Jacqueline Xujing Unger
Where are you adopted from?
What date were you adopted? How old were you?
February 12th, 1995 (Gotcha Day)
February 14th, 1995 (Adoption Day)
5 months old
What is your definition of identity in your own words?
Identity is who you are and how you see and express yourself. Identity is complex and sometimes hard to find. With self-exploration, time, and many experiences, identity can be a bit more clear. This being said identity is a process and is different for everyone.
Why is identity important?
Identity is vital. It gives purpose and it's what makes you one unique individual out of several billion people on this earth. Identity provides insight into the past, present and future.
What do you identify as? Why?
A Chinese American female adoptee. I identify as such because I am many things. First and foremost, I am human. I am female. My life experiences shape who I am today which is why I identify as a Chinese American adoptee. I was born in China, raised in America and adopted by two phenomenal parents.
What's your opinion on adoption?
I think adoption is absolutely wonderful. I think it is a blessing and an opportunity. I wish more people would adopt to give children a second chance at life, to flourish and grow, and know what it's like to belong to a family.
What are the positive and negative effects of adoption?
The positive effects of adoption can be said in three words: love, family, opportunity. The negatives I would say include abandonment issues, identity struggles, and unanswered questions.
What is your advice to other adoptees?
I think my biological parents didn't have a choice. They never went through the appropriate channels to put my sister and I up for adoption. But they also didn't just abandon us and leave us to die. I believe we were loved. We were placed where they knew someone would find us. They left us in homemade bamboo baskets. The most important part was that they kept Maddy and I together.
Would you adopt? Why or why not?
Yes, absolutely. There are so many children without families, homes, people to care and love for them. I would want to provide that for them.
Do you have any adoptive friends?
Yes, many I've met on my college campus. They help me by being open about their adoption story and when they share their different experiences, I feel an instant connection with them.
How do you feel about the way your race or culture is portrayed in the media?
Disappointed and disturbed, but not surprised.
What stereotypes have you faced? How did you deal with them?
Almost all of the Chinese and Asian ones in the book. At first I dealt with them by staying silent. Then, I learned that staying silent is the worst thing I could do. So that's exactly what I steered away from. I would tell the person that I didn't find it funny, it was absolutely incorrect and to not make assumptions about a person based on their race or ethnicity, it's inconsiderate.