I was born in Zhanjiang, China.
Because I was born a girl during the one child policy, I was also abandoned in Zhanjiang, China. I was then placed in foster care.
Thankfully, I have no memories of this, as my foster mother did not feed me, bathe me, or take me out of my crib. My adoptive mom tells me that, when I was younger, I told her it was "dark in China" before she came.
In June 1997, I was adopted at 11 months and raised in Canada by the only family I’ve ever known. I had a happy childhood and parents who were very open to any questions I had about my adoption once I was old enough to want to know more.
As a child, being adopted never bothered me. When I hit my teen years, I started to question who I was:
Why was I abandoned?
Where did I come from?
Who were my parents?
Did they still think of me at all?
I felt like I didn't belong.
I was angry at my birth parents.
Then, I read a book by a Chinese woman named Xinran called Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother. The stories collected in this book moved and helped me to think of my birth mother—who I will likely never meet— in a completely different light. Because it is technically illegal to abandon children in China, parents who do this must hide anything that might identify them. The topics of abandonment and the one child policy in China is sort of taboo. While many people are aware of this history (until just recently), they don't know how it affected the lives of baby girls like me. I’m one of the lucky ones.
Adoption has had a great impact on how I want to start my own family. When I was adopted, I was shocked to find out that I was diagnosed with scoliosis, which made me even more curious about my medical history.
A fear of what I could unknowingly pass on to my children is the primary reason why I have decided to not want biological children.
Instead, I want to adopt. I want to help other children who are like me.
In the future, I see myself running a successful day home, with only my personal fears to hold me back, because today I am proud to be adopted and proud of the life I have made despite a rough beginning.