Alone in the Crowd

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.

Great Wall 2014 014Great Wall 2014 009

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2 thoughts on “Alone in the Crowd

  1. Thuy M. Doan says:

    Thanks for sharing your blog with me, Christina! I have really been enjoying reading your entries, not just regarding the study abroad parts but the entirety of your reflections and your reactions to the documentaries research. I can’t wait to read more! I hope your Chinese is progressing well–only 4 more weeks left! I know you’ll make the most of it!

    • Thuy, thank you so much for reading and for taking time to comment! I am glad you’ve been enjoying the posts so far; I am working on a new one now. Hope you’re having a great summer!

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