October 20, 2018

Lost the Key

Since the beginning, I have been overwhelmed with love. Even as a toddler, Mickey and Minnie were our first “real” couple. Eventually, it changed to Ariel and Eric, and then Rapunzel and Eugene, my favorite! We also fondly remember these famous couples: Cory and Topanga, Jesse and Becky, and Prince Harry and Meghan. Our culture is in love with “being in love”. So, naturally, these feelings have started to take root in younger kids. And while love is a worldwide phenomenon that knits families, friends, and people together, it is also demonstrated through our society to have a partner in life.

Recently, I’ve been questioning myself. I’m thirteen and have never had a crush. Actually, this is not 100% accurate because I have to admit that I’ve had crushes on fictional characters, but never a real live human being. Yep, weird, I know. Let’s continue. I thought something was wrong with me; after all, I am “the one” at the sleepover who talks about the guy in the book that she had just read.

Why do I do this? I blame it on being abandoned multiple times in China, reading too many romances, and watching television. In all these plots, it usually consists of falling madly in love (usually not admitting it), betrayal or something taken the wrong way, breaking up, crying in bed for a day, and then getting back together. You see, as an author, I can create a enticing story plot, but unfortunately, this is also one of my weaknesses. I create stories in my head of possible life circumstances and end up making them end terribly. This is similar to daydreaming about my birth parents, except these mini stories could be Hollywood blockbusters but not with a happy Disney ending.

A lot of this is psychological. If I never like a guy, I can never get hurt. If the guy never likes me back, I won’t be upset because I will never let myself dwell on him.

Summing up, I’ve basically locked up all my feelings for guys in a little box and lost the key.

It’s not just my overly creative mind; it’s a coping mechanism. If I can make myself afraid of attaching to someone, then, I can’t be hurt by that person. When you create these stories, they start to haunt you in life and affect your decisions, actions, and thoughts. Being scared of love creates walls harder to tear down, which leads to less people hurting you. I lost a lot of people during my early years, and because of that, I’m trying to protect myself from losing people in the future.

Honestly, I’m not sure where this understanding will lead me. I might not have feelings for a guy until I’m seventeen, or it might be in five months, I really don’t know. I just know that in time these puzzle pieces of my life will fall into place, just like God planned.

September 6, 2018

In My Head

I love to daydream. In fact, most of my spare time is either writing or daydreaming, or both. I even daydream about what I'm writing! Another thing I find myself dreaming about is my birth family. What they must look like, how they act, their favorite things, and when I'm going to meet them.

Sometimes, I feel guilty about this. It's why I've never shared it with people. I love my family, and I would do anything for them. But, I want to love my birth family, too. I don't know anything about them, so I make up the facts. Some of them are reasonable: they must look Chinese, mainly because I am Chinese, and they must have somewhat thick hair because my mop of hair frustrates me to no end! Here are some other “random” facts from my imagination: my birth-dad would be nifty and good at fixing things, and my birth-mom would like to knit.

Have you ever done this? Even if you know your birth family and what they are like, have you ever pictured them differently? I believe we do this to fill in the facts that we don’t know. I sit and just try to picture them in my life. Usually, my logic comes in and scorns me, giving me reasons of why it will never happen. Or it will point out that everyone has bad qualities, and I have to include some in my “way” too perfect family.

At the end of my daydreaming, I'm more confused than ever before. I want to have answers, yet I'm scared to get the answers because they might not be what I wanted or pictured. I sometimes stop myself in the middle of my daydreaming because I know at the end, reality comes back to taunt me. And, in real life, I don't know anything about my birth family except that they existed.

I have created scenarios in my head in order to “cope” with the loss that I feel inside. I do dream about meeting them, and when they look at me for the very first time, they break into the biggest smile.  However, in other scenarios, when I meet them, they do not like my family, and think I am "too American." That's when I try to block out my imagination. But when I do that, my logic comes back in and tells me that they might not even be alive. And then, I want to go back to daydreaming again. At least, these stories can be made up and have happy endings!

It's like a war in my head when it comes to my birth family. I want to love them, but then, I don't because they might not like me. I want to daydream about them, yet reality likes to spoil my dreams. Ever felt this way? If you do, you’re not alone. Honestly, I cannot tell you how to deal with this, but I would say it’s normal for us to make up facts because we don’t have the answers. I hoped this helped you! Please feel free to comment below. God bless!

August 30, 2018

Comments to Avoid

There are certain things we all dislike hearing. Some comments we take to heart, some are easily dismissed, but others can just be perplexing. As an adoptee, I find these specific comments can be insensitive. Anyway, these comments can cause me to feel confused.

I wish I could be adopted.
Yeah, it could appear that adoptees have more of an exciting past than people who haven’t been adopted, but I find myself at a loss for words when someone says this. A school friend made this remark to me one time, and I couldn’t figure out why they would want to be adopted.  Maybe it’s because I never said anything regarding my pain, but my lack of answers from my past still mystified me. I didn’t think anyone would choose to have a traumatic past filled with such questions?

Technically, we are all adopted in Christ.
This is a true statement, and I won’t deny that.  But there’s something about this comment that makes me feel like my hurt is disregarded.

Why are you so curious about your past? Aren’t you thankful for what you have?
Let me tell you something: just because you want answers, does not mean you’re not thankful. Anyone who tells you this is wrong. Being curious and wanting answers is just you trying to find the answers that most people have as common knowledge.
What is it like to be adopted?
Being adopted sometimes feels like you’re being stereotyped. Everyone seems to think that you can’t handle certain things, you have a low self-esteem, or that you are “special.” We are special, but not in the way people seem to think.

What happened?
I dislike hearing this - mainly because I’m not just going to tell any random person something as personal as my past. Yes, I know this is being vulnerable, but there is a certain point where you can choose to protect your privacy.

You were too young to remember anything anyway.
Nobody is too young to remember something as scarring as losing a family. You just can’t. Trauma affects anyone no matter how young - and that can affect you decades after it happened. I might not remember any specifics, but I remember the feelings.

It could’ve been worse.

Very true. Things could always be worse, but please, don’t say this to anyone. This statement can make people feel like their pain isn’t valid, and someone else’s pain is more important. Each person’s pain is different and needs to be addressed individually.

They gave you up, so it wasn’t love.
Sometimes, the greatest act of love is giving someone up. It isn’t always this way, but there are reasons why parents have to leave their children. And people seem to forget that in this process, a parent’s heart can break, too.

We all unintentionally say remarks before realizing the impact that these words can have. I don’t want you to be afraid that everything you say to an adoptee will be hurtful, but comments, such as these, should be avoided. I would love to hear from you! God bless!

August 7, 2018

Dear Mom,

Most people assume that I’m going to be an author when I grow up. While I do love to write, it’s not something I necessarily want to do for a living. It’s not just a hobby, it’s the way I cope. I process through writing, it’s my escape, and it keeps me sane.

This is why I’m going to try something new. I’m going to start writing letters to my birth mother. I got the idea from a devotional I read two years ago. I was skimming through it again, and the author had written how she writes letters to her future husband (Just Us Girls). Through this idea, I was inspired to write to my birth mom. Writing a letter to someone you don’t even know might sound strange, but I haven’t met my future husband yet, and I could still write to him if I want to!

On Mother’s Day, I had made a card for my mom, but I felt bad that I wasn’t making one for my birth mom.

So, I made her a card. It just said that I was thinking of her, and I didn’t blame her for what she did. I had a sense of peace, and I felt like she knew about it, even if the card still sits there in my Bible.

So how do you go about writing a letter like this? Well, it’s just like writing a normal letter, but you will never mail it.

  • Grab a piece of paper and your favorite pen or your laptop. 
  • Address the letter to your birth mom, dad, or both, and write down the date.
  • Write! Tell them what’s going on or what made your day amazing. 

At first, it will sound cheesy, and you will probably want to rip it up. But please don’t! Eventually, your letters will sound less awkward and more natural. It just takes time and practice. After you are done, keep them in one place, and if you ever meet your birth parents, then you can give them all the letters if you choose to.

I’m going to do this, and maybe you can join me? I think it takes time to talk to someone you don’t even know; it may even feel uncomfortable. I am convinced that going through this process, though, does make me feel better, and I hope this will help you, too. Please feel free to tell us about your letters or ideas in the comments below. God bless!

July 26, 2018

Forgotten Fears

What are your fears? Everyone has fears, but adoptees have fears that are connected to the past. They try not to address those fears, and many times run from them. This avoidance is a coping mechanism. But, there are always places or things that set off warnings in their heads, even if they have no idea why.  

Once they know their fear, they try to avoid it at all costs.  Because, when they face the fear, they feel weak. This perfectly ties into being vulnerable because you need to tell someone your fears--if you ever want to be able to overcome them.

Do you avoid talking about your fears?

I used to have a phobia of ovens because I got a second-degree burn in China when I was six weeks old. But, I so badly wanted to face my fear because I wanted to be able to cook. It took time, but I watched my parents pull trays out of the oven, and one day, I was brave enough to put the tray into the oven on my own. Of course, one of my parents took it out, but as time went on, I was able to take out my own cookies. Now, I cook regularly and often use the oven. This may seem like an insignificant accomplishment, but to me, I had defeated the monster: the fear of getting burnt.

I still have other fears I’m working through, like my fear of hospitals, nursing homes, and snakes. Slowly, I’ve begun to tell others about how much I despise being in the hospital, and so, maybe someday, I’ll be able to tell you about overcoming those fears.

Your homework is to look at your own fears and consider if any of them could be a trigger, a “clue” to something you experienced from the past. It could be an emotion, an object, or even a place that makes you uncomfortable. Or it could just be simply the fear of never measuring up to another’s expectations. Next, go to someone you trust and begin to work through it. Please feel free to share your fears here, and we can process together. God bless!

P.S. If you click on the photo, you will see a picture of my scar. This is me when I was adopted. (I was 3 in the photo.)

July 18, 2018


The thought of being vulnerable scares me. Whenever I feel vulnerable, I feel exposed. In fact, writing this blog is a new step. I'm being vulnerable on here, sharing feelings that I'm scared to tell anyone. Being vulnerable is a fear of mine because I know that standing defenseless gives people a chance to reject me, make fun of me, or even judge me. So, I try to not be vulnerable.

But I realized that healing comes through being vulnerable. It occurred to me that I was hurting myself more by hiding my feelings. The people who wear "their heart on their sleeve" are the bravest, most loving, and honest people out there. Yet, we do not want to do this: avoidance is easier. 

Being brave could mean getting hurt by the people you love; being honest with people is like standing on a battlefield--unarmed.

Still, I admire people who find it easy to be this vulnerable. They know they could be rejected or scoffed at, but they still do it.

"They haven't gone through what I have," you might say. No, they haven't. People will probably never fully understand the pain you've experienced, but they've been through other pain, their pain.

Just think: they're probably just as scared of being vulnerable as you.  But if you never let yourself be vulnerable, you will never grow.

Let's define being vulnerable. It does not mean that you are not expected to be a social butterfly and become friends with every person you meet or be expected to be someone you're not.

Vulnerability is
  • Expressing the emotions you always try to hide. 
  • Letting people know that you have fears. 
  • "Being you" even if you know others might leave you
And  . . . it's . . . hard . . .

It has taken me over a week to come up with an example of when I was vulnerable, but yesterday, when I was riding in the car with my mom and little sister, we started to talk about how we felt about our big brother Jake leaving for college. My mom started to cry because, well, Jake is such a crucial part of our family: each of us have a close relationship with him.  Inside, I had been afraid of how much I should contact him while he's in college. I thought he would think of me as clingy. You see, when I was in sixth grade, a close friend decided I was clingy and then, she dismissed our relationship, after being friends for over two yearsBecause of this, the fear of being clingy with others now scared me, even though I now understand why I have a tendency to do this with people I'm close to. When I finally got the words out to my mom and sister, I cried, which I hate to do because it makes me feel even more vulnerable. However, by telling my mom how I felt, it set me free, and I felt like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. 

So, I challenge you to be vulnerable around the people you love. Eventually, it will get easier, but in the long run, it will be worth it. I'm going to be praying for you who read this that you are given the courage to be vulnerable with others. Please feel free to comment about what happens! God bless you! 

July 2, 2018


Picture this: You're sitting with all of your friends at lunch. All of you are talking, and someone mentions birthdays.

"I was born at 11:46 at night." 

"I was born the same day as my cousin, but I'm six hours older than her."

These are just some examples of things people talk about. I just made these up, but I have experienced this first hand. When I went to school, I was sitting in art class, and someone asked me what time I was born. Most people seemed to know I was adopted, yet they still asked me this question. In the moment, it had irritated me, but as I look back, I realized they didn't even know the impact that this question had.

So, how do you answer? It depends on how open you want to be. It's okay to say, "That is personal, and I would rather not say." But, I do know for a fact that it's embarrassing to say to someone, "Well, you know, I have no idea when I was born, or who my mom is." That would be humiliating.

You may also notice that even when you tell people, they don't understand your feelings; they have never experienced the pain you have been through. 

Even if you're completely honest, it can be upsetting and embarrassing.  I've even been jealous of people who know their exact birthdays and times. Sometimes, you feel like the people around you don't realize how blessed they are to know these little facts.  While some of you may know your birthparents and the time you were born, you still may feel an unfilled void because your birth family is part of who you are, and you have no connection with them.

Birthdays are meant to celebrate you. Every person deserves to have a day honoring them. But these days can make us feel empty, even if we think we shouldn't. We have people around us that care and love us. My emptiness may be different from yours, but mine is because on my birthday, I wish for the parents that I never got to know. And I realize that no matter how much I love my family, the longing to know my biological family is still there. Birthdays can make this longing stronger because your birth parents were the people that gave you life.

Just like you want the people you are close with to be there on your birthday, you also want the people that gave you life to be there, too. It's a natural feeling, and all adoptees must feel or struggle with this at some point.

Your special day can also make you feel like a misfit to your family and friends, no matter how much you love them. And part of you doesn't want to tell anyone because it makes you seem unthankful, but you're not. You instinctively know that your adoptive family can't answer your questions or ease the pain of not being with your birth family.

I felt compelled to write this because as I get older, I feel like more questions seem to arise, and I don't have the answers. And, as I think about turning the big age of thirteen, my heart wishes that my birth family would be able to celebrate the day with me. If you've ever felt this way, I encourage you to tell us in the comments! Have a good day and God bless!

July 1, 2018

The Tangle of Knots

Being adopted is like having a tangle of knots. Little by little, these knots will start to unravel, but certain knots seem impossible to untangle. In fact, it seems like as you are trying to fix the old ones, you end up creating new knots! At times, you may even want to give up! While untangling a ball of knots may seem unimportant or time-consuming, it is the lessons we learn while unraveling these knots that are important. Through these journeys, we learn how to avoid making more knots while gaining patience and perseverance.
Adoption can teach you many lessons. While your "knots" may never all be unraveled, it is the journey that makes us a better person. Everyone has a ball of knots to untangle in their own lives, but some of our knots, as adoptees, are because of the past, pain, and trauma we have endured. Knots are not something to be scared of or dread.  Instead, we need to face these challenges head-on because, in the end, you will learn more about the way you think and process your feelings.

What are these knots? 
  • Not knowing our biological parents, or wishing we would never see them again
  • Wrestling with the loss and abandonment or struggling with the fear of being taken away
  • There are certain things we hate, and others that we love, but we have no idea why
  • Some people are scared of getting hurt more, while others second guess their self-worth. 
  • We have a hard time trusting and are afraid of being vulnerable to anyone. 
If any of these examples are what you are struggling with, you're not alone! Each tangle is unique and has to be untangled carefully, or more knots may be created, but the process is a time of growth and maturing emotionally. Some knots are never meant to be completely untangled, while others are easier to undo.  You just have to trust the process and take it one "knot" at a time.

Really, these knots are a blessing in disguise, and you may not see that yet. Unfortunately, you can't just wish these knots away, because they are a part of who you are; they are part of "your story". Sometimes, the pains seem unbearable, and that is why we push them away. It hurts too much to face the pain that they bring, but without pain, you can never get healing.

I'm still working through my own pains. Are you wrestling with pain, too?  If so, you're not alone! Everyone who is adopted feels pain from their past, all differently.

My goal in the next few posts is to share my knots that I am struggling with and hope that you will be able to share your stories, your pain, and your growth with all of us.  Let's do this journey together!

In the comments, please share how you feel about this post and what knots you are untangling right now. Don't feel embarrassed to share, there will be no judgment.  I pray that God will bless you today as you embark on the challenge of untangling your knots with me.

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