happy new year

As we close 2011, I am ecstatic that the search for my birth family has finally ended in actually finding them. It was in November, 2009 that I first began focusing on finding them. I had gone to see journalist, Mei-Ling Hopgood, author of “Lucky Girl” on November 1, 2009 where she was giving a book signing at the Phoenix Public Library. She was also adopted from Taiwan by a Caucasian-American couple and reunited with her biological family at the age of 23. Her book inspired me to forge ahead with my own search and gave me hope that perhaps it was possible to find my birth family. I was referred to Tien around that time as well by an adoptive mother from FCC (Families of Children from China), and from there the rest is history. I have saved nearly all of my correspondences with Tien and other people who were referred to me over the past couple of years in hopes that one day, I could put it all together into some kind of timeline.

The best part of 2011 is now being able to correspond with my oldest sister. I received the first email from her this past Wednesday morning before work. I was overjoyed to hear from her and overflowing with tears of joy. My sister’s English is very good, much better than my Mandarin at the moment. She told me a little about my older brother and other older sister and that they each have grown children. She also said that when they were little, they were good at painting and music. We all share some artistic abilities! We continued to email each other up through Friday. With each email I learned a little more of my biological parents and the circumstances surrounding my adoption. I treasure learning of how it all began and of my birth family. My sister tells me that I resemble our mother and that our father was quite handsome. I’ve always wondered if I look like any of my sisters or birth parents. I so look forward to meeting all of them soon.

I’m happy that this evening, we are joining some friends to celebrate New Year’s. Our friends adopted a little girl at 15 months from China nearly 3 years ago. They were at our home on Christmas Eve and were some of the first people to hear the news that Tien had made contact with my oldest sister. All of this seems surreal, and yet I know that I’ll be in Taiwan soon. It’s been difficult to concentrate at work because I’m preoccupied with all the emotions of at long last finding my biological siblings. I’m on cloud 9.

My Mandarin tutor taught me a new word today: you yuan. It means “have fate.” Women you yuan. My sisters and brother and I are fortunate to have good fate, the kind that brings people together. I feel so lucky to celebrate New Year’s here with good friends and onward to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family in Taiwan.

17 thoughts on “happy new year

  1. Marilyn Hodgin

    Marijane,
    Happy New Year, for sure!! How exciting that you will be visiting Taiwan. This is my third year here in Taiwan as an English teacher with the MOE, and really love the people in Taiwan. The first year I was in Yilan County, teaching in Nanao at the junior/senior high school there. While there, I spent many weekends at an orphanage, The Home of God’s Love, helping to take care of those precious babies.
    What a journey you have been on! I’m so excited for you – to be able to be here for Chinese New Year! Blessings to you as you meet your family.

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Marilyn, thank you for stopping by and for your well wishes! Wow, how awesome that you live and teach in Taiwan. I have thought about visiting an orphanage while in Taipei and am thinking more about it now. Happy New Year to you!

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  2. JC

    Taiwanese-American here… just stop by and read about your journey; so now you are one of us eh? Well I will tell you that Taiwan is one of the nicest places in the world; everyone is going to be polite and helpful, and this is well known even among other Asian nations, as mainland Chinese often come to Taiwan and admire the modern gentle Chinese culture in Taiwan. You will really enjoy being from Taiwan, trust me.

    As for the term you learned, you yuan (有緣), the term came from Buddhism, where the term 緣分 means “karmic relationship”. If you have a special, karmic-based relationship with someone, you two will meet eventually despite all adds, and when it happens you can say that you two 有緣, or literally “having karmic relations”. In Taiwan people are most or less Buddhist in cultural outlook and so everyone believe in 緣分, so when two people become good friend out of the blue, people will celebrate it by saying that the two of you must be 有緣。 Hope this make it more clear to ya…

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Hi JC, thanks for visiting and for your explanation of you yuan. I like the idea of having a karmic-based relationship with someone. Also, I’ve heard how polite and helpful the people of Taiwan are from some of my Taiwanese friends. I’m very much looking forward to the trip there and absorbing as much as I can in 2 short weeks.

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  3. Suzy

    Hi Marijane,

    I just read the last few entries (first stopped by in November), and I am sitting here in tears with the great news of connecting with your sister! I am so happy for you, and so happy that this journey is happening. I had to go grab Kleenex after reading about the letters, and then the posts about your parents and dad were so touching. I don’t doubt you have a hard time concentrating at work, emotions and excitement are at their peak. I can understand the feeling while we were waiting for our referral of our daughter and for the court process to complete (Taiwan 2009), I was a wreck to say the least. I am also so happy that Tien has been such a great help, she is a wealth of knowledge. As I said before, we worked with her for our first adoption, and are working together for our 2nd adoption from Taiwan, she’s great. I just wanted to say how happy we are for you, and that I am sure you parents would be so happy and proud of you right now – I know I would be of our daughter.

    Suzy

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Suzy, thank you for your kind words. I can only imagine how exciting and nerve wracking it must be to anticipate the adoption of a child and all the finalization processes that must take place! Now that we’ve found my sisters and brother, I can hardly wait to go to Taiwan and meet them, as well as see and experience Taiwan. I never dreamed that this was in my future, but am so very grateful. Thank you for reading my blog!

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  4. Linda

    MaryJane,

    I am so happy for you. I am so blessed to have you as one of my dearest friends. You are incredible. I am here for you. I love you so much.

    Linda

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Yes, meeting Mei-Ling was very cool. She was so nice, and I even emailed her later asking her for sister Maureen’s contact info, the nun who helped arrange her adoption, in hopes that she might connect me with the right resources to begin my search. Maureen gave me some information, but soon afterwards, I connected with Tien. I knew I wanted to search for my birth family about the time I met her at the book signing, and after reading the book, I was more certain that it was what I needed to do. I think now, her book has even more meaning to me.

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  5. Heather Biddell

    Hello Marijane,
    I live in Vancouver and stumbled upon your blog. I was so thrilled to read your Christmas post that you have located your sister. My husband and I adopted two sisters from Taiwan almost 3 years ago. Luckily we have information about their birth family and know they have older siblings in Taiwan. When they are old enough we will certainly help them seek out the answers to their questions, if they wish. I look forward to reading about your travels to Taiwan and your journey to know your family and sincerely wish you all the best. Heather

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Heather, I’m inspired by the many families I’ve been able to connect with who have adopted children from Taiwan. I hope that your daughter are doing well and thriving, as I’m sure they are. Thank you for stopping by and for your well wishes!

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  6. anewmoon123

    Marijane, this is just the absolute best New Year for all of us who watched and read as you began your search for your birth family. While we may not be with you physically on your vogage to Taiwan but we will most assuredly be with you in spirit. Thrilled for you to me jie jie and the rest of your family. So eager to read your post from Taiwan. Go with God, MJ, shalom.

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