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Adoptee spotlight: Meilin; 2023 year in review

Suixi, China --> Illinois, United States

Originally published on Aug. 6.

Hey! I'm Meilin. I was born in Suixi, China and was adopted in 2004 when I was 11-months-old. The Chinese name my nannies gave me in the orphanage is 遂夏雪 (Sui Xia Xue). I've grown up in northern Illinois with two other sisters who are also Chinese adoptees. Although I grew up in a town where my sisters and I were basically the only Asian people, this wasn't something I really noticed or was bothered by. It wasn't untill I was a bit older that I started to care more about my heritage. During middle school and high school, I started to question my identity and wondered what it meant to be a Chinese American adoptee. Since I grew up pretty ignorant of my own heritage, the culture and language of my homeland, I felt slightly guilty that I didn't have anything about me that was Chinese besides my ethnicity. This made me want to learn about China.

After spending a few years studying Mandarin online and learning about Chinese culture, I began to have more confidence in my identity as an adoptee. My Chinese heritage is something I can be proud of and will continue to learn about. I don't have to feel pressured by others' expectations to know these things about where I'm from. I'm learning about my heritage for myself.

"My Chinese heritage is something I can be proud of and will continue to learn about."

I’ve also come to realize that my identity is more than being a Chinese adoptee. I am also a follower of Christ. His love and kindness toward me has impacted me forever. Even though there is so much brokenness in this world, to me, adoption will always be a beautiful picture of God’s healing love. Although there are many complexities that come with being adopted, I like to think of all the ways this part of my identity is a blessing. When I started learning more about my Chinese culture, it sparked my interest in learning about other countries and their cultures. Now that I’m in college and have the opportunity to make friends from all over the world, I’m grateful for the unique way I can connect with and understand people who also have a different ethnic and cultural background. I’m majoring in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), so I can continue meeting people from all around the world and learn from their unique experiences as well.



[Description: A light gray background with a large photo of Meilin. She's standing outside, wearing a black leather jacket and folded her arms. Below this photo is a smaller one of her as a child with one of her sisters. To the right side is large text that was "Meilin." Smaller text below says "Suixi, China to Illinois, United States."]


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