On the bus ride to the Great Wall, I almost lost my composure because I started thinking about my adoption. I thought to myself, why am I doing this intensive language program? What benefit does this have for me? These thoughts triggered my hopes into thinking that I’ll definitely be glad to have learned Mandarin so I can talk to my birthparents. But, of course, I don’t know if that’s even a possibility. I don’t even know where and how to start searching for them. Also, my birthparents may not even know how to speak Mandarin, if I am able to meet them.
I looked out the bus window and toward the sky. The world is so big, and I am so small in comparison. Why was I given up? Who are my birthparents? How are they doing? Do I have siblings? Are they in college too? Are they in Beijing? Have they visited the places I have been to? Questions like these recur again and again because I can’t answer them. It makes me so sad to not be able to know something that’s part of who I am. I held back the swell of emotion that was pushing against my chest and eyes. I was on a bus full of students, but I felt alone.
I felt different from them because I was adopted from China. I am Chinese, but I am American. I am a Chinese American but I don’t have Asian parents. I am always caught in limbo.
Once we arrived at the Great Wall drop-off site, I wasn’t thinking about my adoption anymore. While hiking up the mountain to the Great Wall, and while making my way along the stony path, I enjoyed pushing myself physically to go far and high. I didn’t think anymore. I just walked and enjoyed the beautiful view.