8 years ago today I returned to this village. 马达(Mada)
8 years ago I captured this photo. A young girl playing. A woman seated on a bike. What if that could have been me.
8 years ago I only knew the unknowns. The what if’s. The imaginations, the fantasy’s, the nightmares, the fears, the dreams.
8 years ago I wondered if my first family was alive? Did they think about me? Was I loved?
8 years ago I wondered if I was located within only miles from them.
8 years ago I wondered if I could recognize my family. Did I walk past them?
8 years ago I was only known as Lan Lan… in China’s system… from the people who still remembered me.
8 years ago I still celebrated my birthday in December. The only known birthday.
8 years ago I reunited with my foster mom who I learned never stopped thinking about me.
8 years ago, a few hundred meters from this photo, was the place I was taken and perhaps abandoned…
8 years ago until now has been an indescribable (continued) journey of loss, gain, loss, and gain. It’s been a journey that will never be fully processed and understood in this life. A journey filled with hope In midst of brokenness. A journey of possibilities within the impossible. A journey of reunion and loss and complexities within. A journey of decisions to love and pursue in midst of fear and uncertainty. A journey that has costed those, who promised to love and never leave, to leave me for wanting to know what’s rightfully mine to know. The closure of the past, the million more questions, and the unknowns of the future are felt deeply even more so during these past several months. And all I can do is remind myself One day at a time and see what continues to unfold.
8 year reflection from a woman once called Lan Lan （兰兰)
As I continue to have a desire to slowly share my story as an international transracial Chinese Adoptee (this is just one perspective/experience) and to educate just one perspective of the complexities and not so often discussed (Hard) topics when thinking about experiences surrounding adoptees/adoption/adoptees in reunion.