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.