Tag Archives: birthfamily

Book Release Date

CoverBeyond Two Worlds: A Taiwanese-American Adoptee’s Memoir & Search for Identity is now live! If you have not yet purchased your copy, don’t delay. Signed copies can be purchased right here on my website.  Just click on Shop to order. Ebook and hardcover editions are also available via AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Indiebound.org. Unfortunately, I am unable to ship internationally; however, those copies can be ordered through Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. To learn more about the book and to read an excerpt, click here. Thank you for supporting Beyond Two Worlds!

 

artistic genes

Monkey FamilyWhen I reunited with my sisters and family in Taiwan, I was so curious about our family history, about what led up to my adoption, and of course, about my country of origin. I had so many questions about our parents and family, but I wanted to be sensitive to my sisters and not press them to reveal things unless they wanted to. It was such a joyous event just to be with them and to meet my extended biological family, to share a sisterly connection despite a language and cultural barrier. I continue to learn about my cultural heritage, although sadly, there isn’t much Chinese or Taiwanese culture in Arizona.

Pic 2I often wondered prior to reuniting with my birthfamily if we shared any similar characteristics, physical features, but also areas of interest or special talents. I grew up playing the piano and studied piano performance in undergrad. I love classical music, learning, academia, drawing, writing, singing, drama/theatre – really, anything related to the arts. I learned from my sisters that our mother also enjoyed classical music and had a love of learning. When I was a young girl, I drew a lot and kept a sketchbook. Who knows whatever happened to that sketchbook – it probably ended up in the trash at some point. In any case, I posted some of my artwork on Facebook recently, and my oldest sister messaged me saying that she also loved to draw. She sent me several recent drawings and gave me permission to share some of them here. I’m so impressed with her artwork, but even more, that we share a common interest and passion. One of my favorites is a drawing my sister made of three little monkeys – of course, my sisters and I! 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, the ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle, so the drawing is especially meaningful. My sister also told me that our brother is very artistic and a gifted photographer. Our father was a skillful calligrapher. So, I’m inclined to say that art is in our genes.

Mine 1

I’m so happy that social media allows me to stay connected to my family in Taiwan in a way that would have been impossible years ago. I hope to travel to Taiwan again in the near future. I had hoped to return years ago, but things seem to come up that prevent me from traveling back. It’s been 4 years since our reunification.

Pic 1

I’ve posted some of my eldest sister’s drawings here, as well as one of my own. I wish that I had more time to improve my drawing skills. It seems that at this stage in my life, I’m getting further and further away from the things I most enjoy artistically. Sad, but true. I’d like to find meaningful work that allows me to use my artistic talents to a greater capacity, as well as my experiences as an internationally adopted person. I haven’t quite found my niche yet, but there is always hope.

a thousand years

It’s been just over a year since I reunited with my birthfamily in Taipei, Taiwan. Distance, of course, puts us at a huge disadvantage for seeing each other more often. I think of them often, though, especially my two sisters who I spent most of my time with in Taiwan. In those brief ten days, we got to know each other and tried to fit into a week what we had missed in half a lifetime. They took me under their wings and introduced me to a culture that I never knew. I keep in touch with my eldest sister via email. However, I learned late last year that she had become ill and required surgery. She didn’t tell me at first because she didn’t want me to worry. Furthermore, there were complications following surgery. My other sister took care of her during and after the surgery. My eldest sister and I continue to keep in touch as much as she is able to, but reading and using the computer are difficult for her now. I pray for her complete recovery and also for the rest of my family in Taiwan. In dedication to my two lovely sisters and family in Taiwan, I share this song by Christina Perri, “A Thousand Years.” The lyrics remind me of how significant our reunion was in my life and that we found each other so late in our lives. You will see the lyrics posted in a unique way throughout the video. Sending love and hugs out to my two sisters through this song ♥

the letter that brought us together

I have been crazy busy this week preparing for the holidays and to host a Christmas party for a bunch of teens. Before I started baking though, I realized that this day exactly one year ago is the date I sent a letter to Taiwan– the letter that brought my birthfamily and I together.

By the time Tien (the social worker who helped me find my birthfamily) thought to write the letter to the Registration Office of Taipei, we already knew that I had two older sisters and one older brother. I was also working with an agency in Taiwan at the same time who found the addresses and names of my sisters but were unwilling to reveal them to me until they had received permission from my sisters. With continued delays, Tien decided to pen a letter in Mandarin to the Registration Office as if I had written it pleading for assistance in locating my sisters. We were so close to finding them, yet it seemed nearly impossible to move forward. I remember feeling frustrated over our inability to access the information we needed. The day I sent the letter, my co-worker, Jewel, and I drove to the Phoenix post office from the hospital where we worked. It was a cold, rainy afternoon, and I was worried that we wouldn’t have time to mail my packet if there was a long line. Sure enough, there was a line creeping along from the entrance to the counter. Jewel, however, spotted a self-mail kiosk with no line at all. I hopped over and, after printing and attaching a mailing label, sent the letter on its way to Taiwan.

It’s hard to believe that nearly a whole year has gone by since mailing that letter. I couldn’t wait to hear news from Tien about a response from Taiwan. Each day that passed, I waited in anticipation. Two weeks later on Christmas eve, I got my response from Tien! It truly feels like just yesterday I arrived in Taipei and met my biological sisters and family for the first time since my birth.

IMG_0324

A couple of days ago, I was sifting through some of my adoption papers, and I looked more closely at a document that’s almost blackened beyond readability, perhaps from sun damage. I had forgotten that I was relinquished for adoption at the age of one month and nine days. It suddenly struck me how brief a period I had with my birth mother. My adoption became legal on December 16, 1966, 45 years ago.

2012 has been a year full of introspection, reflection, and wonder. Not only did I reunite with my birthfamily, but for the first time, I understand some of the reasons why I am the way that I am. After all these years, I feel comfortable in my own skin. I thank God for bringing my birthfamily and I together and at the perfect time. There were plenty of times when I lost faith that we’d ever find them. My eldest sister and I still keep in touch regularly, and she passes along my hellos to the rest of the family. In the Fall of 2014, my husband, daughter, and I will make a trip together back to Taiwan. I imagine it will be another exciting celebration of family and reunion.