This autoethnography recounts experiences from my emerging adoptee identity situated in academic institutions. I use my story to connect with larger themes in adoption and propose a framework that expands upon existing theories of trauma. My hope in recognizing trauma, that is not necessarily historical, collective, or intergenerational by definition but is still present, is to better understand the adoptee experience, validate the existence of trauma, and to promote opportunities for lifelong healing.
Adoption books are hard to come by; good adoption books are even harder to find. Many adoptive parents trust older classics or may get so excited when they see a […]
I was recently asked to speak at the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies through Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. The panel I was on asked […]
Adoptive parents often mistake silence for a lack of curiosity or questions about adoption, but this is not necessarily true. The adoptee may be waiting for the parent to bring up the topic or may be unsure if they are allowed to ask questions around the circumstances of their adoption. I have adapted the grief Jenga game for adoptees in the hopes that this can increase communication around adoption in your families if this is not something that you currently do.
A few weeks ago, I decided to restart my birth parent search that came to an almost immediate halt in China in 2015 (read about it here). I realize that time is going by – time that I will never get back – and feel confident that I am in an emotionally strong enough place to begin again. I decided to join a number of search groups on Facebook and on WeChat for information about searching, templates for language used on search posters, and camaraderie from others who are also going through this complicated process. Below, I’ve shared a list of potentially relevant searching groups for Chinese adoptees.
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.
When I question how I could have both been helped and hurt by white privilege, it is the same type of reflection that I must conduct when I think about the ways in which I have both gained and lost so much through my adoption. The ability to not think in simple polarities has shaped and defined my maturation and has been a liberating discovery.
She was two years old when her mother placed her in an orphanage in South Korea. Her mother’s intentions were not to relinquish parental rights, but simply to keep her […]
Being a very passionate person on the controversial issue of international adoption, I think often times people are unwilling to hear my critiques or misunderstand them. Below is a question […]