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Two Regions, Two lives
Two Regions, Two Lives
The story I would like to share is when I was adopted from China. I was eight months old, and only weighed ten pounds. There were five other Chinese babies adopted on the same day, January 16th, 1996 from the orphanage in Yi-Yang, Hunan Province. I am thirteen years old now.
First, my parents had to go to an adoption agency, which was called Heritage. My parents had to go to special classes to learn about Chinese culture, and the process of adoption. In the classes, there were five other couples so they all could get to know each other before they went to China together.
We always celebrate it January 16th the day that our parents first met their babies, by sending cards, and we try to keep in touch but after a while, it gets hard. My mom and godmother, channah, went to the orphanage to adopt me; my Mom said that the orphanage that I was at was not very nice, and it was a poor place.
She already knew what I looked like because my family was sent a picture of me. When she first saw me, I was sitting on the knee of a caregiver, who was only a peasant, and my big brown eyes watcher her, as she walked around a table in the middle of the room and my eyes never looked away from her once. All the families that were at the orphanage that day donated large amounts of clothes, formula, and basic medical supplies, we do not know it they reached the babies in the orphanages or not!
My father Hank, stayed back home with my older brother Josh, because he was only three at the time. I also have two older brothers that do not live in Portland, Oregon, but they live in England. Therefore, Channah went over to China with mom, because she was a nurse, and they thought it might be helpful just in case any f the babies were sick. However, it turned out it was me that was sick.
At first, they told my Mom that I had a minor skin infection, but it was ovbious to everyone that my problems were much more serious. In the end, the orphanage Director told my Mom that because I was so sick she could choose another baby if she wanted to, but Mom picked me up from the caregiver and said “No, this is my baby, and she’s coming home with me.”
Mom said that they looked at her as if she was crazy, because they did not think I would survive another two weeks. I was wearing dirty clothes in the orphanage but they insisted that my mom changed me into the clothes that she had brought, from Portland, and to give the rages back to the orphanage.
Channah, had a friend who was a children’s emergency doctor at Emanuel Hospital, here in Portland and was able to phone her for advice on how to help me. I had a feeding tube that went through my nose for three months after I got home because my mouth was so sore and I needed to learn how to suck a bottle again.
When I got back home, I went into Emanuel Hospital for three days, so that they could assess me and advise my parents on how to take care of me and give me medication. I also had to have physiotherapy for six months because my muscle tone was so bed. When mom got me I could not even hold my head up, I was over year old before I could sit up or crawl and didn’t even walk until I was almost two. I also didn’t talk until I was about a year a half.
After I had been home a while, my family decided to have a welcoming home party for me, and everyone there was asked to write down on a little piece of paper a wish for me, for when I grew up, and just a few weeks ago, I found them, but I never knew my parents had a welcoming home party for me.
My eye caught a very special one, which was form my grandma Regina, who is no longer with us anymore, and it made me really laugh, it said, “Marry a rich husband.” She always used to make me laugh. However, back to my adoption, when they brought me back, The Asian Reporter asked my family, if they could do an article about my adoption, and it appeared in the March 16th 1996, edition.
Where it says how the first thing I held in my hands and my favorite food was ice cream, everyone was thrilled to see this because I had eight different kind of medical problems, when I arrived in Portland. It said in the newspaper as well, “The minor skin problem turned out to be an angry collage of rashes covering Yi-Yans body, (Yi-Yan was my Chinese name and now is my middle name.) I do not remember anything painful, since most children d o not remember being a small child except for minor glimpses.
There are many children adopted from China, mainly girls, living in the United States of America. When I was adopted, Portland had more adopted Chinese babies than any other city in the United States of America.
I know many girls like me, at school, at my synagogue, and even my brothers’ girlfriend. I personally feel that It is a great thing that people have adopted us, and I am happy that I was one of those lucky girls. I often think of my birth mother, what she might have looked like, who she was, who she is now, and if she think about e. I wonder if she knows that I was adopted and now have a great life.
I often also wish that there was some way of knowing who she was but I don’t really dwell on that, because I know that isn’t possible, they is like 1 in a billion chance I would ever know, or see her again. It makes me sad. But I just hope in my heart that is thinks about be often, and knows that I have a great life, and that I think about her. I still hold a little part of my heart that reaches out to her. I have a great family but sometimes I still wish I could know who she really was.