ADOPTEE BOARD 2019-2020
The mission of the FCCNY Adoptee Board is to advocate for Chinese adoptees. Guided by our own experiences, we aim to explore the evolving intersection of our Chinese, American, adoptee, and other personal identities. Through this lens we will bring representation to, and strengthen our relationship with, the wider adoption community. By providing ongoing events and projects we will enable Chinese adoptees to share perspectives and engage in a productive environment.
Get Connected with the Adoptee Board!
find us on social media:
send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
join us in person at our regular monthly events!
A few reflections after our 2nd year.
"As someone who studied film in college and specifically made a conscious effort to seek out Asian American narratives both in American history and in films, being a part of the Adoptee Board these past months has been an incredibly important part of my personal determination to heal from feelings of erasure in Asian American communities, communities of color, and society as a whole, asserting that our stories are of value and deserving of attention. Even having grown up in times where underrepresented voices find their place on more accessible platforms like YouTube and social media, side-by-side with mainstream discussions about Asian representation in film and media, I find myself still hankering for a sense of adoptee community representation in my everyday life. For this reason, the presence of the Adoptee Board and the honor of being able to contribute in its direction have been extremely fulfilling as an outlet to exercise autonomy over how frequently I can physically or virtually gather with a community that understands me. Our board and community is interested in sharing stories, whose experiences finally intertwine with ones I am familiar with, and just simply, but uniquely, allow for connections with people who have normalized shared elements of our histories their entire lives. Because our Adoptee Board members are older than many of our Chinese adoptee peers, at times it is difficult to know how to navigate these community spaces, to figure out our desired direction and goals, and realize we do not have formulas for how to have difficult conversations as new life stages and obstacles arrive. However, I find great solace in knowing that despite these community-specific challenges, on top of the difficulties of community organizing in general, we are able to work on proceeding together as a board and with a larger community, hearing and validating each other’s thoughts and feelings along the way." -- Maya Delany. An excerpt of this is shared in our 2018 VIEW journal.
"Growing up, I had always acknowledged that I was adopted. I viewed my adoption as a relatively positive experience, although I compartmentalized in my brain that my biological parents must be dead. It was not until my junior year of high school that I engaged with that idea that it was actually much more likely that out there in the world, I had both biological parents and siblings walking around, sharing my DNA.
This thought sparked me into becoming active with online groups revolving around adoption, transracial adoption, and specifically, Chinese adoption. In fall of 2017, I had the opportunity to apply to the first iteration of the Adoptee Board under Families with Children from China – Greater New York (FCCNY). I love the idea of contributing to building both an online and in-person community, because the cohort of Chinese adoptees that I belong to (those adopted in the 1990s) is one of the first and largest to become young adults.
Being involved with both the online committee and events committee of FCCNY has been both a challenging and rewarding experience. I have worked in new online mediums, and I have learned more about how to organize people in real life. I am proud of the accomplishments of the Adoptee Board thus far, and I look forward to all of the new adventures that 2019 will bring!" -- Lucy Murray. An excerpt of this is shared in our 2018 VIEW journal.
"When I was younger, my parents were always pushing me to attend events relating to adoption or Chinese culture. I would usually shy away or complain until the event was over. For whatever reason, some part of me did not want to think about this aspect of my identity. I could not change the fact that I wasn’t born into my family in the same way that my peers could not change the fact that they were; so why was I being forced to attend affinity groups or take mandarin lessons?
It was not until my senior year of high-school when I started to accept who I was and where I came from. Instead of trying to hide my story, I should be embracing it and be able to educate my peers. I started reaching out to other adoptees in hopes to learn more about my community. I started a research project on adoption, trauma, and attachment theory, which inspired me to create an independent study on the stories of adoption.
I joined the adoptee board in hopes to inspire others who may have not been able to explore their identity. This year has been a year of thought provoking questions and new relationships. I have been able to connect with other members of the adoptee board and work together to create memorable and insightful conversations. I will treasure the relationships and experiences I have had serving on this board.
I want all adoptees to feel pride in where they come from, even though our stories may have had a rough start. We would not be the same people without our beginnings, and our beginnings shape our future. I want all of us to be able to shape the future we aspire to have, and we can’t do that without facing our past. Be proud of your beginning so you can control your future." -- Andy Whitehead. An excerpt of this is shared to FCC British Columbia's Newsletter.
"Growing up, I had always known that I was adopted, but it wasn’t until I joined the adoptee board and took a more active role in the adoptee community did I begin to fully reflect on and embrace my unique identity as a Chinese adoptee.
As a child living in the diverse city of New York and adopted by a half Chinese mother, I usually did not feel out of place because it never crossed most people’s minds that I could even be adopted. However, there were certain places in which I did feel ostracized and confused about my identity. One of these places was the school in which I participated in Chinese dance. My Chinese dance school consisted of an amazing community and environment that allowed all of us girls to be surrounded by Chinese culture and tradition. However, most of the families who did partake in this program had all immigrated to the United States from China and therefore had an upbringing and bond that I could not relate to. I absolutely loved these families and still consider them to be huge influences in my life today, but because of the language barrier, and the different cultures we grew up in, I never quite felt as though I belonged. Despite not feeling Asian enough at my Chinese dance school, on the other hand when I went to high school, I was labeled as being part of the “diversity group” because of my Chinese physical appearance even though I was raised as an American.
Being a part of the adoptee board has helped provide me with clarity by allowing me to truly see where I fit in and share my experiences with those who are fully able to understand them. I have always loved being a participant in FCC’s events, but being a board member has encouraged me to reach further into my identity and by doing so, embrace it more fully. By being a part of the board, I have been able to meet many older adoptees on the board and I have loved hearing their stories and learning from their experiences. They have given me guidance not just on being adopted, but also life in general. Scheduling events has helped me strengthen my leadership and communication skills. I have loved planning these events and seeing Chinese adoptees being brought together to share common experiences and bond over common ground. I am extremely grateful and happy that I have had the opportunity to be a part of this board, and am excited to continue to grow as an adoptee board member in the coming year." -- Sabrina Stanger. An excerpt of this is shared to FCC British Columbia's Newsletter.
"I was adopted 2 days before my 14th birthday in 2009, and as soon as I came to the US my mom enrolled me as a member of FCC. I made my first friend through FCC and met two of my best friends at FCC gatherings. FCC was the first place I learned that there are people who are just like me; kids who also looked different from their parents. I don’t have to feel embarrassed to call my mom “mom” or my dad “dad” and I don’t have to keep a distance between them and me. FCC, to me, was a place that provided me with great comfort through the period of chaos, as I was adjusting myself to this new environment.
Throughout the years in FCC, as kids grew older and started to go to college the group got smaller and smaller, and when I started college I was no longer participating in FCC. Along with it, I lost that sense of connection and a medium that allowed for questions and discussions among adoptees. So I joined the adoptee board, in an effort to try to connect with my adoptee peers. As a board member, I really enjoy sharing my love for Chinese culture, my thoughts, and experiences as an older adoptee as well as learning the experiences and thoughts of other adoptees. I truly hope that we have provided a more active medium where people can seek support and are provided a sense of belonging. I hope you felt a connection between you and other adoptees through the thoughts, opinions and experiences shared by others, because I certainly did." -- Sophia Trantzas. An excerpt of this is shared to FCC British Columbia's Newsletter.
"If I could describe my first year experience on the FCC Adoptee Board in one word, that word would be fulfilling. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect at first. However, by the end, via working as a team and becoming friends with my fellow board members. I think we were able to pave the way for the start of something very special. My job was to help elevate the organizations social media platform, and yes, that alone was exciting and fulfilling. Nonetheless, I believe the bonds I was able to create between other adoptees in doing so, was even more so. Admittedly, there were times that things on the committee got confusing, and disorganized. However, through proper communication and leadership, that uncertainty was overcome. The FCC Adoptee Board is still very much in the early stages of development, but I am excited to see it grow and improve in the coming years. I’m glad I was a part of such an opportunity that helped spread awareness of not only the organization's existence, but the existence of other adoptees to other adoptees. As an adoptee myself, there were many times I felt alone, “it feels like I’m the only one” I would often think to myself. This experience helped me think otherwise, and I hope I made that impact on others." -- Mira Jeffrey-Craft. An excerpt of this is shared to FCC British Columbia's Newsletter.