Where are you adopted from?
What date were you adopted? How old were you?
I was adopted in June of 1998 when I was just over one year old.
What is your definition of identity in your own words?
To me, identity is who you are or who you want to be. That would include essential characteristics, ideals, and qualities that are central to an individual.
Why is identity important?
Identity is important because it not only affects how we see ourselves but also how others view us.
What do you identify as? Why?
I identify as many different things because people have different facets to themselves. Racially I definitely identify as Asian but ethnically and culturally I identify as both Asian and American.
What plays into your identity?
I think everything, even the small things, play into my identity. Aspects such as race, religion, adoption, community, family, friends, ect. all shape my identity and the person I am today. My identity will continue to change and grow as I do.
What's your opinion on adoption?
I think adoption is a good thing and opens doors all the people involved. It provides options not only for the birth family but also for the adoptive family. Additionally, adoption provides a community for those involved, especially on the receiving end.
What is your advice to other adoptees?
Adoption is what you make it. If you don't want it to define you you don't have to let it. On the other hand, if you find yourself really interested in it you should pursue your passion and it may become central to your identity. If you are somewhat like myself, you may find yourself somewhere in between, just let adoption and all that it entails be apart of your life in whatever ways appeal to you.
Do you think you were abandoned or placed for adoption?
I think it depends on your perspective and the way you look at things. Abandoned has a negative connotation but in the literal sense I understand that I was abandoned. This act however was not "reckless" or unplanned as and therefore the idea behind it could be seen as "being placed" for adoption.
Would you adopt? Why or why not?
I am not planning on adopting nor am I planning on not adopting. Honestly, this seems so far in the future and I wouldn't want to close any doors or force them open unnaturally or prematurely.
Do you talk openly about adoption? When and why?
I am fine talking openly about adoption although I don't do it much. It is part of who I am but I do not find it incredibly central to my everyday life. Personally, I don't bring it up unnecessarily or in my everyday life.
Do you have any adoptive friends?
Yes, I have other friends who were adopted. I personally haven't had issues around adoption and identity but I know that if I were to need someone to talk to any of my friends, not just those who were adopted, as well as my family would be there for me.
How do you connect to your heritage/culture?
I took four years of Chinese (Mandarin) in high school and participated in an exchange program through my school with students in China. I hosted a student from Beijing in February of 2015 and then traveled to Beijing and Shanghai in mid April of 2015. Additionally, I have written several essays on my identity, culture, and heritage for various reasons. My family also celebrates some of the Chinese holidays every year. When I was younger, I also participated in other Chinese activities such as taking basic Chinese lessons (culture and language), traditional dance through my school, and attending a culture camp. Beyond that, I primarily connect with American culture.