How I Found Comfort In My Identity As A Chinese Adoptee

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Growing Up A Chinese Adoptee

“My name is Gracie, and I am a proud Chinese adoptee! I love sharing my story and I always say, ‘Love does not define family,’ and I 100% believe that!

I was born in December (Sagitarrius) in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China which is in southeast China. I stayed in an orphanage for ten months until October 2000, when my parents came to China to get me!

Growing up, my parents were very open with me about my adoption. They would always mention how happy they were to get me.

I grew up not liking anything Chinese, which was sad, but thankfully, I was able to connect with a Korean adoptee who met her birth mother and sisters. She is like a mentor now! I later connected with some more Chinese adoptees and I grew proud to be a Chinese American.

Chinese adoptee takes a selfie in front of mountains with her adoptive parents
Courtesy of Gracie Howard

Cultural Awareness

Many adoptees’ stories are very different but alike! I was and still am very thankful for my parents. They have been so supportive of me and their unconditional love has helped me grow into who I am now!

I also realize I will (probably) never know my birth parents or anything about them, but I want them to know I will always love them and be grateful to them for giving me a chance for a better life they wanted me to have.

Chinese adoptee sits in hairdressing chair holding a plush stuffed animal
Courtesy of Gracie Howard

I believe being adopted has allowed me to take a look around the world and at many cultures. I was born into a culture that is completely different from the one in which I was raised. I respect everyone’s culture and I hope they would do the same.

I look at things from a different perspective with questions like, ‘What if I grew up in an all-Asian household? How would my life be different?’ I think due to the fact I was raised in a different culture, I find it interesting to learn about others and how they view the world.

Adoptee Acceptance

In my family, we would celebrate Adoption Day, which is like a second birthday for me. It’s almost like an anniversary, commemorating the day our family was complete.

We go out to eat and it’s a fun tradition we have, like celebrating your birthday. I usually get a card saying, ‘Happy Adoption Day! We love you!’ and a gift from my parents and extended family.

My experience of being adopted has been an emotional roller coaster. I have my days where I cry about being different from my family.

Then I’ll have days where I can just hang out with my family and not have a second thought about my adoption. I will always wonder where my birth family is, but in the end, I will always be thankful.”

Chinese adoptee takes a selfie with blue streaks in hair
Courtesy of Gracie Howard

This article was submitted to Love What Matters by Gracie Howard. You can follow her on Instagram. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.

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