Families Are Not Always By Blood

Families Are Not Always By Blood

Family: bound by love.

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During my sophomore year of high school, I started to form my close group of friends. Eventually, when we got pretty close, I invited them to sleep over one weekend. When my friends came and we finally got to the basement, one of my friends asked, "Wait, are you adopted." When people see my parents and me together, they can clearly see that I am adopted. Since I didn't know anything different, I never felt that it was necessary for me to directly state it because this was normal for me. However, this is a big part of my identity, so here it goes!

I was born on August 29, 2000, and I was adopted on October 29, 2002. My older sister, Samantha, was also adopted when she was 2 years old, but she is 8 years older than me. My parents decided they wanted another child, so they went through the adoption process again. The big news finally came and they took a 13-hour flight to Beijing, China and then later that same day, had another flight to Nanning, China, where I was at. I was supposed to be adopted on October 28, but something got messed up, so I was adopted around three in the morning on October 29, which also turned out to be my mom's birthday. It's pretty unique because we get to celebrate two holidays in one.

As I have been getting older, I have always wondered why I was put into an orphanage. One that pops up in my head is the law where families had to pay extra taxes to the government if they have more than one child. But there are also the more known reasons which are that the family can't afford a child financially, or the mom just left the newborn somewhere. I think it would be a lot of fun to go back to China to explore. Since I was only two, I don't know anything about the country and I would love to learn more about where I came from.

Growing up, I had many traditions and experiences relating to my culture and the traditions my family has done. My parents adopted me along with six other families, so there are seven girls total in the group. We have made an effort to keep in touch. On October 29, we have an anniversary called Gotcha Day and Family Day. All of the families try to meet up around that time to update each other on our lives and to hang out. Our families call us the Wu sisters since we were adopted together and that was the last name we had in the orphanage. Nora is one who I am very close with. We act as if we are sisters and tell each other everything. Growing up, we have done ballet, tap, Chinese dance and Chinese language together for about ten years. Even if we didn't like doing some of those activities, it was still a lot of fun because we did it together. My experience is very different from many other people coming to the United States. My first language was English and was raised American. I didn't really have a culture shock since I grew up with many American traditions and experiences.

I'm very thankful for being adopted and growing up in the United States. With adoptions, the parents are given a child by the orphanage and obviously, there is no choosing. From time to time, I get the thoughts of wondering what would happen if I wasn't adopted by my current parents. My life would be drastically different if I was still in China today. I'm so fortunate for all of the opportunities I have had. I wouldn't have these great experiences, being able to meet amazing people, and having the chance to go to Butler.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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When Your Cousins Are Actually More Like Your Siblings, You Better Count Your Blessings Twice

I have one biological brother, but 9 siblings total.

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I am lucky enough to have a gigantic Greek family. Don't take the word gigantic lightly. I have blood relatives in probably every area code, honestly. With this huge surplus of aunts, uncles, and cousins, I have been incredibly blessed with a handful of siblings that didn't actually come from the same parents as me.

I have 7 first cousins that I consider my siblings and always will. We share a bond that we don't always admit to (siblings disagree, ok?) but we wouldn't sacrifice our closeness for anything in this world. When I was younger, I never thought of it as just my brother and I. I always told everyone that I had 6 siblings, really, and that they were just older or didn't live at my house with me.

Of course, this was technically a lie, but I was eight and my most prized possessions were my pink crocs, so give me a break.

All of my childhood memories include them. Every Christmas, Easter, birthday party, beach vacation—you name it, we were together. We rode our bikes around our Yiayia's house until the sun went down, built dirt ramps in her front yard without ruining her begonias, ate orange creamsicle pops upstairs before dinner and everything in between. My childhood was nothing short of spectacular.

Fast forward to now, things are a little different. My aunt and uncle added two babies to the clan in the past five years, so I got to experience a whole new bond and a love that I didn't think was humanly possible. I transitioned from expert front-yard football player and resident tattle-tale to expert diaper changer and resident babysitter. But I wouldn't have it any other way.


My cousins are there for me no matter what. It could be 3 a.m., early on a Sunday morning, 2:00 in the afternoon and every single one of them would come running if I called. They are there for a rant about a strict professor, an opinion when I might know I'm wrong, but need someone else to admit it for me and absolutely everything else.

I couldn't have made it this far without them, and I won't be letting them go any time soon.

"So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." Romans 12:5

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