A question that I am frequently asked once my origin is revealed is whether or not I would like to go back to China. Now more than ever, I think about what this question really means to me. The person in the mirror never fails to remind me of who I am and where I came from.
Had you asked if I wanted to go back to China as a little kid, I would have said no. I had no reason to go back – no real connection to my homeland. To me it was just a place that conceived me, nothing else. My home was with my adopted mother and her family. Any real questions about my past that I was asked about was given a quick answer and never touched on again. My mother and grandmothers testimony satisfied me whenever I asked. At the time, the friends that I surrounded myself with encouraged me to not worry about my past. I believed at the time that God had a plan for me, and that everything was for a reason. Why would I dwell on the unchangeable past, if the future is what matters?
That way of thinking changed as I grew. As I slowly open my mind to those closed off questions, I realized I want to know. The world of adoption started to open up to me, and I discovered others like me. With other adoptees and their stories coming out of the wood work, I looked to my past and saw nothing. Rifling through some old files, I found some relevant documents about my adoption. With some persistence and help from my grandmother, I located my original adoption papers. I discovered the original location I was found at, what orphanage I came from, and much, much more.
Soon enough, I saw and read documentaries about other adoptees going back to the homeland. They talked about how the trip affected them as well as how they felt. One particular documentary even included an adoptee finding here biological parents! Watching and reading these stories encouraged me to look into my own past. Now I know what the next step is for me in my adoption journey. I want to go back to China. For the first time in my life, I want to go.
I just hope it is not too late to unveil my hidden pass and learn more about how I came into existence. Time is a dangerous enemy for any adopted individual that wants to learn about their past. With more time passing, records can be destroyed from fires or natural disasters. While renovation creates a better environment for orphanages, it also allows for documentation to be lost forever. I recently learned that my orphanage, Ma’Anshan, was moved to a new location and updated by 2013. The likely hood of me even seeing my original roots is changing.
Even if I do not see my original orphanage, I still want to see the homeland. Part of me hopes, if I dare to hope, that I get to meet the woman that cared for me in the orphanage. In one of the documents I uncovered, a caretakers name is revealed. Maybe one day, with a lot of luck, I can find this person and unveil some truth to my past.