Thanks to my Korean Adoptee mentor/friend, Stephanie, I had the guts to go up to a mother and daughter of different races. The daughter is Chinese and the mother is white. Of course, I know that people marry others different from their race, but to me, it kind of reminded me of my mom and I when we would go shopping.
In Target, I walk up to the two of them and ask, “Excuse me, is she your daughter?” The mother replies with a, “yes…” I then ask her, “does she happen to be adopted?” Hoping for the answer, she responds with another yes. I tell her I’m adopted as well, and we both start freaking out (in a good way). I ask again if she is from China. Another yes! I get so excited and I tell her that I’m adopted from China too! We talk for a few minutes and I give the mother my number.
After this whole exciting collision, I go home to tell my mom the good news. It was close to my Adoption Day and the daughter’s birthday and suggest we invite the family to celebrate with us. At the restaurant, we have a great time! All of us are talking and enjoying a delicious meal.
I had another inquiry at the restaurant I worked at. I was a host and a family of three walked in. It was a white father and mother and a cute little Asian girl. I was excited, once again! After the family was seated, I stroll over to their table and ask them, again, if the little girl was their daughter. I get the same response and tell them what I told the other family. Excited, I give the mother my number and she gives me her’s. I set up another lunch time for both of our families to meet. They brought their book full of pictures of their journey to get their daughter. Adorable! We end the lunch with goodbyes, and I give the daughter a huge hug.
The reason I approached these kids was because it’s important for young adoptees to have someone to talk to about anything and everything, relating to adoption, personal, or even what kind of food we like. In the future, or now, these younger adoptees will have so many questions about who they are or why were they put up for adoption. I want to help them so they don’t have to feel alone.
I know there will always be an empty place in our hearts, but – with support and people who have experienced what we’ve been through – it’ll be okay.
Gracie Howard was born in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China on December 9th, 1999 and adopted on October 9th, 2000 in Nanchang. Growing up, she had always known about her adoption and being a different race than her parents. Here is where she tells her stories.