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Adoptee spotlight: Milly

Nanchang, Jiangxi, China --> New Zealand

Hi, I'm Milly. I was adopted from Nanchang, Jiangxi, China in 1996 when I was 5 months old. I was adopted by French and Canadian parents. Internet wasn’t really a thing at this time, and most books my parents had seen about China had photos of its wonderful landscapes, it’s culturally different celebrations and traditional culture. I was raised idealizing China, despite not knowing much about the culture. As the only child of my adoptive parents, they were emotionally absent and became physically absent a lot after their separation. Growing up in a small, white town, I was socially isolated and raised myself a lot with books. Since the age of 12, I dreamt about going back to China and maybe living there.

"I was raised idealizing China, despite not knowing much about the culture."

I managed to travel quite a bit with school programs. When I was 16, I was sent to Germany for a couple months and never went back to my parents’ home. At the age of 19, I was granted a scholarship to study a year in China and learn Mandarin. Overly excited, I was both overwhelmed and disappointed to discover I had nothing, besides physical appearance, in common with Chinese people. That’s when I knew my dream of moving back there as a “lost child “ was only a product of my imagination.

Since then, I’ve been traveling the world in search of a place I can call home. Loneliness and feeling othered are theme in my life. Despite the opportunities my adoption has given me, I will always resent my childhood for the lingering sadness it left me with and for the depression and anxiety (in remission). I am now living in New Zealand and am a yoga instructor. I'm just testing ways of making life work for me.

 

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[Description: Tan background with four photos in Polaroid frames. To the left is a photo of Milly as a kid, riding a bike. To the right are three photos of Milly today. Large text below the photos says "Milly."]

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