Well, today marks the first day of another month-long focus on adoption known as National Adoption Awareness Month. Throughout the month of November, there will be images, articles, campaigns that promote adoption. On the other side, Adoption Awareness Month brings mixed, often conflicted feelings for adopted persons. Experiences and feelings related to adoption loss, rejection, separation and, in some cases, reunion are stirred.
As a growing artist, I plan to make art this month related to my own personal experiences of adoption. In the piece above, I wanted to convey the sense of invisibility that has defined much of my life versus the power of getting woke. In all of my experiences as an adoptee, the feeling of invisibility has been the most profound. Invisibility for me feels like powerlessness, unimportance, differentness and not mattering. Over the years since coming out of the fog, however, I’ve gained a much deeper sense of self-acceptance and empowerment by sharing my story and connecting to other adoptees who share similar experiences. The reunion with my birth family also largely contributed to this growing sense of acceptance. So invisibility versus speaking out about adoption and trusting that what I say and do matters is a constant struggle.
Coming out of the fog woke me to some important truths about myself – that my story does matter and that my voice can be used to empower adoptees. Staying woke is vital. I encourage you to tune into the voices of adopted persons. After all, we are the experts because we’ve lived it. Read a book or memoir written by an adoptee, listen to an adoptee-hosted podcast or read an adoptee-curated blog/website or an article written by an adoptee. Check out this link for a list of multiple adoptee-centric resources. I hope that you’ll take the time to explore adoptee stories and listen to adoptee voices.
You are blood. You are sisters. No man can break that bond.
In 2012, I reunited with my birth family in Taipei, Taiwan. I had been searching for them for nearly three years before making contact with my oldest sister via email. I had the help of a social worker who was also Taiwanese. Going back to Taiwan, the country of my birth, was one of the most profound and beautiful experiences I have ever had. To walk the streets of my home town was simply magical, and the ten days I spent with my sisters were extraordinary.
My sisters are older than me by ten and eleven years. I also have an older brother, a niece and a couple of nephews, and an Uncle, who is the patriarch of our family. Unfortunately, our parents had already passed away, so I did not have the opportunity to meet them. I continue to keep in touch with my sisters, brother, and niece via social media and hope to return to Taiwan next year.
The drawing above is of my sisters and I – my second sister is to the left and eldest sister to the right. I’ve been wanting to do a sketch of the three of us for awhile now, and after a visit with a dear friend of mine from Arizona, I was inspired to finally put it to canvas.
If you’d like to learn more about my reunion, you can actually read my memoir, Beyond Two Worlds: A Taiwanese-American Adoptee’s Memoir and Search for Identity. Contact me if you’d like an autographed copy, as I have a few soft covers still available.
To my sisters, you are an inspiration.
Quote above by Kim Boykin, A Peach of a Pair
Hey folks! Happy Saturday to you. I have been so inspired to create lately. I’d much rather be drawing and painting or taking some art classes than working. Alas, that is not possible at the moment. I’ve been wanting to make art related to adoption, but have been low on ideas. The piece above came mostly because I wanted to say something to other adoptees. Thus, the salutation, ‘Dear Adopted One,’ popped up, and I wanted to highlight just how important adoptee voices and stories are. In the adoptee community, many of us feel that our voices are the last to be heard – adoptive parents and adoption professionals have long held the mic. Adult adoptees are forcefully flipping the script, however, and changing the scene. We are the truest experts of our own experiences! Our community is vibrant and thriving. Visit Lost Daughters to learn more about this movement.
I worked on “Grand Symphony” over the week and had great difficulty with painting it and with the letter stamps. Grrrrr. Didn’t quite end up exactly how I had envisioned. Practicing patience…There are many, many other adoptees using the creative arts to flip the script. I’m just grateful to make a small contribution.
Ours is a sacred community of individuals who rise up, speak out, and overcome.
I love that social media allows people all over the world to connect. I remember the first time another adoptee reached out to me in 2011. She was adopted from the same orphanage. It was profound. Social media has allowed me to connect to many adoptees in the U.S. and abroad. I see photos and posts daily that clearly communicate the trauma, loss, woundedness, confusion, and rejection felt by so many of us. And yet ours is a sacred community of individuals who rise up, speak out, and overcome.
My beautiful biological sisters have always said to me how happy they are that I was adopted and experienced a better life, and out of love and respect for them, I don’t post things that I feel may be upsetting to them. They are genuinely compassionate, kind, and forgiving. This morning, I felt inspired to create something adoptee-related. The piece above is part of an angels series I’m creating. To my fellow adoptees, may you know that you are truly precious. And, may you know that your angels are always singing love over you.