Hello Listeners! Today, we’re opening a discussion on adoption in the United States as Jae, and our guest Anna, discuss their memories and experiences as transracial adoptees. Both Jae and Anna have unique perspectives and connections shaped by their families, friends, and overzealous 3rd parties, surrounding their adoption stories, familial units, cultural identity, national vs. ethnic identity, citizenship, daily social interactions, inherent rights and privacy, and so much more. If you’ve ever been curious about families formed by adoption or what it’s like to live as a transracial adoptee in 2021, we invite you to listen and reflect on how kinship is more than just biology and location.
Hi Everyone! Today, we’re joined by Jae’s friend Anna, as they discuss their experience as international, transracial adoptees. Jae and Anna were both adopted from China as babies, and their parents kept in touch, along with several other families who adopted at the same time. This episode is about sharing their experience with others to provide insight and education on adoption, adoptive families, and how this has shaped their lives. Angela will be moderating this episode and reflecting with Jae and Anna on how their experience enhances her understanding of the adoptee experience.
As always, if this experience hits close to home in a difficult way, please feel free to skip this episode and move on to episode 37
In today’s episode we discuss:
- The citizenship process for international adoptees
- Having adopted siblings
- The nuances of being a transracial adoptee/having multiple ethnic or racial groups in your family
- Online adoptee communities and spaces
- Handling questions and comments about your adoption
- Cultural mixing and identity
- The Tourist Approach
- Adoption is not a solution to fertility struggles
- Adoption and Savior Complex
- Representation of your race, ethnicity, and culture
- The possibility of meeting birth parents
Good morning listeners. I hope you're ready for a very special episode of in Omnia paratus. Today, we are joined by our guest Anna, who knows Jae in a very special way they were. Yep, I just got that. So to clear all of that up, they were a part of the same adoption group together as babies.
This is why you don't do the intro. This is why you don't do the intro. Hey, no, right. Well, Ana,
thank you for joining us today. Sorry if I made that awkward right off the bat.
Oh, no, that's okay. Thank you for having me.
So I guess Actually, I'm just gonna start with one of my questions, because I'm super curious.
Hold on, okay. Like, like everything nowadays is the topic of adoption, fostering transracial adoption, any of these things can be kind of triggering or feelings that are unwanted might happen. Feel free to skip this episode. We have episodes about travel and brunch and Angela and I just fighting on random things. Go back to one of those. But
if you're still here for adoption, one of the things that I'm actually very curious about because I've seen this a lot in like movies and television. And I don't know if this is something that they do just for like the cinematic elements or whatnot. But when you are formally adopted by a family is there like a little ceremony that happens? a ceremony where like, I guess this is like a broad, like wide ranging thing. But the thing that I was thinking about this morning was What to Expect When You're Expecting when Jennifer Lopez and her love interest traveled to Africa, and they actually had a ceremony like joining them together as a family.
Okay, um, well, I'm sure every situation is different. Um, but as far as like legalities go, I know that there's like, there is like a courtroom appearance, I believe. I'm not really sure. But I do remember going to court with my family. And I'm not sure if it was for adoption, or it may have been for citizenship as well, because as being like an international adoptee, you know, well, I think possibly things have changed. But you know, back then they didn't just like, I mean, you did get citizenship if your parents were citizens. But I think you also like your parents had to, like, apply and stuff and had to go through paperwork. And it wasn't just magically happened, you know, but I think, you know, I don't know if I ever met asked my mom about that i j, I don't know if we had some kind of like, special thing after, like all the parents like got their babies and stuff. But I know the week that they were in China getting us they did do some traveling together. And I think they had to finalize some paperwork with, you know, government and orphanages and stuff like that.
Yeah, I don't think there was any sort of there emoni like family bonding thing, my godmother who went with my mom to get me like, has footage from it. So it's kind of you see the hair takers, Social Work nurses, like bring the babies to the family. And obviously, because the way at least our families did, it was through kind of a group. It was like a ceremonial thing, because a bunch of families were getting babies together. But I think each situation is very different. And in terms of kind of the citizenship on the US side, when you're adopted, you are legally a citizen. But there is a way to go through it to get like the United States birth certificate. And so you can get passports and things, which is just kind of an affirmation of it. But some families don't go through that process. Yeah. Or they didn't use to.
And actually, in adding on to that. I know, in 2017, my mom was very adamant that me and then I have an older brother who was adopted from Peru, she encouraged us to apply for the citizenship certificate, because actually, I think that's what they didn't just automatically file. I think adoptees before 2001, they didn't automatically, like get a certificate on file. And I think maybe they do that now. So we had to go through that process. So yeah, we were citizens. But we didn't have like the piece of paper, I guess where that could matter is like what we had passports, but my mom was explaining to me, she said that, like the passport office and the citizenship certificate office, like don't really communicate to each other. So like if something were to happen, and like, I don't know, I'm not planning on committing any felonies, but like, if I did, and like, you know, if deportation was on the table or something, if I didn't have that piece of paper, they could easily just like go to that office first and say like, Oh, she doesn't have one. She's not a citizen or, and stuff like that. So and at the time it was they raised the price from like, 500 to 1000 before a certain date. So it costs a lot and then you know, got to get all these other kinds of paperwork. I think my parents birth certificates and like I had a California birth certificate and like their marriage certificate and just like yeah, it's a lot but you know, thankfully me Have it now. And that's all over with. But yeah, like government paperwork is a headache. Definitely.
So Ana, you mentioned you actually have another brother who is adopted as well, like, what was that like growing up with siblings? And were you adopted around the same time? Or were you like, introduced to each other at different times? So
I have two older brothers, one from Peru. And then the other one was born in California, and we were all adopted as babies. So it was kind of like, you know, in typical birth order, and, and what what was interesting is that, like, Well, our parents are both brown, white American, and the three of us are all like, well, one's Peruvian, my other brother is like, half black, half white. And then, you know, I'm Chinese. So it was kind of growing up in like, a tiny, I was gonna say, like, a tiny United Nations. I don't, I don't maybe. But what was interesting is that, I don't know. I mean, like, because that's what I grew up with. Ever since I was little, it felt normal. But at the same time, I could tell like, I just knew that it like wasn't the same as everybody else's families. It didn't feel like we were all from different places, just like, oh, like, this is my family, we just all look different. And, you know, I'm, I feel like, there was probably maybe the idea of like, color blindness at some point. It's not like my parents are trying to pretend like, Oh, no, you guys are all the same. Like, you know, like, my mom pretty woke, I guess you could. And so she totally understands that, like, you know, her son is like black like, of course, he's gonna face different challenges than like her. My dad did, or like, you know, just based on the different ways we look, we'll encounter different things. And she did our best to kind of like, introduce our cultures to us as much as we could. I remember, you know, we always went to these different Chinese, I guess they were Chinese adoptee events that was hosted by this guy named Ken young, who is the president of the Prince of Peace foundation. And he also j, do you know who he is? Right? No clue. Oh, wait, okay. Well, I know that like, you know, a couple other people in the adoptee group, or like part of these events sometimes. And then, I guess it wasn't the whole group, though. But anyways, he, this guy, he also has like his own daughter adopted from China. And he just does a lot of work with the Chinese government. And he has like a, I think, maybe one or two orphanages in China. But anyways, he sponsored a lot of the events that I went to growing up with my family and I met other adopted Chinese children that way. And just in general, my mom, you know, was in different, I guess, Yahoo groups, with families with adopted children, and then also adopted children with special needs, because my brothers both have different special needs. Funny enough, though, like, when I was a baby on my paperwork, it was labeled that I had special needs, but it was like I said, I had like rickets, or something like that, which I don't know if I did or didn't. But um, according to my mom, they would put that on the paperwork so that like the babies with special needs, would get adopted sooner. And I did have like a herniated navel. But I mean, that went away, that wasn't a problem. And then with my brothers, it was no, it just seemed like normal, I guess, kind of typical. And we didn't, I felt we all kind of found our own interests. And we just kind of like we grew up in like the white American culture. So that's what we know. And probably more what we identify with, for example, I know my brother, he's half black, but he really doesn't identify with the black community very much. And for me, I don't really identify with being like Asian in a lot of ways other than really how I look. But I do I have recently been like wanting to get it more into Chinese culture. And for Chinese New Year, I just made dumplings, because I thought that was like maybe a tradition I want to start with myself.
That's nice. I feel like that's one of the great things about getting older within any family situation is that you get to start picking out the traditions that you would like to observe and the things that you would like to learn more about. So I guess so Jay actually talked to me a little bit about like, what it was like with your adoption group growing up, and how your parents would get you all together like on an annual basis. And then like hearing that you your mom was a part of different adoption groups and things like that with your brothers. You feel like you have more friends who are adopted than not,
I'm not sure well, maybe I don't know if I think of probably like maybe my whole pool friends are good, but maybe at least a good like 10% are probably adopted, which is like a significant amount, I guess. But I would say like growing up in different adoptee spaces. I certainly know a lot of adoptees, which was comforting in a way and I've also been a part of some Chinese adoptee groups on Facebook too. And I found that a lot of those adoptees who they not all of them had that opportunity to grow up or meet other adoptees and they're just like, you know, stuck out in the Midwest and it was really hard for them because they felt like so alone there. First of all, the only Asian walk around in their community. And then second of all, they don't know anybody else with their story. And so I definitely feel lucky to have had those opportunities. And it kind of made me feel special in a way too, because it's like, oh, like, you know, not everybody gets to go to these kinds of groups and as these special reunions and things like that. So even though it makes you feel set apart, like for me, it also made me feel special. I guess.
That's kind of how I see it too.
A little bit. Whenever Jay talks to me about what life was like growing up knowing that she was adopted, like, to me, it sounded like you were all a part of like this, like cool little club together.
Yeah. Jae, your thoughts?
our family's from I don't know, if they decided this pre adoption or post adoption or in China, or when they kind of decided to do this, most of the families I believe, are in California. And it made it easy for and I think it's really great, because the majority of the transracial adoptive parents were white. So I really do commend all of the parents in the group for nurturing and realizing that this should be a priority for their daughters. We are a group of all girls, I'm sure there are ones that are for boys. But we're a group of 15 or 16. Girls,
I think it's 15 families. But there was more like 12 of us that
Yeah, but I think it was great. They would take us to like a campground cabin kind of thing. And I mean, at least with my experience for kind of during those preteen years, it seemed very evident, no one really wanted to be there the first day, because this was an annual thing. So it was kind of a thing of like, we're like, okay, like, we're gonna go for the weekend. By the last day, we didn't want to leave. And we were talking more than ever. So it was kind of the typical girl thing of like, it was weird. And then it wasn't. And then it was nice for us to just hang out, because it wasn't a thing of your adopted, share your feelings with each other, it was a thing of like, these are people who share a similar experience. And if you felt like speaking of it, you could and these girls would be some of the only people who could relate to that situation. But it was also just to nurture the fact that we are fortunate enough to have these other people with the same experience at the same time in our lives in any capacity, which we feel comfortable on would like to continue on into adulthood, which we do.
I agree. Yeah. For me, it was definitely part of my childhood and like early teen years that I valued growing up, I always looked forward to a reunion and thinking back, I don't feel like I mean, I'm sure maybe, you know, some parts of the group did personally I don't feel like I even like talk that much about like adoption with some of the other girls, but maybe I did. I don't know, a lot of the memories that stick out to me are like, just like the fun wild things we did or laughing and like the crafts and actually a while ago, when we were little like our parents made those little all the memory books, but it's like, like a yearbook. Yeah, or it's like this. You know, my favorite thing to say or like my favorite color or like, favorite shoe like this kinds of things that parents do when the kids are little? Yeah, I'm pretty sure we did that at like one of the reunions. And like, sort of Actually, I don't know, this is like on the topic, but sort of not the other day. My mom told me she was like talking to somebody that knew me when I was little. And they were saying that they remember pictures. I mean, like little red dress or something. And apparently when I was five for Halloween, I said that I wanted to dress up as like a Chinese girl. So apparently at that time, I didn't really have that concept of like identity or you know, honestly, I don't even remember. I don't know if remembers the right word. I don't I don't really feel like Chinese until I'm looking in the mirror. So it was interesting to hear that. Oh, I didn't, you know, realize that's who I was. Technically, I just kind of felt like, I don't know if that makes any sense.
No, I I think it definitely does. Because I feel like it also speaks a lot to like the location and where you grow up, like what your family's like how it's maybe even sort of like culturally like introduced to you. So like, for example, I'm half white, half Hispanic, but I feel like I definitely identify a lot more as white. And I totally get the thing about the mirror. Because I feel like my outside like doesn't always seem to match what's on the inside. And so it's one of those things where it's like, it's not necessarily it's like two parts of you that are split, but it's just something that you kind of have to make that conscious effort to merge in your mind. Yeah, so what I'm a little bit curious about is like, what was it like navigating the sorry, that's the ice machine.
We can't hear anything. Okay, perfect. So
what I'm curious about for both of you is what has it been like navigating the topic of adoption with different peer groups as you age?
I don't think it ever felt much like an Until recently, for me, I was fortunate to grow up in a space with a lot of Asian people in general, the culture was around it. Like I remember through my schooling, we started getting Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year off, we would get presidents out because there was such a big asian community where I live. So I think that might be one of the reasons I didn't do as many like Asian adoptees specific things. Because I was very much immersed with a lot of Asians around me, I wasn't set us like set apart, which is one of the reasons I think my mom at least had chosen to adopt from China knowing that living in the Bay Area, I would see a lot of people who look like me could make friends with people who like me, all of that. So growing up, I would kind of always get the same questions like, oh, like, your mom looks white, or your uncle's picking you up? Or like, oh, there was another girl in our adopted group who lives where I live. And we went to the same school together from preschool till eighth grade, and to four I was like, Oh, are you sisters? Is that a thing? And I always welcome the questions because I was fortunate to grow up in an environment where adoption was normal, it was common, I have family members who are adopted, I have the group we call ourselves China sisters who like are adopted like it was a very normalized thing for me. So only recently, as I've kind of been reflecting during this year, especially now with all of the Asian hate. And like in these adoptee groups, realizing that I had answered and been asked some very inappropriate questions that I'm kind of now just starting to reconcile with, I always saw myself as someone like, if I'm the only transracial Asian Chinese adoptee you ever meet, I'd rather answer your questions as polite fully and kind of explain why maybe they shouldn't be asked again. But what I kind of realized personally in doing so is it was one of my ways to kind of protect myself from my own feelings around it's like, no, like, I'm fine. Like, I love my family in this. And what I'm realizing now just between my Tick Tock has people who are adopted and these other groups are realizing that being adopted is traumatic and does have trauma with it. And I think a lot of times people who are not adopted or around adoptees don't really know the correct questions to ask. And there are not correct ones. But there are some more inappropriate ones. For example, I remember I was being set up for a college event. And when I went to go meet up with me for the first time, we were talking and I brought up that I was offered and he's like, Oh, is it because of the one child policy? Okay, like that made me so mad. That That is a question that I mean, I don't think this is a pass. But maybe because this guy was also Asian, he felt like it was something we had in common about being Asian, but I don't think kind of looking back on some of the things I don't think it's ever appropriate to have similar things like that, especially to someone you're meeting for the first time. And so kind of going forward when people ask I'm learning how to protect and own my own identity around it. Rather than try to just be like the Ask me anything about adoption person.
Do you feel like that's really impacted the conversations that you've had about adoption with, like, new people in your life,
or once in my life, now like dating and trying to just kind of interact? I don't bring it up. It used to be my fun fact. Because the only other fun fact is that, like my fingers are double jointed, but they're not as double jointed. Like, I can't take my arm on like dislocate my shoulder. So it was never a visible enough thing. I couldn't look my elbow, I couldn't look my nose. I couldn't like do the wave with my tongue. Like, the only thing that felt like different about me for those icebreakers was that I was adopted. And so I agreed with it. And now that I'm thinking about it more, it can be a vulnerable topic. And it's not something that I necessarily need to share with everyone. So I think I'm personally more protective of it than I've ever been. Which is not something I thought, whatever happened, but I realized it's more important for me to do a little bit of like a pre screen before I start sharing that part about my history, then I thought I needed to, it makes a lot of sense.
Also, that's wild. You mentioned your fingers are double jointed because my thumbs are double jointed, too. I'm pretty sure. I feel like I've been reevaluating reevaluating that a little bit to like you said before thinking back there's definitely a lot of comments or like questions people have made that are like, I mean, there's bad as just saying, like, Where are you from? And then we're expecting you know, the answer of a country which funny enough for us, I feel like they just, you know, those people happen to get lucky. And that we do say we could say like, Oh, we are from China, as opposed to like other you know, Asian Americans that grew up in you know, just locally who are technically from like Walnut Creek or San Jose or something like, you know, we are technically from China, but at the same time, like we did grow up here so well, what answer Am I going to give you know, am I gonna like go into it or just, you know, say the least and not have that conversation. one instance I remember that was like, I don't know if you've gotten this Jay like with your name. My last name is Given so little Barry White name, I feel like I think it's not as you're Irish or something. I don't know. But I remember one time in high school, my math teacher who was also like Chinese this one day, she's like, how can we last name is not Asian. And I was just like, I'm adopted. I don't know. But I feel thinking back, I kind of felt like that was like a little bit of a microaggression. Even if it wasn't intentional.
Oh, yeah, I've definitely gotten that. And I don't know about you on a but a lot of mine actually have come from other Asians. As much as there are kind of some systemic problems. I feel like a lot of the things I get are about from other Asians who I think everyone's identity and how they walk and identify and their purpose that everything is valid, unless you're like a psychopath or a serial killer, or like a sexual assault or something like you're terrible person, like, Own your truth and own who you are. But for me, I feel like I get a lot more pushback about like, well, you're not Asian, it's like, and the thing is, like, girl, you're third generation, I came from the homeland. I was born there. So how are you trying to tell me that my DNA goes back only to China. I have taken 23andme like, I'm fully Chinese. And the fact that people have the audacity to be like, well, like you're American. It's like, yes, but I was having this conversation with someone else like, Oh, do you say Asian American or American, Asian, I had never heard American Asian. But then when I kind of stopped to think about it, it's like if I'm walking down the street, and especially in times like now, and this was right after Atlanta, people aren't gonna see that I'm a transracial adoptee growing up in a dominantly white family. I look Asian, just like every other person. So it was always very frustrating for a lot of the microaggressions to come from Asians who had more of a tie to the culture, because it was like, Yes, but if we're both walking down the street, they don't care whether I was raised by a white, black, Hispanic, Jewish goddess family. I just looked like someone they're stereotyping. And so it was kind of a thing of I, frankly, really identified with my friends who were multiracial. Because I didn't feel like I'm definitely not white. I've been called White, not only on the phone, I've been said, Oh, who's the white parent? or How are you? Why are you full white, which I don't understand what was in her head. But also then just on the Asian side, it's like, Well, yeah, but like, you don't do that. It's like, well, you're not really Asian. So it's like, I felt a lot of kind of, like camaraderie from my friends who are biracial, or who were multiracial, because it's like, they understand that because of because we're not physically like, mixed, but we're culturally mixed. And that's something Angela and I actually really talk about because my experience even though I am biologically fully Asian, my experience in spaces has been very similar to hers being multiracial. Yeah,
my heartache for the day, your cultural identity matters just as much as your biological identity.
I totally agree. For me, I feel like I almost feel like I there's like three cultures identify with my birth culture, the culture I was raised in. And then throughout my adolescence and young adulthood, I've spent a lot of time in Tijuana, Mexico, doing like different mission trips, and just working there. And through that time, I've really grown to love that culture. And so there was, you know, a point where I was even like, Oh, I want to have like half Mexican kids because like, No, no, I just, I just wanted that to happen. And I have a lot of friends there. And a lot of people I'm close with and I majored in Spanish and got like, my associates in Spanish, just so I could well, I wasn't really interested in anything else other than Spanish, I guess, too, but but also so I could communicate with all those people that I was close to in Mexico, and through that time, I feel like I've really like fallen in love with that culture as well. And like, honestly, like I if I had to pick like another place to live, you know, I feel like I would pick their either their China you know, but I kind of feel like not having those maybe traditional cultural ties innocent kind of makes you more free to latch on to whatever you like, really are interested in or passionate about. Well,
I agree. And I think that's something especially as you're older, you start to see and appreciate more, and this is not the same thing at all, but this woman I can think of right now. There's actually this guy on PBS Do either of you watch PBS, or am I the super Boomer today? Um, I don't know. Okay, well, he has rip Bob Ross. I actually just use that as a birthday meme for someone so he lives on. Moody watch on PBS killing me because I can't remember his name right now. But he's actually a mad white man from Chicago who his mother actually fell in love with Mexican culture on like an extended trip to Mexico and then like she took the family there like annually like multiple times, they all fell in love with the culture and tradition in the food. And he actually now runs his own restaurants both in Mexico, California and Illinois. And he just like has completely immersed himself in the culture. And that's how he identifies now.
That's awesome. That kind of reminds me of I don't know if either of you saw this video, I was fascinated by it, but it was low writer culture in Japan. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So I was fascinated when I saw this. And people were like, is it appropriation or whatever. And it's like it wastes from how I saw the video. And if there's greater contact, I need to be corrected, I'm more than willing to learn. They just appreciated the culture of what it meant. It kind of went against the typical Japanese stereotypes of being quiet and being complacent with like the girls. They love the hoops. They love the hairstyles, they loved the culture, they love the cars. And it was just a great thing. For me saying it's like we pan and should embrace other cultures in a respectful, educated, loving way. I feel like it's hard because I understand that people who go through experiences want to find their people, their culture, but I think at the same time, there's that statistic by 2050, more kids will be mixed than will be mono raced.
Now, I think, especially now we have a lot of conversations about the thin line between appropriation and appreciation, but I actually don't think it's that thin. And I think that there are so many ways that you can appreciate other cultures and fold them into your life. And it's not appropriation because of the way that you present it. Like you're not saying that you are x person, because you like this, you're saying that you identify with this, and you feel a kinship to them?
Yeah, I, I agree with what you're saying there. I feel like as long as you're respectful and appreciative of different cultures, I don't really see a problem with you know, taking them on, and then I but I think where the issue would come is when you don't know, the biggest issue with my guess, is stereotyping thing. Actually, I just took this diversity class for I'm taking some Child Development classes, and one of them is called teaching in a diverse society. And one of the big things they talked about, talked a lot about a lot of big thing racism and like all those stuff, and biases and stereotypes, and it was very, like eye opening to learn about that. But one of the things that they want you to be aware of, you know, as a preschool teacher, or just a teacher in general, what they call the the tourist approach, which I don't know if either of you have ever heard of that, but it's basically like if you think about to like, I don't know, when you were going to school, you know, having like a culture day or like celebrating the cinco celebrating Cinco de Mayo even though that's like not really not really like a big holiday they celebrate in Mexico anyways, it just like the super like American like, you know, touristy kind of thing, or like oh, on like St. Patrick's Day, everybody like does you know, I mean, you know, leprechaun stuff is fun, but then if you make it like, oh, like everybody's Irish or something, or just like bits and pieces of different cultures without really like delving in to the importance, I think that's where it can be problematic.
That makes a lot of sense. There was a teacher I saw on tik tok and the way I believe she was an English teacher. And the first question she asks her class is kind of like an icebreaker is how does your family cook rice? And if you really think about it, most cultures have a way of doing it. And I think it's a lovely way kind of to show the diversity of everyone but also everyone cooks rice. Yeah, true. It's just one of those things that it kind of shows the Oh my God, not diaspora dialysis, the duality, the duality of everything. I only had half a cup of coffee this morning.
That's okay. But it's actually really funny that you bring up rice because that's something I encountered on one of my recent trips. We were sitting next to a table of women and one woman had recently visited California, went to a Mexican restaurant and had rice milk as a dessert and was trying to explain it to her friends at the table. And it was it was really hard for them to wrap their heads around because they were so they gave you a bowl of rice and a cup of milk. And she's like, No,
no, like, they're they're cooked together. They add spices and everything isn't like oh, we'll I don't know what my smoke is. Oh, okay. I
will make yourself when I come back. But it's I guess it kind of can be it's, it's like a rice porridge. Yes. It's, it's kind of sweet. I know. A lot of parents like make it for their kids when they're sick. It's almost sort of chata but with rice. Oh, yeah. But
is it more like what kind of consistency is it
be like Mexican congee I want to say
okay, that Okay, that's The word I Okay, I got it. Thank you.
Yeah, like you can eat it like hot or cold. Hot is preferred cold is a little weird, but it's very good.
Okay, yeah, it was funny one time I went to my friend's house who's Filipino and I don't know if a lot of like Asian families are like this but they just like have this rice cooker with rice sitting out at all times. And I thought that was so weird. I'm just have rice available at all times of the day. And she's like, yeah, oh, no,
I know a lot of Asian families that do have that. I'm sure. I'm sure some I've seen it at many people's houses. Yeah,
I think I saw it was actually the first time I encountered a rice cooker. And I had no idea how to use it.
Oh my god, I
remember that cuz I'm used to like pan frying rice or like, steaming it really quick like in a pot because like that's what you do before you like put it in the pan and add the tomato sauce and everything.
Oh my god, that hurt that I remember that. That hurt. I'm like, like, you grew up in the Bay Area.
But we cook rice differently.
Yeah, if I'm being honest, like I we did have rice cookers, but I grew up more with like, you know, Uncle Ben's rice. So, which is like also cooks in like a pod boiled and stuff? Oh, yeah.
No, the biggest thing I did to disappoint one of my lovely godfathers who's Japanese is I put soy sauce on rice. And that's like a big No, no. And then I got my cousin to start doing it. He still gets mad at me for it this day. I'm like, I don't care tastes good. Yeah, so I sauce is amazing. Yes. But it's not meant to go on rice. So apparently that's a big no no, for like certain people very tied to like Asian culture. Yeah, he was very disappointed. And by the time he realized I was doing and I got a son hooked on it, too. Oh, no, I could not eat gluten as a child. I deserved every little food joy I could have.
There. So I guess speaking of children, looking forward into the future, Do either of you see adoption as your potential family planning? Hmm,
well, for me, um, I guess you could say I've been conflicted. Because Personally, I've kind of always like wanted at least like one biological child, because for me, I feel like I don't know, I want that, like biological connection. And I always thought like, well, if I'm not gonna meet anybody I'm biologically related to I could always like create the myself, you know? Yeah. And so, but I wouldn't say adoption would be like, off the table. Because, you know, I don't but I but I guess being an adoptee with that. I also, I already know, a bunch of like, the consequences in the right word, I guess, things that come with being adopted. So you know, there's a lot of like, logistical things and costs and stuff, which I mean, you know, having a child in any capacity is going to cost money. So but you know, there's that, like, and then trauma, which I mean, I'm sure some adoptees have less trauma than others. But I feel like there's always going to be that bits and pieces. Because just like, naturally, I feel like when you take a kid away from their biological parent, there is like, a little bit of something missing. But you know, you can work through that. And so, you know, there's those kinds of things. But I mean, like, you know, I have nothing against the doctor's office. But yeah, so I feel like I go either way. And then for me on top of it, like, I'm also like, muscle queer. So recently, I've been thinking about, well, well, if I were to have a kid, I could just like have a kid Anyway, what, you know, I could find any possible, you know, Father, sperm donor, or whatever. And even if I didn't have a partner, I could be like, well, or actually, anybody that doesn't have a partner that has the ability to error that has eggs can just, like have a kid by themselves if they wanted to. So I'd like to have that crossed my mind as well. So I don't know. I feel like yes, I do want like a bio kid. But I wouldn't be like, opposed to adoption.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. The one thing that I recently realized is I do not want to be with a partner who would be against the adoption, even if I don't end up adopting I'd like to, but even if they don't, because I mean, I would need an explanation because the me the idea that you don't want to adopt because it's your bio cage, you can't love them as much everything. It's like, you're literally invalidating my family and my existence here and I'm like, I'm not okay with that. So whether I adopt after or not, I'm not sure I'd like to I really wanted to I planned on it. I wanted cheaper by the dozen families, I would have, I'd have a monopod prove everything but more and more what I've been seeing and hearing about adoption, and not only my own trauma, just the trauma of others. I've been thinking about it and re evaluating it. Not that I wouldn't do it anymore. But I think something I think it's very quick to say and I think people say it too frequently, fertility struggles from like, well adopt, there are so many kids around the world who need homes or like for sustainability for the environment. And I think when we talk about adoptees That way, it's very harmful because we're not cattle that you can just like buy and sell and move around. We're humans who for whatever reason, some more some different than others. Some it's that there are kids taken from their families, there are children bought out of their families, there are laws in other countries like it's very every situation is different. But for people like I've seen this on the internet all the time they stop having biological children and adopted, it's like being put up for adoption is going to be dramatic, because there is a bond between the baby and the mother. So they're already getting that trauma and then to being put in a family that does not have the capacity to Love A Child other than their own will just cause more harm than good. And that's the part I think people don't realize is people are equal, just adopt, like, it's fine. Like there are so many kids out there anyway, like, but it's not wrong that some people don't have that capacity. But we need to understand that without that capacity, that kid could end up with more emotional trauma and turmoil because of that than they would have not getting adopted. Yeah, adoption is not a problem for infertile people, or for adoption was not created because people were infertile, or because members of the LGBTQ people could not have biological children. adoption is not a solution. Adoption in itself is a problem. I feel like,
you know, people, I agree with that. Like, it's kind of put as like the second option, which makes adoptees or at least me, I'm sure a lot of adoptees feel like second class are like invaluable, because it's like, they're the last resort or something. And I feel like you know, nobody should adopt unless they have a heart for it or like are doing it out of the desire to to, I guess help but at the same time, though, then that also goes into like, like, the white savior complex thing to which is like equally as problematic with I'm sure you've heard about that, Jay. And oh, like actually, did you hear about the recent ish, like, youtuber scandal? Who I don't know, the
one who? The one who rehome Yeah, yeah, I watched I watched that family and everything. Yeah, too, which is why it was so disheartening. Yeah. I think, Oh, my God, the way I mean, more in these adopted groups than I've ever had. Have I seen parents, particularly white parents, I'm sure some of other parents be so like, I did you a favor. It's like, whoa, oh my god. Some of them were like crawl through these like adoptee, these Asian like adopted group. Things like some of them are crazy. These parents are like I provided for you. I loved you. And now you're treating me this way, especially talking about like Asian hate and microaggressions and comments that have been made throughout their lifetime. Sometimes parents are very invalidating over these things. It's like, wow, yeah. And this isn't saying all people shouldn't white people should not adopt. But I think there's a ton more and at one of my favorite scenes I have I haven't kept up with the show. But I've seen the scene a bunch of times isn't this is where they're at the pool. And Randall is counting how many like black people he sees because he's not used to growing up in the suburbs. And eventually, like many more sees her son playing with another black child and like takes them away because just she didn't know who they were. So for her, it was Stranger Danger, obviously came off racist, and was racist. And so at the end of the episode, it's great. How many more like clearly sucks up or pride and was like, do you have a barber? Like, I don't know how to help my son. And then it was like, maybe our sons kind of a playdate. And then like, she ends it and because it's a drama night, and on a funny note, like, does he need to wear sunscreen? She's like, my husband's like, no, but I'm like, Yes, he does. And so like she laughs and like it shows her effort to reach out to the community. But being a white parent adopting and making it a trans racial or interracial family, you can't be colorblind, you can't you need to be educated. I'm not saying I hate the term woke because I think it just the narrative of woke and accountant woke woke is not a thing educated as a thing, critical thinking as a thing. canceled culture is not a thing holding people accountable for their actions and expecting change or losing their platform as a thing we don't have canceled culture does not exist. That's my hot take cancel culture is just people unwilling to take accountability for their actions and growing up in a society where they never were held accountable. And now that they are they're choosing to victimize themselves.
You know, the thing that you said about colorblindness, going back to what I learned about my class, when we're talking about bias, there was a study done basically, like you had three groups of people. And it was like a white person working with black person, and they had to do some team project together, or team exercise, I don't know. Um, and so the people who said that they didn't have any bias and then also showed it by their actions. Did this team exercise the fastest with a black person, the people who said they didn't have bias, but did it took them the longest. And then the people who said they had bias, like admitted to it and you know, acted that way actually did the exercise faster than the people who said that they didn't have bias but secretly did. So I don't know if that made any sense. But all that to say that a big important step in all of this, you know, racial conflict is or and prejudice in general, actually, is that I feel like you need to be aware and admit when you are like feeling bias towards a certain thing, because then when you recognize that, then you can make sure that you don't act prejudicially. Or at least that's what I like learned recently. And I feel like that makes a lot of sense,
accountability, everyone, don't be afraid to ask questions in the most respectful manner, or share your feelings in a space where you can grow. That's crazy.
I think, like that example you gave really just shows like I'm not saying like, hold on to your microaggressions and racial stuff, but acknowledging that it's there is the only way we can move forward. We can't move forward. If we're all we're not racist, we don't see color. And then it's like, Okay, well, if your actions don't match that then we have nowhere to go versus if people are like, I'm an educated I want to learn more than that's the only way we can really like move forward and like work on this. Like, I remember learning, I believe it's Tani haec coats who's who is like writing a book and did a book on like child development where it was children start to recognize like skin color at three months. Yeah. So it's like, wow, I need to in those first three months, just like help my kids will have like people of all colors of the rainbow because that's crazy to think that we have a we have a sorority sister who I always bring up because I remember her doing this. So intentionally, who during quarantine had a young child and was buying him books of different colors and genders and everything because he couldn't go into the real world and see the colors because we were all at home. And it's like, Wow, that's so important. Getting your kids dolls, one of my first teeth Tea Party sets I got my godfather intentionally chose because there was an Asian kid on the box, I got asian barbie dolls. I had an Asian baby at all, my family was very clear and making sure like I was reflected in things in the world. Yes, definitely important. Angela, anything else you want to be educated on today? Um,
do I have one final question? And I know it's sort of like the hot take. And you guys, neither of you need to answer this. Because I know this is the most hated question for people who have been adopted. But Have either of you felt like you would like to meet your suppliers?
Did you decide on that term? Or is that something you saw on the internet?
I decided on it because I don't like birth parent. I feel like it's still a little weird. So I went with supplier Got it?
Well, something really interesting. This is not a conversation for this that I've been looking into a lot is trying to make language more inclusive for a few people who do not identify as female. And like birth person is one of those terms that has been thrown around in trying to kind of make the transition to be more inclusive. But the thing that I was realizing is like full birth parents, well, then not that I'm not I think we need a different term. Because like, then, if you say you're a birth parent, people like for at least my whole time, it's like, well, then what do I What do I call my family like my, my biological family, if everyone's gonna start using Oh, like my birth parent, then it's no longer the way like adult adoptees would need a whole new way of expressing their situation because birth parent is going to be the new normal, but since we went with like, milk supplier, um, I, I've gone back and forth, I think I don't really know what I think it would be something where I forward have to happen, I would need to be like, manage my expectations and understand like, like, I'd be ready for it's like, of course, of course you think about it, and you at some point are like, Yes, I want to know I want to find them. But then on the other hand, it's the thing of one do they want to be found and what that could mean and how that could re traumatize re trigger re everything to someone and then there's the thing of this is i've i've seen media I'm sure it's happened but like it's an odd concept for me of seeing that the fact that like your biological parents who gave you up for adoption have other kids. Like that is something that I don't really know if I am prepared and or would want to open the box to, but I think everyone is different. Just if I weren't gonna do it. I would need some definite therapy and support systems in place to make it happen because I think as much as everyone dreams like the happy reunion, that's not Not necessarily There are many ways it could happen. And until I felt at peace with what I wanted to get out of it, I wouldn't want to do it. Yeah.
For me, I've thought about it, you know, back and forth. And I guess bare minimum, I've always wanted to just know what they look like or like, know about them. And like, even just like having an identity of who they were, and like, a picture like that would almost just be good enough for me, because I've always just been curious, like, you know, who are these people? And it's just so weird to think about how like, you're like, I guess, created by somebody, and then you just other than when you were first born, or maybe like, I don't really know, when I was exactly dropped off, or dropped off at the orphanage or whatever happened at the I don't even know, I I don't I honestly don't even feel like I know what happened, like the first five months of my life because I was only like five months old when I was adopted. But I know like, Jay, you're a little little older. I mean, ideally, I'd like to think it would be like, oh, it'd be nice to just like search up, you know, find like who these people are or like get some DNA match. But I feel like in China with all their the just like logistical things and like put the policy like that just has led to so many complications. And I know they're okay. I don't know, I did watch the one child policy like documentary which I did you ever watch that j or no? No. Yeah, it's definitely I won't even watch the Joy Luck Club. I'm sure it could unleash a whole slew of different different feelings and emotions and stuff. And but basically one of the things in that, I guess there's like these people who are trying to help, like Connect adoptees with their birth parents. But you know, it's kind of funny when people like ask me that I'm like, I guess I'd like to meet them. But it's like, I wouldn't even know like, Where to begin, like with the cert, so I think just like, the reality of that makes it me want to just say like, now like, you know, it's not worth the effort. But um, I don't really, like have any expectations, but the same time, like I probably do, but I think Yeah, like he said, Jay, best way to go about it would just, you know, have no expectations or anything and just like hire yourself emotionally for it. But that's interesting. Yeah, the thing you were talking about with, like birth parents and like, yeah, you know, I don't know what's called, or I hate when people are just like, oh, you're a real mom, or whatever. It's like, Oh, yeah, that was that. That's the word. That's that's always been
a big one that I got, especially as a kid and it's like, I get as children, it's a harder it is harder to explain. I mean, we were adopted, and we understood the difference. So I guess it's just up to non adoptive families to make it a little clearer.
Yeah. Or an even till I work with children now. And sometimes they'll ask me and I'll talk to them about it. And it's actually nice, though, is like some of them, you know, do understand he just explained like, Oh, well, you know, my mom's my mom. But like, I was born somewhere else. And I feel like it's be explained in a very like informational way they they can get it. But I don't know if you've ever gotten this day, but multiple people like throughout the years, ever since I was little and like, to this day still. They like tell me I look like my mom, and that specifically Asian people say that. I look like my mom.
Well, I've heard that too. I've gotten that. And the thing is like my mom, can I mean, I wouldn't say she looks Asian by any means. But my mom doesn't necessarily like you wouldn't sue my mom's a Russian Jew. But like, you wouldn't necessarily assume that by looking at her features. So some people have said that, for me, the weirder ones are like, yeah, without you. Okay, I sure. Like I think part of that nature. But I think part like part of its like, just like nature and being around and like, mannerisms and things and like knowing it, but it's also kind of a thing of like, sure. Yeah. If that's what you want to say like, I don't know, are you trying to make me feel better? Like because you look like your parents? And then there are people who like are biological related, who still don't look like their parents. Yeah. So it's like, I feel like sometimes people do to overcompensate.
That's true. And I know a lot of times people like purposely, like look for the similarities. So yeah, yeah. But I guess that's all I have to say about that. Oh,
thank you so much for talking about this with me today, both of you and answering my questions. And thank thank you so much for being our special guest and coming and joining us today. Thanks for having me.
I'd love to get you and then maybe some of the other roles at some point on because I think there's talking about it from being Asian from being adopted. And there's just talking about what it's like existing in society and having to make connections and making networking and talking to people filling out forms can be its whole nother episode. Like any kind of form as an adoptee. an adoptee with a single parent is even better when they won't let you proceed until you put in the name of your second parent. That's a fun one.
Honestly, like I would love for you to talk to some of my other friends who are adopted because they feel like they had very different experiences and they actually hid the fact that they were adopted. Well, one girl in our group, I don't know her so I feel like I have I couldn't even I don't even know what her name is. Her parents didn't tell her she was adopted from our group which
is why we never she never came to the union. Yeah, my mom told me this. Tell her and I'm like, Oh, no, her parents
were Chinese. So they could like, hide that easier.
Yeah. But like, yeah, there are some girls in our group who I know hit it, but I didn't tell people. Yeah, like one of the I know didn't like tell it. Obviously, people came to her house or not, but it's like, the assumption is, especially with me, having a single mom was like, Oh, well, the dad's Asian. Yeah, like she just really looked like her father.
Yeah. Well, I mean, like, even I do have two parents but like, if I'm just out with one they're like, you know, people are like about my mom. She kind of has like almondy shaped eyes but you know, people Oh, like I was your husband Asian or like, when we were all little my mom got the strangest looks like walking around with like three different different race kids and like, by herself, people be like, oh, like she slipped around or something? Or like, or I don't know, I'm sure you know, those wild thoughts?
Or she's like your nanny. Yeah, that too. Yeah. It would be interesting to talk to people who intentional we hit it. Because I mean, if they're, if you're Andrew, I talk to your friends. Because like, I don't, I don't, it was so normalized for my situation. But I suppose if like you were the one and only are the few and only and didn't feel any connection, that must be hard and must be reason to keep you as normal as possible. Because even though normal is a construct, being young, all you want to do is be normal.
Yeah, until you can break out with the matrix. I've never seen that. I don't understand that. See, maybe that day j one day.
Now, there's been a lot of crazy adoption stories real quick. There was, I don't remember what I think it was called three strangers or, I don't know. But basically, there's these like adoption experiments done in New York. And where it was like, it's, I think, specifically like a Jewish adoption center. And one of the cases was these three triplets who were all separated at birth and like, adopted up to three different families, but they were like, legit being like, studied by these, like, researchers as they grew up, like they would just come to their house and like, serve them and write notes down. And then like, it wasn't until like, these kids were like, in college, and they happen to like, go to the same college to get the two of them went to the same college and they like, ran into each other or like one of their friends like saw the other one was like, Oh, I thought you were so and so. But like, yeah, and then they all came together. And it was it was like a good thing at first. But then like all the trauma of like, their experiences like became a lot and I don't know, it's a movie on amazon prime, I think. But it's just wild that like,
those kinds of things happen. Oh, yeah, it's crazy. Some of the experiments like inside class that you weren't the people pulled. I remember last year, this is completely off topic. I remember last year I heard how like the Stanford Prison Experiment has been disproved. I'm like, oh, that they should stop teaching people that
like it didn't happen or it did. It wasn't like helpful.
Um, it was disproved so do you know the Stanford Prison Experiment like how it was set up?
I like they had some students be like the guards and some students be the prison sir.
Yeah, exactly. So it was a thing of like Android you remember exactly how it was disproved or what it
was I don't but i think i think it was that they when push came to shove it was like not everyone like was immediately like going to like pardon Millington.
I also think they were egged on like, they told like they made
I think like they built like before they went into it like they were encouraged like yeah, Do your worst. Let's keep going like pulling people out, like during it saying like, hey, like, you know, you could do more?
Okay, people pulled some wild things like that's how we know babies. I remember in AP psych class, we warned that babies could float under six months because like of the womb, and it's like to test that like they throw a baby in water. Oh, yeah. Ready to sign us off? Angela? Am? Yes. Are you actually
Sorry, I got like super comfortable and started like lounging back in the chair, so I wasn't near the computer. Well, Ana, thank you so much for joining us today. We're so happy to have you and thank you for answering more of our questions here. Thank you. Oh, God, how do I sign us off?
Thank you, everyone. Just next Monday for whatever shenanigans we'll be up to. I don't know when this is but Happy Pride. Happy gotcha day for all those people out there. Happy hot girl summer and we will you will tune into us next week. There we go. bye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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