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Adoptee spotlight: Kylie

Hubei, China --> Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Hi, my name is Kylie, and I was adopted from Hubei, China, in 2000, when I was 8 months old. My sister is also an adoptee, but we are not biologically related. I am now 22 years old and working as a first-year teacher in central Virginia. I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that was predominately white. Race was something that I was always aware of, but I felt very lost in my identity as an Asian American. Around my white peers, I used to be embarrassed and nervous to tell people that I was adopted, and I feared that they would make assumptions about me. With Asian American peers, I felt like I needed to justify my inner “whiteness” and lack of knowledge about culture and traditions by explaining that I was adopted.

Within my predominantly white high school and college, I was fortunate to find pockets of community that helped shape who I am today. Friends who are fellow Asian American adoptees opened up conversations about similar experiences we share and relate to, in terms of struggles with identity. Friends who are half-Chinese and half-white have shared their stories growing up with similar confusion around identify. Friends who have no connection to Asian American identity gave me the space to process and practice speaking out about racial issues.

"I’m one of the few minority teachers at my school, and I’m proud to represent Asian Americans and adoptees for my students."

I’m one of the few minority teachers at my school, and I’m proud to represent Asian Americans and adoptees for my students. It’s humbling to think that I could be the first Asian American figure in their lives. Representation matters. I know that there is a generation of women with stories like mine from across the world, so I’m thankful for this common place to share our stories and connect!

 

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[Description: On a beige background, with white decorations are two photos. One is of Kylie with her sister and one is Kylie wearing a graduation cap and gown. Large text in the right corner says "Kylie."]

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