My name is Gracie. I was born in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province China on December 9th, 1999 and adopted 10 months later in Nanchang. Growing up, I kind of always knew I wasn’t the same race as my parents. I knew I was adopted and my parents always told me how happy they were to fly to China to get their daughter. As I continued to grow, I never put much thought to my parents being my parents by blood. But later on, I realized what it means to be a family.
Blood doesn’t define family:
My parents had always shown me love and what it meant to be apart of their family. I have always known I was not the same race as my parents. I knew I was adopted from China, but I didn’t think about it as much when I was younger. Being a family doesn’t mean you have to be blood related. It means having someone to take care of you, whether it’s a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, guardian, etc. My parents have always shown me love and what it means to be a part of their family. There is a difference between the words “mother/father” and “mom/dad”. A mother/father is someone who brought you into the world, but a mom/dad is someone who takes care of you and loves you. I bring that up because I know a lot of people have a mother/father, but they may not always be in the picture. For me, having a mom and dad has a huge impact on me.
I’ll always have a missing piece:
Many adoptees feel they will always having something missing; knowing who their birth parents are. Although it is possible to find your birth parents in China, it is not as common. I will always have a huge place in my heart for my parents and birth parents. I want them to know I love them and I want to thank them for giving me an opportunity. There could be millions of reasons why I was given up. It is more likely because of the One Child Policy, the fact that I was a girl, or because my parents couldn’t afford to take care of me. Whatever the reason, I would still love them. Over time, I have come to notice I have a fear of abandonment. It could be subconscious, but it’s always something I dealt with, even from childhood. But, if I could ask them why (I was given up), I would.
I believe being adopted has given me an opportunity to take a huge look around the world and at many cultures. I was born into a culture that is completely different from the one in which I was raised. I respect everyone’s culture and I would hope they would do the same. I look at things in a different perspective with questions like “what if I grew up in an all Asian household? How would my life be different?” I think because I was raised in a different culture, I find it interesting to learn about others and how they view the world. In my family, we celebrate Adoption Day, which is like a second birthday for me. It’s almost like an anniversary, commemorating the day our family was complete. We go out to eat and it’s a fun tradition we have, like celebrating your birthday, I usually get a card saying “Happy Adoption Day! We love you!” and a gift from my parents and extended family.
My experience of being adopted has been an emotional roller coaster. I’ll have my days where I cry about being different from my family, then I’ll have days where I’m just hanging out with my family, not giving a thought about my adoption. But in the end, I will always wonder where my birth family is.