Darow, Eva. Personal Interview, 26, Feb. 2015
Name: Eva Darow
Hobbies: I like basketball. I like to read. I like hanging out with friends and baking.
Who's in your family?
I have two moms, Sue and Sara, and I have an older sister, named Elizabeth, and she’s 19. (Is she adopted?) Yes she’s adopted.
Tell me about yourself?
For middle school I went to Baker Demonstration and then I came to Evanston this year. I have a group of friends that are all freshmen and I am in the orchestra and I like that a lot.
Date you were adopted?
I don’t know the exact date but I know I was about one year old.
Where were you adopted?
How old were you when you were adopted?
I was one year old.
Can you tell me about the day you were adopted?
My parents have told me that when I was adopted I was just crying and I was upset because I had been with this lady who was a worker at the orphanage. She basically took care of me for those 12 months. But then I got used to my parents a week later. So, it was okay. (The first day?) They fed me a lot of bananas because I liked those.
When did you know that you were adopted? When did your parents tell you?
I knew that I was adopted basically from the moment I could remember things from that early of an age. And it was kind of just second nature. There wasn’t really much thinking because I had already accepted it and I was okay with it. I knew that the lifestyle I have now is probably better than the one I would have had if I wasn’t adopted.
Do you talk openly about adoption?
I do if people ask. I don’t really just say “I’m adopted” you know for the first time. But if they ask questions I am pretty open about it.
Why do you want to have more adopted friends?
I want to have more adopted friends because I feel like there’s a connection between them and you can just share your experiences with them. It’s just an easier friendship I guess.
What do you identify as? Why?
I identify as Asian. I don’t really identify as Asian American, or whatever it’s called. Just because I was born there, well I mean, yeah...
What is your adoptive family’s heritage?
My adoptive family’s heritage is Polish and English.
What is your definition of identity?
I think identity is kind of who you are comfortable being with and it can change a lot. But it mostly has to do with being comfortable with yourself.
What is identity to you? (The importance)
I think identity is very important because that’s how, the center of everything around you who your friends are going to be, who you are going to be with and if you don’t really know yourself that well then life is going to be a lot harder.
How does adoption play into your identity?
Well since I accepted I don’t really think about it. And since we talk about it just as a first subject thing, it’s more of just; it doesn’t really play into my life exactly.
How does the environment around you play into your identity?
I see people who are around that do drugs and drinks and that make me not want to do them. So I think that I’m like more of a “clean” person. And then I see examples of people who had great grades and they are getting accepted into colleges and stuff and that makes me want to put more effort into my school work and be a good student.
How does you race and your parents’ race play into your identity?
It doesn’t really play into my identity at all.
How does your family influence your identity?
Well my family is very loving and caring and I think that has made me more of a sensitive person. Our family is kind of mature somehow … I don’t know… never mind …. Their values of being honest and truthful affect me and then their culture I guess… they don’t really affect me that much.
How did your family integrate your culture into your life?
Well when Chinese New Year comes around we always celebrate it but other than that no.
Do you like learning about your heritage?
I do, um, yes. Because I think it’s interesting
Does your family accept you as an adoptee?
Yeah, they do accept me. Just by like when I was younger they would try to make me feel comfortable with these new surrounding and everything even though I can’t remember that I just kind of shows that they care a lot and that they are accepting that maybe I’m not their, that I don’t have their genes or genetics but I’m still one of them.
Did you struggle with any identity issues?
No. Because I think that everything in life happens for a reason. I know that sounds cliché but I do. I think that the hardships of being Asians, it’s just part of life.
What stereotypes have you faced? How did you deal with them?
That all Asians are really smart and I dealt with them kind of like showing…. I just tell them to stop I mean if it’s like, if I’m actually getting annoyed because even though it’s a better stereotype it still is one and I think it’s kind of like branding someone without actually giving them a chance to give them their own title.
Do you have a need to want to fit in need if that means changing yourself?
Yes when I was younger I was mad at those stereotypes but now as I’ve grown older I’ve just ignored them. I don’t even engage with telling them to stop because I feel like if I have to do that then I am going to be looked at as that uptight overly whatever Asian person. So now I just ignore that.
Do you have any role models who look like or come from the same background as you?
Do you celebrate holidays from your home country other than Chinese New Year?
What do you know about adoption from your country? One Child Policy? Beliefs?
I know that there are a lot of orphanages there’s that law or there might still be that law that says you can’t have more than a certain amount of children and there’s always that thing that boys are better that girls and that’s why there were so many girls in orphanages right now. (Beliefs) Right now I think that it’s a good policy. Just because their population is so huge and there may not be resources to go around and such.
Have you done a homeland trip? (Paint a picture) When? How was it?
No. I’ve never brought it up to my parents and they haven’t brought it up to me yet. But I want to when I’m older just not now. Is there any reason that you don’t want to do it now? Because I feel like I don’t even know who my birth parents are. I have no clue. I think going there or just going to where I was adopted would be kind of overwhelming without any background information.
Do you consider you birth parents are dead or fictional characters in your mind? Why?
How does that affect you?
Some what I do because even though they are probably alive they’re just kind of; they’re just the people that gave me life because I don’t know them. I don’t have any connection with them so I can’t really associate with them anything else then just being… So maybe people who don’t exactly exist in a way. Well I don’t think about it. No literally this is the first time I’ve thought about it.
Do you think you were abandoned or place for adoption? Why? How does that affect you?
Wuhan that place, the part that I came from was very poor I know that. So I think that it wasn’t, it was somewhat planned that’s why I think I had a sibling because that policy. But I know that I was dropped off at an orphanage so it’s not exactly abandonment. No feelings.
Have you thought about searching for your birth family?
I’ve never really thought about it that deeply. So, no.
If you had the chance would you meet your birth family? What would you do?
I would first ask them if I have any other siblings. Then I would ask them why, why they put me up for adoption. And I would just spend a lot of time with them and to get to know them better and I would want to see where I got some of my traits from. I would also want to know if I’m prone to getting any disease and if there’s alcoholism runs in my family.
You have an older adopted sister, how has she helped you through different issues around adoption and identity?
We’ve never talked about it.
Would you adopt? Why?
No just because I would want to make a… I want to try to like begin a family a blood related family tree of my own.
What is your opinion on adoption?
I think adoption is great. Forexample like many of the adoptees that you are interviewing they probably, I mean probably I don’t know, some of them may have had the same issues I had where they were adopted into a better life for them if they weren’t. I think that’s a very good thing.
What are positive effects of adoption?
You are in a loving, caring family and there is an endless supply of just support.
What are negative effects on adoption?
You don’t really know who your birth parents are especially if they live in a different continent; I think I said that right. But I think that the pros kind of override the cons.
What is your advice to other adoptees?
To just accept it guess because if you don’t they you are honestly going to have a difficult time with identifying who you are or just knowing who you want to be and stuff.