Accepting adoption

Family goes deeper than blood


The second my mom held me for the first time at the orphanage in Fuling, China, she promised me a life full of acceptance and value. Little did she know, many people in the future were going to try to take my value away. My experiences being an adopted child have torn parts of me, but they have ultimately made me a stronger person today. Adoption should be viewed in a positive light, not in a negative lens.
Elementary school was a struggle especially with my mom being the art teacher at the school I went to. I was one of the few Asians who attended that school. Kids were young and didn’t quite understand the concept of adoption like I did. Questions I would often get were “You’re not her real daughter. Can she even love you the same?” and ”Why didn’t she just have a baby instead?” Younger me was very conflicted and began to question my mom and myself. I often wondered why my peers perceived adoption as a pity party or something to be ashamed of. I even received comments like “You were a backup plan because your mom couldn’t have a baby,” “I’m sorry, it must suck for your real parents not to want you” and “I feel bad that you don’t know your real parents.” Those comments left a huge scar on my heart throughout my elementary school years. Instead of coming home to my mom and telling her about the new things I learned, tears would flood my eyes from the constant questioning and comments from my peers.
As I transitioned into middle school, the majority of my peers started to understand the concept of adoption. The questions and comments began to lose their intensity and turned into plain fascination and interest. The questions changed to “How do you and your mom get along?” and “Would you ever be interested in meeting your biological parents?” Those kinds of questions not only helped me feel more accepted, but they also encouraged me to explore my heritage and identity more openly. Before, I wouldn’t want my mom to celebrate Chinese New Year and make Chinese food at home. After knowing that my peers were more aware of my cultural identity, I began to welcome my heritage more into my everyday life.
Today, I’ve noticed that my peers have become more accepting of my adoption, but I’ll still get the same pity comments that make me feel less of what I truly am. I’ll also hear adoption being thrown around as an insult through social media and around school. I’ll listen to people in the hallway playfully joking and then I hear “Well, you’re adopted” as a comeback. It is not a joke, a pity party or something to be ashamed of. Adoption should be more spoken of and accepted in a beautiful way, not a tragic way. I’ve learned to see my adoption as a light in my life that just keeps getting brighter and more vibrant. It’s a part of me and so many others. According to Adoption Network, there are about 135,000 adopted in the United States per year. Being able to be view adoption as a positive change will help those who have been adopted to increase the love and value within themselves and relationships with others.