Thirteen-year-old Anna, adopted from China as a child, shares about her family’s recent trip to her birth country, including a visit to a local orphanage and to the place she was found as a young child.
Between Anna’s recollections of what she thought was very cool about the trip and what was unexpected, she also explores her own questions, fears, and hopes with courage and with depth. Meanwhile, she asks us all to remember why others’ stories are important—both when we know a person’s story, and when we don’t.
My finding place … it’s kind of hard to put what I originally envisioned into words.
The surroundings I can explain, and my first impression was that it was a lot more modern and more American than I expected.
I definitely was not expecting it to be on the corner of a busy street with vendors along the way—not that this changes the way I see myself being found—but it was not what I was expecting.
When the friendly village surrounded the group I was with, and I was very welcomed by people I didn’t know, I thought it was cool how they were so interested in me.
In the back of my mind, I hoped that one of them was one of my birth parents, but in situations like this, where’s there’s no real information about my birth parents, it’s unlikely for me to ever find them.
It’s hard not to get your hopes up, though, but at the same time, I’m still very grateful for the life I have now.
The idea of going to a place and thinking, “This is the place I grew up a little, and I have no memory of it,” was scary in a way … because as hard as I try to remember, I can’t always tell my memories from my dreams.
The orphanage we visited, however, wasn’t from my memory. It wasn’t the original building I spent around 11 months of my life in, as that building was no longer open to be able to visit. I didn’t know what to expect, or what I’d recall though, when we visited a different orphanage on the trip, but I remember that walking into the orphanage was breathtaking.
It was amazing to see how much effort the orphanage put into making the place seem like home, and I felt happy knowing that children were growing up in a nice place.
I immediately connected to all of the children at the orphanage. I was very happy that I was given the chance to play with them, knowing that 13 years ago, I would have wanted someone to play with me.
In the future, I wish to give a home to a child from an orphanage because I feel like I was given the opportunity to live a different, new life, and I feel like others deserve the chance as well.
In a way, I really have no idea how my life could have ended up if I wasn’t adopted. Growing up as a Templeton, I wouldn’t want my life any other way.
Adoption has also changed the way I see people to this day. I think adoption has given me something to remember about others, or when meeting new people, which is this: “You never know what people have been through.”
Because … not everyone tells their story.