If you have ever seen a picture of me alongside my family, you might wonder… hmm why is she Asian and the rest aren’t?? [If you did not notice the difference, you are not the only one. My dad has been mistaken as an Asian, don’t worry.]
The story behind it all begins when I was only 7 and a half months old. That was when I was adopted from China. I don’t know any details about how I ended up in an orphanage but I do know that in ’96, there were many other girls my age in the same position. China assigned a law stating that families were only allowed to have one child, which resulted in many abortions or child abandonments.
My parents, Lisa and Jean, already had 2 other daughters, Maggie age 4 and Elayna, age 6. One night on CBC they watched a documentary about children in China who lived in orphanages and they were instantly moved. They also heard news about a couple in Newmarket who had just returned from China after adopting a baby. This is when they knew that God was calling our family to take this step.
My dad flew to China by himself to pick up the child the adoption agency had set my family up with – except the only thing was that I was not that child.
Whoa plot twist!?
My parents had been assigned another baby girl named Fanny. When my dad arrived in China he was informed that Fanny had many medical problems. Due to these problems, my dad was not allowed to bring Fanny back to Canada. He ended up staying 2 more weeks in China with Fanny. I’m not 100% sure of the entire process, but I do know that Fanny ended up being adopted by another Canadian couple and that’s where I come into the picture. Some people joke, saying I am the ‘back up child’, which technically I am, but my family sees it as saving 2 babies in this process instead of 1.
Above is the first photo of my family together at Pearson Airport.
Growing up, my parents instilled the importance of diving into my heritage. They always ensured I knew my story and constantly read me books about adoption. They took me to Chinese festivals and we visited China town often. They never wanted me to just assimilate into this Canadian culture without having any knowledge of my Chinese heritage and for that, I am grateful.
My mom would always tell me that “I may not be born of her tummy, but I was born in her heart.” Cheesy I know, but it resonates deeply in our hearts.
When people find out I’m adopted they always ask me if I know my ‘real parents.’ The term ‘real’ is quite relative. My mom always gets hurt when people ask this question because she see’s herself as my real mom, which she is. As for my biological mother, yes I wouldn’t mind meeting her. I do have questions, but this isn’t a pressing matter for me to pursue. I don’t have any expectations of meeting my biological parents but I do wonder sometimes what they look like, what their personalities are and if I have a biological brother or sister… or even a TWIN!?
I am ever so grateful to be given this life in Canada. I can obviously state that it has been life-changing, but it’s also been a huge blessing. My mom told me not too long ago that the orphanage I was adopted from suffered from a severe flood which led to the deaths of many babies. I can’t even begin to imagine what my life could have been because this life I’ve been provided with has been surreal.