DEAR WONDERFUL YOU,
Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth
Interview with Contributor:
How did you become involved with contributing to Dear Wonderful You: Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth?
I came across the “Dear Wonderful You” project through one of the groups in which I was involved in. I don’t remember which particular group, but upon reading a small introduction about “Dear Wonderful You”, I knew I wanted to take a shot at sharing my written work.
Tell us about a memorable letter you have received. How did the letter impact your life?
The most memorable letter I received would have to be an email. It was written by the last person I saw in China before I was adopted into the USA. Given our circumstances— I never expected this person would come back into my life again.
For much of my life, this person was highly talked about including— the good things they did for my parents, and the impact they had on my life before I was adopted.
This person knew me for a short time when I was a young toddler. I clung to this person as if they were my parent.
Skip ahead about 18 years or so later.
I was met with the most surprising and wonderful news.
In 2o11, I was studying Mandarin Chinese at a University in China. As time wore on, I realized how much I struggled with my courses. The culture shock added to the stress I felt being back in the place I considered home.
I was in Kunming, the city I was adopted from; Nevertheless, the sad news came to me that I failed my Chinese course and failed it terribly. That day was one of the saddest days I experienced. I felt not only had I let myself down, I let whomever expected and wished for my success with my “mothertone”. I quote this, because, as a toddler, I spoke a different dialect from the dialect I was being taught at the time. The next few days, I tried to recuperate from this news, and spent time with friends.
I’d like to back up a bit, and say that when I entered this Study Abroad program, I was met by many Chinese teachers, some who taught my friends.
One of the teachers I soon got to know quite well. Every time I walked past her in the hall, I noticed that her smile which always caught my eye. Mind you, having walked all over China’s cities, many people don’t openly express themselves.
I was really happy see her smile every time I walked past her. I recall telling my friends that her smile must mean something, and they brushed it off, saying she was just being nice. I made attempts to connect with her by saying “Hi” a few times, however my Chinese being limited, that’s all it would come to. A couple of my friends had her, in the class below, so that’s how I slowly became acquainted with her.
Back to the moment, of failing that Chinese course... when the smiling teacher arrived center into the picture.
My head professor told me I was to be her student. I was scared, but also curious to know how class would go.
General introductions were made. We chatted after class. With my slow, but improving Chinese, she was able to understand me. I was able to understand her too, however sometimes I still struggled. Her patience carried through our conversations, which made for the beginning of a friendship.
She asked about my life, why I was adopted, etc. I explained to her my story. She then spoke of a friend of hers who worked for the government. My ears perked a little. We somehow got to talking about my adoption papers and records that were in Chinese. I wanted to know if there was something I was missing.
I don’t remember in what order this occurred. However when her friend’s name was mentioned... I thought it was too good to be true. Could it be the man who I last saw in China as a child?
When the truth was revealed, her best friend was indeed the man who I last saw before I was adopted. I was floored, and overjoyed. We exchanged photos, just to compare, and sure enough he was wearing the same jean jacket and glasses. What a moment that was.
She gave me his email and I wrote him. I waited patiently for his reply, and sure enough he did write back. He told me he remembered me, and how great it was to connect with me.
I was certainly impacted in a positive way. My biggest dream is to connect with him in the near future. We've been connecting off and on. However, I hope one day we will meet in person. I can only hope….
When you reflect on who you were as a child—what three words would you use to describe your younger self?
Energetic. Chatty. Friendly.
Pick one: pencil, pen, sharpie, crayon—
If you were having a really bad day, what song would you listen to?
Oh boy?! Too many to list. I’d say, “Send Me on My Way” by Rusted Root.
If you were having an amazing day, what song would you listen to?
Again, too many to name. So I’ll have to say, “Halo” by Beyonce.
Pick one: morning, afternoon, evening, late night—
Evenings to late nights.
Name a literary character whose “character” you find admirable. Why?
Again, too many to name. I really liked Matilda, from Matilda. She’s a girl with spunk, and strength. I could relate to her character as a young child. As a child, it was nice to feel I could relate to a character.
Pick one: blank piece of paper, lined piece of paper, piece of construction paper—
Lined piece of paper. I can barely write in a straight line. However, for drawing purposes, I used to find it bothersome to have the lines in the way. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve chosen to disregard that reality. :)
Describe your perfect dessert
Angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries!
Would you describe yourself as superstitious? Why or why not?
I would describe myself a tad superstitious. However, I do find myself, trying to be
realistic too, so it’s a toss-up at times.
When you are writing, do you prefer silence or sound? Why?
It depends on what I’m writing. However, if I’m writing something that’s solely creative, or personal, I enjoy music as my back ground ambiance.
Pick one: Coffee, tea, water, soda—
Tea. Specifically Chai. With milk and sugar. Then again, I like Green Tea, specifically
Macha. Too many choices.
What is the first thing you do when you get out of bed in the morning?
It depends. Usually, I use the bathroom, brush my teeth, and wash my face.
Tell us about your life now. What are you working on? Do you have any projects recently released or in the works?
I’m in the midst of finding my way, as a recent graduate, (by 2 years). It’s been quite the adventure post grad, however I have high hopes life will continue throwing surprises in my face. I’m nervous, but excited for what the future has in store for me. I’m driven to continue my education, to see what resonates with me, and continue my journey through time. At the moment, I’m involved with a few Facebook groups oriented towards adoptees/adoption. I would like to get my blog up and running.
I know I’d like to express myself through written form more. I enjoy writing poetry, however, I feel I’ll need more pieces before I try and get my words out in paperback. We’ll see.
Side note: I’m thankful this project [Dear Wonderful You] came to be and that I could participate in this meaningful experience. Thank you to all that chose to write. It has been a gift unlike any other.