寻找我在中国的家人

The following blog series will be dedicated to our 搜索跨国收养 series. These individual stories are being shared from our 透视纸 that was also shared with our Webinar, Searching in Intercountry Adoption by Adoptee Experts.

经过 Shelley Rottenberg, born in China, raised in Canada, www.shelleyrottenberg.ca

I was adopted from Zhejiang, China to Ontario, Canada in 1996 when I was 8 months old. In one of my adoption documents, it says, “Our institution has looked for her parents and relatives by all means, but no trace can be found.” To this day, I still know nothing about my biological family. 

About 5 years ago I decided to act on my growing curiosity about my birth family. While I know the odds of finding them are very slim, especially because I don’t have any information to go on, I couldn’t help but at least try. The first step was a 23andMe DNA ancestry kit, gifted to me by my mom as a Christmas present. I carefully read the instructions in the box to make sure I did everything correctly, then sent off my saliva sample. My sister, who is also an adoptee from China, did one too. And then we waited. 

I remember being eager to get the results back because of the hope of having a DNA match with someone else in their database. At the time, the waiting period was about 6-8 weeks. Though after 2 months, instead of my results, I got an email with the subject line, “Your 23andMe Analysis was unsuccessful.” I was told that “the concentration of DNA was insufficient to produce genotyping results.” Luckily, I was sent a replacement kit and got a second chance to submit another saliva sample. Having followed the instructions correctly the first time, and without any further guidance on how to do things differently, I repeated the same steps and sent my sample once again. 

After another long 2-month wait, my heart sank as I read the same email subject line as the last one. Except for this time, they would not be sending me another replacement kit. The email explained that because of “the second low DNA failure” and there being “no additional steps that would increase the chance of success,” a full refund would be available to me. I was shocked and saddened by the news and confused too. I had done the exact same thing as my sister, yet she received her results back after the first attempt.

When I told a friend about the situation, she suggested I lightly chew my inner cheeks before spitting into the tube because buccal cells have a higher concentration of DNA. Determined to give it one last shot, I purchased another 23andMe ancestry kit with the refund they gave me and followed my friend’s advice. The saying, “third time’s a charm” held true in these circumstances because, after another 2 months, my third sample was a success!

All this waiting only heightened my anticipation, which probably contributed to my slight disappointment when I saw that I had no close relative DNA matches. It’s been 5 years now, and while I have over 900 distant relatives, all with less than 1% DNA shared, the number of close relatives is still zero. I have also since uploaded my raw data to GEDmatch and still no luck. 

Another search method I’ve tried is adding my information to a birth family search poster specific to the province I was adopted from. I did this 3 years ago through International Child Search Alliance (ICSA), a volunteer group of adoptees and adoptive parents. Their province search posters are shared widely on Chinese social media and in the past, they partnered with Zhejiang Family Seeking Conference and ZuyuanDNA for an in-person event. 

Getting my information added to the poster took about 3 months, partly because of the time it took me to make a WeChat account, gather the necessary information, and translate some of my adoption paperwork. The other reason for the timing was that ICSA’s update schedule for province search posters is three times a year.

Through the WeChat group for my province, I was able to connect with a woman from Zhejiang who wanted to help overseas adoptees. With great thanks to her, I was able to get my information on Baobei Huijia (Baby Come Home), a Chinese site run by volunteers to help find missing children. 

I learned of GEDmatch, ICSA and Baobei Huijia through the online adoptee/adoption community, which I discovered across various Facebook groups in 2018. Connecting with other adoptees and adoptive parents who are further along and more experienced in the birth family search journey has been extremely helpful. 

My mom has also been a huge help in her own efforts of searching for resources and information about birth family searching. Though most of all, her complete support for me throughout this process is what matters most. She hopes that I can find my biological family and relatives because she knows how important it is to me. 

We have discussed taking the next step of hiring a root finder or searcher. Though once I began to seriously consider this method, it didn’t seem like the right time. One searcher that my mom had reached out to in 2020 said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, foot traffic was not as high as it used to be, and therefore paying for physical posters to be distributed in my city or province in China may have even lower chances of bringing about any success.

Also, the process of hiring a searcher or organisation seemed quite daunting to me because it is hard to know whom to go with and which services to pay for. Packages greatly differ in terms of how in-depth the search process is and prices can easily be hundreds of dollars. And at the end of the day, the odds of finding my birth family, even with professional help, are very low.

I do plan to go back to China one day for a heritage trip and would incorporate searching for birth family into that. While my active search efforts are paused for now, this is a lifelong journey, so I can pick back up whenever I want to. It’s nice to know that through my other initial search methods, the opportunity for a match is always possible, even without me doing anything. 

However, I do worry that by waiting to pursue additional active search methods, I might be making the process more difficult the longer time goes on. I don’t know if my orphanage has any adoption paperwork other than what I currently have and would hate for those documents to be destroyed. I also fear the possibility of birth family members dying, especially biological parents and grandparents. This thought crossed my mind when COVID-19 cases and deaths were high in China. 

On the other hand, I don’t know if I’m emotionally prepared for the can of worms that can come with more intensive searching and then a possible reunion. I know of adoptees who contacted their birth families, only to be rejected. Then there are others who have very complicated reunions and relationships. Though even considering the endless possibilities and the fact that I might never fully be ready, I still think searching and finding something unexpected is better than knowing nothing at all. 

My advice to other adoptees who are considering searching for their birth family is to make sure you have a solid support system to lean on during this process. I also recommend personally reflecting on your motivations for searching and what you want to get out of it. Lastly, do your research on search options and leverage the existing resources and lived experiences of others who are already familiar with this. I recommend joining the CCI Birth Parent Searching and Reunion Group on Facebook for any Chinese adoptees looking to start this journey.

Thanks for reading and best of luck to my fellow searching adoptees!

Coming Next: Searching for my family in Vietnam

资源

Search and Reunion in Intercountry Adoption

在哥伦比亚寻找我的家人

The following blog series will be dedicated to our 搜索跨国收养 series. These individual stories are being shared from our 透视纸 that was also shared with our Webinar, Searching in Intercountry Adoption by Adoptee Experts.

经过 Jose Taborda, born in Colombia, raised in the USA

First journal entry by my adoptive mother

In the spring of 1978, I was born in Medellin, Colombia. Separated from my first family by adoption, I was brought by my adoptive parents to New Jersey and grew up with my younger adoptive sister in a Northern New Jersey suburb just outside of New York City.

I was lucky as an adoptee because my adoptive parents made a conscious decision to talk to me about my adoption from an early age. They attended a couple of workshops about adopting a child offered by an adoption agency prior to my adoption where they had been counselled to inform me as soon as possible about my adoption so as to normalise it for me. This advice informed their approach in terms of collecting information and artefacts of my adoption. This included stories of my adoption in Colombia in the form of journal entries written by my adoptive mother, a photograph of my first mother, and my adoption records containing identifying information about my first mother. 

Upon refection, it wasn’t just luck and good advice, my parents were compassionate people who made the decision to share what they knew about my origins with me throughout my life. They had the right instincts that led them not only to send me a dossier containing every artefact about my adoption while I was in college and I first expressed an interest in searching, but also to support my search when I began. 

 When I moved to New York City in my mid-twenties, I started searching. At the time, I had a Yahoo! Email account and noticed that it offered searchable interest groups. There was a group called Colombian Adoptee Search and Support (CASAS), which gathered many people like me: twenty-something Colombian adoptees who grew up around New York City and living in the area! I was shocked to find hundreds of people who were sharing resources about searching, so I started making connections and attending meetups and dinners in Brooklyn and Manhattan where we enjoyed sharing stories and Latino fare. 

Through these meetups, I had gotten the contact information of a private investigator in Medellin with whom I started to interact about my search. Because I had identifying information about my first mother, it took him two weeks to find her. A couple weeks after that, I had my first phone call with her. As one can imagine, finding my first mother within a month of beginning my search was all a whirlwind and very overwhelming. My excitement got the best of me, and I dove right into making plans for a reunion. Well, all of this came as a shock to my adoptive mother and sister, who weren’t as excited as me. They felt threatened by my news. I remember spending a lot of time convincing them that I wasn’t trying to replace them, but rather, it would be an opportunity to learn about my origins. They were not convinced that it was so simple. Searching for first family by adoptees may bring up many past trauma wounds for all members of the adoption constellation. I have heard stories of adoptees shying away from doing any searching while their adoptive parents are still alive due to the raw emotions around adoption that are very rarely acknowledged and dealt with during an adoptive family’s time living together. And when the possibility of a reunion arises, adoptees may find themselves having to reckon with these complicated emotions. This reckoning is not our responsibility as adoptees, but it may be an unanticipated and unwelcome reality that adoptees must face when searching and reuniting with first family.

Coincidentally, the film “Las Hijas” was going to be screened. It was timely that Maria Quiroga, a local filmmaker, was releasing the film profiling three female Colombian adoptees and their reunions with first family.  So I invited my mother and sister to join me. It was an interesting experience because the filmmaker handled the subject matter responsibly in presenting the reality of how complicated reunions between adoptees and first family can be. It helped to see this objective perspective on the emotionally charged situation that was playing out for us. It provided a context for our sensitive conversations, and it helped us to understand that we were not the only ones experiencing the feelings we were. Despite all of that, we continued to have conversations that required my soothing their frayed feelings around my upcoming reunion. 

One thing that stands out for me now sixteen years later as I reflect on my reunion as a young man, is that I did not pursue any mental health support to guide me on that complicated endeavour. In my local adoptee community, the discussion was more centred on the topic of search and reunion in my memory and not as much on adoption mental health issues. However, I acknowledge there is a high likelihood my antenna wasn’t tuned to that particular signal, so to speak. More recently, I have read a lot of highly-respected literature about adoption and mental health including 原始伤口 by Nancy Verrier and Journey of the Adopted Self by Betty Jean Lifton to name a couple of outstanding examples. I am a regular listener to adoptee podcasts including 被收养者 with host Haley Radke and Adapted with host Kaomi Lee among others. I have met many adoptees and I am lucky to live close to an adoptee organization called Also Known As, Inc. that hosts meet ups for transracial, intercountry adoptees. Wise adoptees and adoption professionals these days counsel adoptees who are engaged in reunion to set some boundaries that include having a third-party present during reunion meetings, not staying with first family right away, and pursuing therapy before, during, and after reunion. I did none of those things. 

All of this gathering of resources and self-education on the intersection of adoption and mental health has demonstrated to me that I took a very impetuous, uninformed, and quite risky path on my reunion journey. I stayed with my first mother and her family for three weeks at their home in an outlying municipality of Medellin. I do have very positive memories from my first visit in 2006 that led me to return in the two subsequent years. However, somewhere down the line some members of my first family started to develop expectations that involved money. It was not much at first, but, with time, their boldness grew. This expectation made me uncomfortable because I didn’t want to have to explain to any of them that I am a professional in a field that is not very highly-compensated. To them, I was just the more fortunate one who was able to escape their humble circumstances. No matter how difficult my personal situation was, they are right that I had many more opportunities in the U.S. than they did in Colombia, but I did not feel that it was my responsibility to have to provide for them. I wanted to just get to know them knowing that it would take time to develop a family bond. Truly, I faced hard feelings when they asked for money and that made things very confusing for me. While I know that my experience is not unique, I wished that it wasn’t part of my reunion story. At some point, I stopped contacting them because it all became too much for me. This is where an intervention such as adoption-focused therapy would have been helpful. 

Some years passed and I turned the page on my adoption by quite literally ceasing to think about my adoption and pausing all the actions I had taken to learn about my origins during my twenties. I turned thirty, I got married and became a new father, and I wanted to focus on my new family in Brooklyn. I was also in graduate school, so juggling responsibilities was the theme starting in 2010. Since that time, a lot has changed.

Nowadays, I am divorced, I am co-parenting a budding teenager, and I have settled into a career as a college educator. As I moved into middle-age, I became more introspective, and I found myself interrogating some difficult feelings that felt like depression and anxiety. When I realised that I did not have easy answers to that line of inquiry, I began searching for ways to remove barriers to happiness that had started showing up. It started to dawn on me that my adoption may be the cause of some of my bad decisions in life and the source of a feeling of malaise that crept in every now and again. I remember once sitting on a beach in the Rockaways with my best friend and confidant of many years and reflecting out loud that I should look into therapy for adoption to try to answer some nagging questions. 

About six months after that conversation in 2021, I got around to doing some basic internet searching and was amazed by what I found. There was so much work that had been done in the intervening years since I started my search. As I previously mentioned, I went down a path of self-education, I engaged in some adoption-focused group therapy, and I have been attending online and in-person support groups made up of adoptees since that discovery. I have learned so much about myself and adoption since I started to reconnect to my adopted-self. Some of it has been difficult, but I am very happy to have opened myself up to feel, meditate, inquire, grieve, and build community. It is cliche, but I wish I knew during my reunion and prior what I know now. 

In short, I hope that adoptees who are on the bold path of searching and reuniting with first family will take careful, well-informed steps. I know from my experience that there are no easy answers, and reunion may be when many hard questions rise to the surface. However, that search for the discovery and recovery of self and identity is worth it all because even if one does not find first family, there is so much to learn about oneself along the way. 

I hope that adoptees take the time to explore all of the particular intersections of adoption and mental health including, but not limited to, the Primal Wound theory, the post-traumatic stress implications of adoption, ambiguous loss, and the Adoptee Consciousness Model. Most definitely read the two books by Verrier and Lifton previously mentioned. Check out Damon Davis’ podcast Who Am I Really?, and the two others previously mentioned. Read JaeRan Kim’s brilliant blog Harlow’s Monkey. If looking for a therapist in the U.S., check out Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker’s adoptee therapist directory curated on her website Grow Beyond Words. If one does not have the money to pursue therapy, there are plenty of books, podcasts, and support groups that could provide information and resources helpful in informing decisions around searching, finding, and reunion with first family. Just start checking out all of the amazing resources on Lynelle Long’s comprehensive treasure of a website 跨国收养者的声音. Search on Facebook for a group you can join that holds online support groups, or, even better, search for a local group in your area to meet up in person with adoptees. A great place to search for a local group in the USA is on Pamela A. Karanova’s website Adoptees Connect

The above is just a cursory glance at some of the most salient resources I have found that have nourished my soul as I step into more consciousness about my adoption on my journey of self-discovery. My greatest hope is that someone reading these words may find something in them to hold onto. 

Coming Next: 寻找我在中国的家人

资源

Search and Reunion in Intercountry Adoption

被收养者专家搜索跨国收养

On April 23, ICAV will be providing a webinar on some of the complex issues involved in searching in various birth countries, but with specific knowledge of Colombia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Greece, Korea, and Sri Lanka.

Our webinar will be unique in that we are not only bringing our lived experience as individuals, but also presenting as a global resource, highlighting the adoptee led organisations who provide a formal search and support services. Our panelists hold the dual role of knowing intuitively how complex searching is as individuals having done their own searching and also having decades of experience in providing formal search and support services to the community.

ICAV knows intuitively what the latest research (p231) conducted within the Korean adoptee community shows – i.e.,, that intercountry adoptees find their peers and adoptee led organisations to be the most helpful in their searches. There’s nothing better than those who live it knowing intuitively how to best provide the services we need as a community.

If you’d like to be part of our audience, click here to RSVP.

Our 8 panelists are:

玛西娅·恩格尔

Marcia is the creator and operator of 计划天使, a nonprofit human rights foundation currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her organization has a powerful mission: helping Colombian families find their children who were lost to child trafficking and adoption.

For fifteen years now, Plan Angel has grown a strong community with over 1,000 families in Colombia. The foundation helps these families search for their missing adopted children all over the world, hoping to one day reconnect them with each other. Marcia and her foundation have reunited hundreds of families and continue to support them after their reunion.

琳达卡罗尔福雷斯特特罗特

Linda is a Greek-born adoptee, adopted by American parents and found her biological family in Greece five and a half years ago. She is the founder and president of 埃夫提基亚项目, a nonprofit organization that assists and supports, free of charge, Greek-born adoptees searching for their roots and Greek families searching for their children lost to adoption.

In addition to its Search and Reunion program, the Eftychia Project, in collaboration with the MyHeritage DNA company, distributes DNA kits for free to adoptees and Greek families. To date, The Eftychia Project has facilitated the reconnections of 19 adoptees with their Greek families.

The Eftychia Project also actively advocates on behalf of all Greek-born adoptees with the Greek government for their birth and identity rights, including transparency about their adoptions, unfettered access to their birth, orphanage and adoption records, and the restoration of their Greek citizenship.

凯拉柯蒂斯

Kayla is born in South Korea and adopted to South Australia. Kayla has been searching for her Korean birth family for over twenty years. She returned to Korea to do ‘on the ground’ searching using posters, newspapers, local police, and adoptee search organisations. In the absence of having a reunion with birth family, she has built a meaningful relationship with her birth country and Korean culture and proudly identifies as Korean-Australian.  

In her professional life, Kayla works as a Senior Counsellor for the 跨国收养者和家庭支持服务 (ICAFSS) at Relationships Australia.  

Kayla is a qualified Therapeutic Life Story Worker and has a Master’s in Social Work as well as extensive experience working in the area of adoption both in government and non-government, providing counselling, education and training, community development and post adoption support.  In this role, Kayla supports intercountry adoptees with searching and navigating this uncertain and complex process between countries, as well as offering therapeutic support to adoptees, on this journey. 

乔纳斯·德西尔

乔纳斯

Jonas is a Haitian adoptee raised in Australia who has spent many years assisting his fellow Haitian adoptees to search for their families in Haiti. He was adopted from Haiti at 6 years old and eventually was able to find his mother in Haiti. Today he is happily married with children and works a lot to help mentor other younger adoptees and help adoptive families.

贝努瓦·弗梅尔贝根

Benoît was born in Villers-Semeuse, France under “Sous X”. This means that his parents and especially his mother did not want to be known or found. His birth certificate literally only shows X’s as parents’ names. Growing up Benoît had a lot of questions trying to understand all of this. After his studies, he purposely began working for the ‘Population Services’ in the hope of discovering more information about his birth mother. 

During this process and the years that followed, Benoît helped so many other people in their search (for example, trying to find their biological birth parents), that he made genealogical research his main source of income. It has always been and will always be his greatest passion in life! 

Genealogy and adoption therefore are his field of specialisation. In the past couple of years he has also started working in the field of ‘DNA’. In 2019, he found his biological mother through this method. Today, he cooperates with a lot of genealogical and adoption related authorities and helps to invent and build many adoption related platforms. Although Belgium is his home country, he also has experience in doing research abroad, i.e. Australia, Mexico, and The Netherlands.

丽贝卡·帕约特

Rebecca is the founder of the association Racines Naissent des Ailes and co-founder of Emmaye Adoptee’s Family Reunion. Adopted in Ethiopia at the age of 5, Rebecca is a graduate in early childhood psychology specialising in adolescents in identity crisis. She has worked for 20 years in international adoption in France as a consultant and speaker on quest of origins. She is the author of her first book entitled “The Quest of Origins, a Miracle Remedy for the ills of the adopted?”

希尔布兰德韦斯特拉

Hilbrand is a Korean adoptee raised in the Netherlands and has the longest track record, working with and for adoptees in the Netherlands since 1989. Internationally, his name is well known and disputed at the same time by the first generation of intercountry adoptees because he dared to oppose the Disney fairytale of adoption. He is also the first adoptee in the world to receive an official Royal decoration by the King of the Netherlands in 2015 and is Knighted in the Order of Orange Nassau for outstanding work for adoptees and in the field of adoption.

In daily life, Hilbrand runs his own school in systemic work and is a renowned teacher and trainer nationally and his work has sparked great interest in the UK. He spends time bridging the work in this field between the Netherlands and the UK. Hilbrand is a confidant and executive coach for leaders and directors in the Netherlands and also works partly with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

席琳·费斯勒

Celin is adopted from Sri Lanka to Switzerland and is the Communications Manager and Board Member at 追本溯源. Back to the Roots is a Swiss NGO founded in 2018 by Sri Lankan adoptees. Its main goal is to raise awareness of the complex search for origins and to support adoptees in their searching process. Since May 2022, Back to the Roots has been funded by the Swiss government and the regional districts in order to provide professional support to adoptees from Sri Lanka to Switzerland.

Sarah Ramani Ineichen

Sarah is adopted from Sri Lankan to Switzerland and is the President of Back to the Roots and may present jointly with Celin in this webinar.

The webinar will be recorded and made available at ICAVs website.

If you have questions you’d like to see addressed in our webinar, please add your comments to this blog or contact us.

非常感谢 Australian Government, DSS for funding this event via our Relationships Australia, 小额赠款和助学金计划.

英国跨国收养网络研讨会

2023 年 1 月 30 日,一小群英国的跨国收养者参加了网络研讨会小组活动,与收养父母组织分享他们的想法和经验, 收养英国.

在本次网络研讨会中,您将见到从斯里兰卡收养的莎拉·希尔德、从厄瓜多尔收养的约书亚·阿斯普登、从巴西收养的艾玛·埃斯特雷拉、从中国收养的梅雷迪思·阿姆斯特朗和从香港收养的克莱尔·马丁。我们一起回答一些养父母在 收养英国 问。

观看网络研讨会,下面是时间码、关键信息和相关资源。
注意:如果在 Chrome 中观看,请单击“了解更多”按钮观看视频

网络研讨会时间码

00:20 介绍 来自 AdoptionUK
01:03 介绍 来自 ICAV 的 Lynelle
02:44 莎拉希尔德
03:35 克莱尔·马丁
05:34 梅雷迪思阿姆斯特朗
07:39 艾玛埃斯特雷拉
09:39 约书亚阿斯普登
12:17 寻找家人时如何保护自己免受诈骗 – 莱内尔
17:23 接近生活故事工作的技巧 – 梅雷迪思
20:54 如果您被出生国的家庭收养,您是否觉得生活会更好?
21:27 约书亚
24:56 艾玛
28:00 在开始跨国收养时,我们希望养父母知道什么?
28:24 克莱尔
32:25 梅雷迪思
35:12 莎拉
38:24 艾玛
40:24 约书亚
43:34 莱内尔
45:30 什么与您的传统最相关?
45:45 莎拉
48:23 克莱尔
49:30 约书亚
51:07 计划拜访寄养家庭,有什么技巧或提示来管理被收养者会出现的强烈情绪吗?
51:30 梅雷迪思
52:24 艾玛
54:25 莱内尔
56:24 乔结束和感谢

网络研讨会关键信息摘要

单击此处查看 PDF格式 文档

相关资源

我们能否忽视或否认种族主义存在于有色人种收养者身上?

对于跨种族收养者来说,与有色人种的联系并不是自动的

养父母的种族资源

养父母文化资源

针对跨国收养者的收养后支持全球清单

收养前后支持的重要性

搜索和团聚资源

对养父母的想法

被收养

经过 马塞拉莫斯洛 出生于哥伦比亚并被美国收养;创伤治疗师

被收养者必须应对的沉重现实是惊人而复杂的。我们身上的空虚是巨大的,无论我们得到多少爱,都常常觉得不够。我们寻求的联系和调和,我们有权拥有的文化,我们被连线的依恋都被剥夺了,留下了深深的伤口。这对个人的系统是毁灭性的,并会影响子孙后代。我们努力应对这样一个现实,即我们不仅发生了一些事情,而且我们还被剥夺了很多我们需要的东西。创伤既可以是发生在我们身上的,也可以是没有发生在我们身上的。

在 Insta 上关注 Marcella @marcellamoslow

可以找到她的新播客 @adopteesdishpodcast

金钱永远无法弥补我作为原住民加拿大人所失去的一切

经过 仁埃瑟林顿, 出生为加拿大原住民,被澳大利亚家庭收养。

它看起来像 六十年代独家新闻的最终付款 已经开始出去了。我对它和这个过程有着复杂的感觉。

我感到一种文化、家庭和国家的失落感。我并不是说我不感谢我的养父母和澳大利亚生活给予我的一切,但这也不意味着我对其他一切都没有失落感。

我的亲生父母在我 9 岁时就去世了,与他们见面的希望永远破灭了。我和我的搭档目前正在听哈利波特,我哭了,因为我能理解他失去父母和他的感受,以及想了解他们的渴望。加拿大老家的人给我讲他们的故事,我既高兴又难过。

我看到生物堂兄弟发布的关于不同文化活动和传统的帖子,我为不了解自己的文化而感到难过。当我告诉澳大利亚人我是第一民族加拿大人并询问我的文化而我没有任何东西可以提供给澳大利亚人时,他们会很兴奋。

我的亲生父母没有更多的孩子,因为他们不想让他们被带走(或者我相信)。我一直希望我有一个失散多年的兄弟姐妹。

我对上次流产感到非常失落,因为那是我体验生物联系的最后机会。

无论如何,付款是 $25,000,我知道有人认为这笔钱会有所帮助并有所作为,但我也觉得这是一种封口费。我觉得发生在我们这么多人身上的事情并不重要。

延伸阅读

$25,000 结算 Sixties Scoop Survivors,一个“耳光”

Forgiving and Moving On

My adoptive aunt passed away two days ago and when the grief of this additional news struck, I took space to mourn, and while embracing more of life’s inexplicable changes, I discovered a new and unexpected change in my heart.

In this time, I’ve been home a lot, staying comfy and quiet in Aina Haina, not wanting to go out. I didn’t know this would happen or that my anger would ever subside. But I came to find myself able to forgive in the end, and let bygones be bygones.

I know when my heart changed.

It happened after I’d been doubling up on my therapy for weeks, and specifically, at the moment when I was sitting in a pew, at a new church a few Sundays ago. This is when it happened.

It was probably the most hilarious and beautiful Sunday mass I’d ever been too, in this chapel, with glass windows that reached this vaulted ceiling, overlooking the ocean, on the beach. This guy came in with beach trunks, and no shirt, and every time the musical accompaniment played, he’d stand up and read really loudly out of the bible without being prompted to do this. My seriousness broke into a giddy smile watching this. I started taking photos of him on my phone like a tourist, and that’s when I just felt better.

Understanding dawned on me. Life. Love. Heartbreak. Dissapointment. Loss. Hope. Resiliency. Ke Akua. God. People. Acceptance. This story of my life, where I never got my family, I was never born with culture. But I always knew the values of the world we live in today. Why values are the only thing that keeps us all alive. And I talked to my therapist after that and I told her, I was ready now.

Ready to forgive it all.

It’s Sunday evening. I’m ready for tomorrow too.

I spent all day today reading student poetry and replying to their writings. Outside, it is dark. I can hear the cars passing by my window. And inside me, I feel okay with my adoptee relations and all that’s happened. Inside, I don’t hold resentment.

After reviewing my students’ poetry, I visited a favorite beach of mine and took a photo of the water. After that, I went and got some poké at a nearby food store. I snacked on the poké at the side of my house, overlooking the water as the sun was setting. My kitty was next to the window beside me, watching me through the screen.

For a while, I’ve been questioning what what kind of genre my life is. I used to believe my life was a dark dystopian horror where I was a victim to unfortunate events. That my life was littered with raw, dark situations and characters. It was just today, where I realized, my life is not a horror genre! It’s in fact, been a coming of age story all along.

In the end, I live a quiet life on Oahu. I live humble, alone on my own, in a quiet side of the island. I have my kitty and I’m spending my summer teaching students how to write, watching movies at home, visiting a few of my favorite places each week. I started a new Instagram that I hope might make some new connections.

Even though I get bored at times, I know that the worst is over.

I’m happy to not be in love. I’ve been living my dream of living next to the ocean. I’m reaching a newfound conclusion with life and how my adoptive relations all turned out. I don’t feel the need to block anyone anymore, and these days. I am ready to be authentic and have healthy relations universally, with the boundaries from my commitment to healing and overcoming everyday. And I’m ready to learn more about native cultures and Hawaii, and teach today’s multicultural youth on how to be their own voice in this world.

Now , these days, I’m mostly just wanting to have my own home where it’s affordable to live.

And that’ll be a whole new adventure.

阅读 Desiree 之前的博客: Adoption can be a Psychological Prison and follow her at Weebly or Instagram @starwoodletters.

Adoption Can Be a Psychological Prison

How do I start over?

The question echoes in my brain every day here in Hawaii, now totally away from the relations of my former adopted life.

How do I live anew as one person in this world?

I left my adoptee ties that were technically governmentally bonded relations that I had no control over as a Filipino orphaned child circa 1980’s. For me, they had been total strangers and I didn’t have any oversight or support in post-adoption.

As time went on for me, I wasn’t able to have the fortune to get to know my biological family as after my reunion in 2012 in the Philippines, I decided to go my own way once I discovered our language barriers and my inability to confirm any facts on them.

So yes, fast-forward to current times and it is Sunday, and I have relinquished my bond of my adoptive ties for various reasons, and it hasn’t been easy but for me, it was necessary.

This break action has been mental, emotional and physical. Slamming this lever down included making physically strategic distance by moving far, far away on my own to the Pacific islands in 2019, re-establishing dual citizenship to my birth country in the Philippines in 2021, and civilly sending a kindly written email to my adoptive parents this year after my adoptive brother’s jarring and untimely death.

Additionally, the extended adoptive ties I’ve noticed can also naturally deteriorate with time itself after years of peaceful but gently intentional non-communication.

What happens after you’re on this path of annexation, you wonder?

For me, I’ve arrived at an interesting intersection in my adulthood when I’ve sort of returned to a former state of orphanhood with no real station in life, no bonds, all biological history, heritage and economic status obsolete all over again.

Doesn’t sound that appealing, I know! Tell me about it.

The perk is that instead of being a vulnerable child, I am a 36-year-old woman living in Hawaii. I have rights. I am in control of my wellbeing and fate. I have responsibilities. I drive my own car, I pay bills, I have funds; I have a job and I am not helpless.

I can take care of myself. So to me, the biggest perks are in being healthy and reclaiming my life, identity and sovereignty needed over my own needs and wellbeing.

So quickly the adoptee bond can turn into toxic relations if the parents are narcissistic or emotionally or physically abusive.

After the death of my adopted brother, who was also a Filipino American adoptee and died of severe mental issues and alcohol poisoning, I had a stark wake-up call of how these adoptee relations were silently impacting me too.

And I had to make better choices for myself, I would be risking too much if I ignored this.

It is like leaving a psychological prison, I told Lynelle on a weekend in May.

After some reflection, I realized that as a child and having to make structured attachments from being displaced, this legal bond fastens.

And as a displaced, vulnerable child, I think one falls privy to co-dependency, the need for a family structure overrides even the need for safety for his or her own wellbeing, like if abuses arise in this domestic home.

Or other aspects might not nurture the adoptee, like when the child isn’t being culturally nurtured according to their birth country.

Or when the parents or family members are financially and socially acceptable as to meeting criteria of adoption, but possess narcissistic personalities which is also detrimental to the child’s personal, emotional, psychological and cultural development.

A child stays glued and psychologically devoted to their family ties through development stages and on past adulthood because the need for foundational attachments is paramount to one’s psychological upbringing and success.

And if these ties are in any way bad for the adoptee early on, I think these relations that were once saving can quickly turn into a psychological prison because you are truly bound to these social ties until you’re strong enough to realize that you have a choice.

And you can break out of this bond, this governmentally established bond, although possibly later on as an adult. And, with some finesse.

As an adult adoptee, from my experience adoptive ties that develop healthily or dysfunctionally, after a certain amount of time both types transitions into permanence to that adoptee. Adoptive ties mesh and fuse just the same as biological ties, once you’ve gone so long in the developmental process.

This adoptive relation is totally amazing when it’s good, like any good relationship.

The spin is that when there are issues plaguing the adoptive unit, which can be subtle, interplaying with the personality and culture of the adoptive relations, these issues can go totally disguised, unreported, and it can be toxic and the affects can last a lifetime.

From experience, I see that it is because the adoptee child is vulnerable and doesn’t know how to report issues in the relations, because the option isn’t even granted to them.

No one is really there to give or tell the adoptee child that they have these rights or options. When it comes to post-adoption, there isn’t much infrastructure.

Sadly, if dynamics are not supportive to the adoptee, in time, it can cost an adoptee the cultural bonds to their own birth country or the loss of their native language.

It can cost an adoptee their sanity and mental health.

It can cost an adoptee their self-esteem, which all bleeds and returns into the social sea of their placement or back out into other countries.

And, it can cost an adoptee their life.

On the upside, if the placement is good, it can save a person’s life as well! And it can allow this adoptee happiness and joy forevermore.

Each side of the coin both instills an adoptee’s human value and the toll the placement takes on every child who becomes an adult in society is also expensive, leading to exponential advantage and success in society, or potential burnouts.

For me, my adoptive placement was costly in the end. However, I was still able to survive, work and live. I was materialistically taken care of, thankfully.

I honestly think much was due to my own faith, offbeat imagination and whatever blind luck I was born with that all carried me through this.

Overall, this has been a total trip and my journey has been very far from embodying the traditional fairy tale adoption story.

So now, it’s time to do the hard work, an adoptee mentor messaged me today. But I can do it, we all can do it! It just takes good choices and regular upkeep.

Nearing the end of this post, I will share to my adoptee community that we have a choice especially once we’re of legal age. I’m sort of a wildflower in general, and a late bloomer, so I’m coming out of the fog and becoming aware now in my mid-thirties.

Yes, we have a lot to rear ourselves depending on the economic status we find ourselves in without our adoptee ties. But like other adoptee peer support has shared, you should not do this kind of thing by yourself. You can have support structures the whole time in this.

And yes, it is terrifying, because you will have to rebuild your sense of identity when leaving toxic family relations. As yes, it can be like rebuilding your identity all over again from when you leave them and start anew, as a now a self-made, sovereign person.

From a Hawaiian private school I work at now, I have come to find that cultural identity building begins in the present and it is built upon values, history, education and the wisdom of the past. Now that I have found a home in Hawaii, maybe I can learn more about it.

I will also be working on weekly goals that I hope to share to the community as I continue on this never-ending journey.

In conclusion, if you are in a good adoptive family, God bless your fortune and I have so much love and happiness for you! However, if you are needing to split away from the ties, like if your adoption wasn’t that healthy, then please know it isn’t impossible.

Professional and peer support is here for you, every day on your way to freedom. You can create your own sovereignty, it will just take work.

Read Desiree’s earlier post at ICAV: 当我被收养时我失去了什么 and follow her at Weebly or Instagram @starwoodletters.

埃塞俄比亚被收养者选集

经过 阿塞勒菲赫·埃文斯, 从埃塞俄比亚领养到美国。

我很高兴能与大家分享我们这本书的封面,“狮子吼远离家乡》,埃塞俄比亚收养侨民的选集,在美国、加拿大、澳大利亚、比利时、法国、瑞典和荷兰长大。封面艺术出自著名的埃塞俄比亚艺术家之手, 纳奥塞内·内古西.

这本书是我们用了六年的时间才完成的。这些故事是神圣的,它们挑战了关于领养的传统叙事。

在从事反种族主义工作之前,我的工作涉及儿童福利和跨国收养的交叉领域。我从 17 岁开始这项工作,与心理学家和社会工作者交谈,推动机构了解将儿童从他们的第一家庭中带走的复杂性。

全国黑人社会工作者协会将跨种族收养视为一种文化种族灭绝形式——我们都必须了解保护家庭的重要性。

我认为自己是一个政治化的家庭保护主义者,他坚信跨种族收养的根源在于失去、种族创伤和悲伤。我确实在埃塞俄比亚从事家庭保护方面的工作,要求系统问责制,这将需要访问出生记录和家庭搜索。这是改变生活的工作,因为正义并不触手可及。造成了如此大的伤害。

我们中的许多人都是被偷来的孩子,他们失去了太多。虽然我不会在这里添加我对跨种族和跨国收养的政治观点(你拿到书后可以阅读我的观点),但像土著人一样,我们被收养者被剥夺了我们的文化、语言和历史,并被迫同化进入白人主导的文化。

埃塞俄比亚人不是同质的人。有 86 个具有不同历史、文化和祖先血统的民族,尽管殖民主义会告诉你并非如此。 “他们试图埋葬我们,但他们不知道我们是种子。” .

这本书之所以强大有很多原因,它完美地整合了埃塞俄比亚被收养者的观点,年龄从 8 岁到 50 岁以上。

我对韩国收养人表示最深切的感谢,我依靠他们的肩膀,因为他们是第一批为帝国主义、统治和腐败呼吁跨国收养的积极分子。

狮吼离乡”将以最好的方式挑战你。请继续关注发布日期,同时欣赏这个美丽的封面。

我还要感谢我的合作编辑 Kassaye 和 Maureen——没有你们就不可能有这本书。感谢您相信这本书并坚持我们的愿景。

您可以在她的网站上阅读 Aselefech 的更多信息 埃塞俄比亚女儿.

在最黑暗的时刻寻找力量

我的兄弟在我到达收养家庭前 2 年被收养,他上周在菲律宾因无家可归和精神病去世。就像我一样,他是一名跨国菲律宾裔美国人收养者。

我们不知道发生了什么。他与坏公司有牵连。我有一种死亡被协助的感觉。涉及疏忽。我听说那是在棉兰老岛的一个农村地区,美国人去那里旅行很危险。如果他们发现你是美国人,就会发生真正的绑架。我不能去看看这是不是真的。唯一通知的人是一位女士,她从一开始就是坏消息。她总是向他要钱。追捕我的兄弟以得到我的养母。她是这次死亡的一部分,在我哥哥因疑似酒精中毒无家可归去世前几天为他拍照。

这个消息让我震惊,悲伤的过程是真实而痛苦的。我很难把这个消息告诉同事。第一天回来上班,我在最后一个小时哭了。

我想写的是我作为菲律宾裔美国人收养者从我的生活和世界中学到的东西。这种生活从来都不容易。这并不好玩。我对我的白人收养家庭从来都不满意。我有一个患有精神病的兄弟,他来自我的出生国,和我一样棕色皮肤,只比我大两岁,我全心全意地爱着他。

然而,他从来都不是健康的。他在我成长过程中虐待我。他患有精神疾病,他的虐待发展到他自己造成的程度。他也试图让我参与其中,所以我必须有界限。我等着他好起来。我以为他会的,但他只会变得更糟。随着岁月的流逝,背负着这种痛苦,这让我感觉更糟。不知道该把它放在哪里,该怪谁,为什么它在那里。

毕竟,我想说的是,总有一天你需要做出选择。你没有像以前那样做出反应,而是抬起头来重新呼吸,因为这一切都变得太多了。您注意到云层中的新细节,并意识到您仍在踢球,您不能保持相同的想法或相同的习惯。你感觉到了转变。你看到了面对逆境的必要性,反而想在它丑陋的脸上咧嘴一笑。您会发现有必要给自己空间,让自己成为真实的自己。因为没有回头路了。

我花了这么多年躲在过去的悲伤和创伤中,我想我写这篇文章是因为那些时代已经结束了。

我所知道的是,从这里开始,我将变得坚强。

我怀着崇敬的心情纪念我作为菲律宾裔美国人被收养者的经历。我永远不会为我所经历的事情感到羞耻。我不会为我今天在同事周围感受到的痛苦感到尴尬。我也不会再背负我哥哥痛苦的重担,我曾经有过。我会爱自己。我会原谅自己。我会温柔的对待自己。我不会再像以前那样对自己那么苛刻了。

一直以来,我都背负着从未有过的生活重担。我抓住了我从未抓住过的爱的痛苦。

一个我从来不知道的家庭。

但是我的兄弟死了,他可能是世界上我唯一爱过的人。我所见过的唯一一个真正的家人。我身上发生了一些变化。

我呼吸,写这个。我还活着,写这个。

我现在就在这里。我从所有这些乱七八糟的狗屎中幸存下来。在菲律宾成为孤儿。必须穿越我被赋予的美国生活,因为这就是饼干崩溃的方式。我们得到了我们要处理的事情,你必须处理它。你必须调整。在成年的某个时候,您会了解到在此过程中善待自己和他人的重要性,因为幸福是一个人生存的一部分。

在经历了这一切之后,我的骨子里有一种明显的决心。就是要坚强。就是爱我今天在这个世界上所拥有的。这是不放弃。

我的决心是继续工作。过上健康的生活。要真实。活得真实。我还在这个世界上。而且我是一个人,但我用我的才能做到了。

在这条路上我并没有交到很多朋友,但我一直在努力工作,转向艺术世界、图书馆和学校寻找出路。

我过着内敛的生活。我开发了我自己的创意媒体表达方式,在我自己的智慧和事业中狂野。

即使在 36 岁时,我也才刚刚开始接触这个世界。

我不知道是否有人会喜欢这个博客,但如果有人喜欢,请知道我永远不会放弃,我也不希望你放弃。因为我很幸运能听到你们中一些人的故事,并在圣诞节见到你们中的一些人,这是值得珍惜的事情。你在这个世界上是如此重要,你真的如此。

我会像年轻时一样相信你和爱情,我永远不会停止。就像我年轻时相信上帝的方式一样,我也从未停止过。我不会停止相信人类。我不会停止朝着更高的目标努力,因为那是我早上起床的动力。

我今天在这里是要说,痛苦、考验和斗争将及时发挥作用。

活着是有原因的,你会找到的。

在最黑暗的时刻,你会找到力量。

或力量——会找到你。

阅读 Desiree 之前在 ICAV 上的博客: 当我被收养时我失去了什么

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