteristics serve no purpose other than to verbally abuse, attack, and shame me. (You literally said, “shame on you.”) You accuse me of being negative, critical, judgmental, and cold-hearted, and then immediately do the exact same thing to me in the extreme. Suggesting that I should never be a parent, for example, is not a constructive comment about the topic – international adoption – and derails from the important conversations that should be happening on this blog.

      Lastly, your comments fall in line with the traditional stereotyping tropes that adoptees need to be extra grateful for their life circumstances as well as the polarization of the “angry versus happy adoptee.” I will tell you that I am grateful to my parents in the same way any child is grateful to their parents for raising, nurturing, and loving them. I am not more grateful to my parents because I was adopted. And while it is nice that you have extended your heart to my parents, please know they are fully supportive of this blog and my work. An adoptee (and adoptive parents) can critique all components of the international adoption system and still love their family. It is not a strict black and white dichotomy.

      Through my blog, I am attempting to give an honest and critical analysis of issues related to adoption and being a person of color based on my knowledge and experiences, while your comments are only attempting to do a character assassination against me because you disagree with my point of view, which should answer any question of maturity for onlookers who read your comment and this subsequent one.

      Liked by 3 people

      • 收养的人 – you should never have to defend your body of work against someone who is capable of receiving it. I’m sorry to see that’s happened. Thank you again for who you are and the dialogues you encourage that bring those who are capable forward.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I just found this blog–I was googling 23 and Me to ask if it would give an ethnic breakdown of my adopted Chinese daughter’s DNA (Han vs Chinese ethnic minorities vs other Asian ethnic groups). So I spent some time reading your blog and links to other resources.

    International adoption has likely been a long strange journey for everyone involved–parents, children, siblings. I adopted my now 19-year old daughter in 2000, when she was a bit less than one and a half years old. I’d divorced when my son was four, and I’d still wanted another child. I decided to “eliminate the middleman” by adopting. My daughter’s story is different from many other adopted children’s; she proved to be seriously developmentally disabled and has required special education throughout her schooling and will need assistance throughout her life in the future.

    Fortunately, I was able to raise her in an area of California that is very Asian (Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc.) It’s been interesting to watch her gravitate toward Asian friendships throughout her schooling. My son and I (white people) have become more involved with Asia over time as well. My son has now been living and working in Taiwan for two years. Last year I took my daughter to Taipei and it was amazing to see her reaction the first time she walked out on the street. She looked around and said, “Mom! Me! Baby! Here!!!” (I did not launch a discussion at that time about the differences between Republic of China and People’s Republic). It was incredibly moving to see her respond to her earliest life memories–of home.

    I am looking for a business to start that could provide a job for my daughter and other disabled young people, and one possibility I’m exploring is a small, somewhat traditional tea house (hot tea only; no custom-made drinks, no boba). This would give us a chance to continue traveling and forming connections in Taiwan and China.

    All best wishes to you as you continue your journey. Your perspective and voice are valuable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment to me. I imagine that your daughter and my experiences are very different but that there are still common threads. It seems like you’re a very supportive mother, and I hope you continue to read my musings and reflections here. Your tea house idea is wonderful, but I encourage you not to dismiss boba so quickly! Bubble tea is truly a part of modern culture, not just a Westernized fad!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My sister is from Nanjing! We were both adopted from China, me at nine months and her at two years, and currently live in the United States. (I’m from a small village in Guangdong Province.)

    I found your blog through the 2014 post “I Am Not My Dad’s Girlfriend” (https://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/i-am-not-my-dads-girlfriend/). As far as I know, no one has drawn that conclusion about me when I’m with my (Caucasian) father, but it has happened to my sister; some random woman passed her and my dad outside a store and gave him the nastiest look. A professor at a college I was considering also assumed that my dad and my sister were married (and that I was their daughter!). It’s crazy uncomfortable, as you well know.

    I just followed your blog; I look forward to reading more of your posts (and wading through the archives)!


  8. Omigoodneess. I only check in occasionally and never get through all you have so carefully written. But, having known you as a child, and having spoken to your parents, I know they are proud of the wonderful young woman you have become. I am appalled that Sharon could attack you so personally without knowing you or your family. We all travel different roads in life and hopefully can share what we have learned on our path. Keep sharing. It’s the only way the rest of us can learn of the path you are own. (My four girls are each on entirely different paths and scattered across the northeast quadrant of the country. I see them regularly and am always happy to hear their discoveries and appreciate the growth they are having.) Here’s to ongoing learning, growth, and sharing.


    • Having evolved as a young scholar/artist in the activism of the 60s and 70s, it is anticipated transracial adoptees would claim their own activist stance. Not all adoptive parents ignored the available facts and voices available at the time Chinese adoption was opened. Nor is it possible to ignore how these facts and voices change. Many adoptive parents are aware of racism/fetishism, and its increasing danger. They immerse their children in their respective language and culture as much as possible. In our and your hometown, four Chinese schools existed. We were involved in the Chinese and international community (and childcare) at a Big 10 university. My BF is Chinese American who taught me how to cook. It is important from a scholarly perspective to get all the historical facts/data, to remain objective and not personalize. When you solicit someone to your blog, you might bear in mind their journey may be different.


      • You are right that knowledge changes over time. Korean adoptees, who represent one of the most organized and politically active groups of adoptees, have been advocating for changes to problematic adoption practices for decades, and I am glad that the field of adoption studies is finally beginning to use emic perspectives. Their writing, scholarship, and mentorship influenced me greatly in my young adult years when I was able to be in a place with older adoptee role models and a significant adoptee community. The city in which I was raised did have a Chinese school that I attended for years; however, this still wasn’t enough to keep me culturally connected or for me to keep my first language skills alive. While I appreciate that I experienced Chinese school for remedial language and dance classes, this limited exposure was not enough for me to feel balanced in a unified Chinese American identity. I’m glad that your boyfriend taught you how to cook Chinese food, and perhaps food was one way you incorporated “culture keeping” activities in your home.

        If you read through my work, you will see that my reflections on the adoption system are drawn from a historical lens, and I have always acknowledged that my experience is my own and does not speak for all adoptees. I do write about themes that I have discovered through interactions with texts, films, and most importantly other adoptees regardless of country of origin. Some adoptees feel profound cultural and/or familial loss whereas others may not until their mid-life years or not at all. I also acknowledge a range of experiences and level of knowledge regarding adoptive parenting.

        I think you and I have different perspectives about scholarship. In social science, I really don’t think there is a way to be objective, and I critique the research community’s emphasis on objectivity when the human experience is a subjective one. I believe that my lived experience as an adoptee strengthens the questions I ask about adoption rather than weakening my work as “too personalized.”


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