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Adoptee spotlight: Molly Merchant

Fuling, China --> Atlanta, Georgia

Hello, my name is Molly Merchant (they/them). I am 21 years old and adopted from Fuling, China in 2002. I was found in front of my orphanage gate. My sister, Miranda, was also adopted from the same orphanage in 2005. For me, adoption has become something I am proud of and make a continuous effort to connect with. This growth, of course, is not without its ups and downs. Fortunately, my mother did a tremendous job immersing my sister and me in both our adopted roots and provided a space for us to become who we wanted beyond.

Atlanta, Georgia is a big place. While there is an immense amount of diversity, one can almost feel as if they are in a bubble. I have lived there my entire life and call it home. To this day, I remain connected to two amazing adopted friends, Lilly and Jacy. Both of them have different backgrounds and perspectives about adoption but are both my chosen sisters.

For me, the concept of adoption has become less about being surprised by the number of girls and boys adopted from China. Instead, I'm more focused on the policy created by China that was the catalyst. Sometimes I find it hard to talk about adoption because part of me feels like I am being ungrateful for being “saved,” but what was I being saved from? What is even more daunting is the fact that I will never find out what my former life would have entailed.

Despite the hardships and successes, I view adoption as a gift. When I think about my different identities, adoption helped me transform other parts of me. Knowing that my background of being raised in a single-parent household, in a predominantly white area, and being adopted was already distinct from others. This brought both challenges and ease to coming out. I align my path of trying to find myself in other capacities, for the result of being adopted can feel as if a multitude of pieces are missing or even buried and it is my responsibility to find them.

When I graduate from undergraduate university in May 2023, I plan to leave my legacy of starting the first ever adoption club at the University of Kentucky, which I established in spring 2019. For anyone who wants to chat about adoption or finding one’s identity or anything in between, direct message me! Thank you for the platform!



[Description: Gray background with a pink banner across the center. On the banner are three photos of Molly. To the left is Molly as a kid with their mom outside the gates to Molly's orphanage. Center is Molly standing in front of a city during sunset. To the left is Molly holding a frisbee. Large text at the top says "Molly Merchant." Small text at the bottom says "Fuling, China."]


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