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Adoptee Spotlight: Gwei Strong-Allen

Jiangxi, China --> Cambridge, MA.

Hi, I am Zhilin, but I prefer to be called Gwei. I was adopted from Jiangxi province March 16 2002 at three years old. I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was lucky to grow up in a mostly excepting community.

"There were quite a few adoptees in my town. However, I still felt I was surrounded by white people."

Since I was little, I knew I was different. Through activities, I made a few friends, who also are adoptees. Being a shy kid with PTSD did not help. There were quite a few adoptees in my town. However, I still felt I was surrounded by white people. This was definitely true in my private school. I felt like an outcast. Thankfully, people were curious about my story, and I could share my Chinese culture during International Day.


My parents did everything in their power for me to fit in in my culture, such as going back to China to do a heritage tour. We also did Family Day, Harvard's mentee and mentor program, and celebrated Chinese New Year. I hope I can inspire others to talk about adoption and know they're not alone; we are all in this together.

 

Image description: Peach-color background with pink amoeba shapes and dots. To the right in a circular frame is a photo of Gwei. She is standing on a mountain with trees in the background. Large pink cursive reads "Gwei Strong-Allen" and below in small gray letters: "Jiangxi, China to Cambridge, MA."


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