gallery Dear Adoption, My Story is Important

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Dear Adoption, My Story is Important

My story is so complicated, yet so important. I was born in China; found abandoned at two days old. I was adopted out of my orphanage when I was about 10 months old and then came to America. I always knew that I was adopted. Out of 5 siblings, I am the only adoptee and the only Asian. My family is dysfunctional and made it harder for me to cope with my adoption feelings.  

When I was four, adoption truly became clear and ever since then I have felt incomplete. I have been looking into a mist of people trying to find my birth mom. Then I start to feel dumb because I don’t know what my birth mother even looks like. When I was younger, I would go to my window and make a wish on the stars to see my birth family again. I have always wondered what I got from each of my parents and if they are okay.

In school, it was obvious I was adopted. I couldn’t hide it as a transracial adoptee. As I got older, I didn’t want to tell people that I was adopted anymore. I remember kids asking, “how much were you?” and “where’s your real parents?”. I was bullied for being Asian. Kids would pull back their eyes and say stereotypical Asian slurs. I was always not Asian enough for the “real” Asians and too Asian for others.

As a transracial adoptee, I grew up always feeling alone and not belonging. It’s hard when there are family events. Hearing about family trees and how someone resembles another family member makes me feel left out. There are so few Asians in my community and overall, in America. I have never felt like I fit in here and I never got to learn my culture. If I went back to China, I’d feel like a tourist in my own country.

Adoption has brought me much pain and has left a deep wound in my heart. As an adoptee from China, I don’t know much about my past. All I know is, the location I was found, my birthday, and the name of my orphanage. I have no sealed records or an original birth certificate. Currently, I do not even have citizenship. I am a citizen, but then I am not…

Birthdays and holidays hurt so much for me. The hardest holiday for me is Mother’s Day. There aren’t words to explain my pain, but I always wonder if my birth mother thinks about me on those days. I feel as if I am mourning ghosts. I wish so badly that I could remember what my birth mother looked like, sounded like, and the last time we looked into each other’s eyes. At the same time, I have days where I absolutely hate her for abandoning me within 48 hours of being born. There are also days where all I want is for my birth mother to hold me and tell me it’s going to be okay. It’s a love-hate relationship for someone I don’t even know.

Throughout all of this, I have become a warrior through my adoption struggles. I lost a family, but I also gained one. Sharing my story has been hard, but also healing. Remember everyone has a story and they are all important.

April Thornburg was adopted from China in 1999. She is a transracial adoptee and currently resides in Arizona. 


  1. Reblogged this on Gazelle's Scirocco Winds and commented:
    Yet another international adoptee taken from her roots to be plunked in the middle of a group of people with whom she is mismatched.. But whether international or domestic she shares the same angst of us all: who is my mother, where is my family, and where are those who resemble ME?


  2. My sister was adopted from Korea. She kicked idiot’s behinds in school – Arizona kids are no more stupid in the new millennium than they were thirty years earlier – by gathering more friends willing to support her than the morons with “slant eyes” comments. As for me, I consider I am fortunate that I was ‘adopted’ into an instant family by my spouse and three kids, when I married her 17 years ago. It takes work. We ALL have dysfunctional families. I had one when I was a kid. It takes a strong internal fire to overcome and then raise your own children differently than you experienced. But there are no guarantees.


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