On October 20, 1999, I was born in Nanchang in the Jiangxi province in China. About a year later, I was adopted and brought to the United States of America. These are some questions that have crossed my mind since then.
1. I have another name, Guan Yue, but what does it mean?
Am I named after someone, does my name have some sort of meaning? Is there a special story behind it, or did a hospital nurse give me the name?
2. Am I even an American?
When I check those little boxes, you know, the ones on important forms, I always wonder if I am considered Asian-American, just Asian, or just American? Am I supposed to celebrate on Fourth of July aka the independence of a country different from my birth country? It certainly doesn’t help when people ask “Where are you from?”, aren’t quite satisfied with the answer, “New Jersey”, and push further.
3. What am I supposed to think about my birth country?
Recently, with Trump’s campaign and all of his remarks about *Trump voice* China, people make lots of jokes about my birth country. But, what position do I take on it? Do I hate China because it’s a Communist country or because it’s the country that gave me up? Do I love it because it’s where I was born? Do I learn about its culture because it’s my culture? Is it even my culture?
4. What do I do about adoption jokes?
Do I laugh at them? Do I make them? Do I just tell them to make sure that no one else does? Is this a way of protecting myself and my ego?
5. Why wasn’t I wanted?
What was so bad about small little baby me? Did I drool too much, snore too much, or cry too much? What could I have possibly done as a baby that made my birth parents not want me? Could they sense that I had some evil Chinese mumbo-jumbo surrounding me? Did they give me up because of the one-child-only law?
6. Why was I chosen?
Out of all of the children who are orphans in China, why was I chosen to be adopted? Why was I given the chance to live the “American Dream”?
7. Do I have another family?
Do I have aunts and uncles who would have called me on my birthdays, grandparents who would have spoiled me with gifts, and sisters or brothers I would have fought with, teased, grown up with, and loved?
8. What are my other parents like?
Are they even still alive? Were they sick and that’s why they put me up for adoption? Are they kind? Are they together? Do I look like them? Would they recognize me today?
9. How do I contact my birth parents?
Do I want to contact my birth parents? Do I want to know the answers to these questions, or would I rather make up my own story?
10. Should I feel bad calling my adopted parents my parents?
They didn’t birth me, but they raised me. How much of a right do they have to influence what I say and do?
However many of these questions may continue to be unanswered, I thank God every day that I was adopted. I don’t know what kind of life I would have had if I was left in China in an orphanage. All I know is that I live in America, and I am forever grateful for the decision that my birth parents made because it gave me so many more opportunities than I could have ever wished for in China.