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Adoptee spotlight: Sarah Sabal

Chengdu, Sichuan, China --> United States

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Sabal, and I was born in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. And yes, I love spicy food, especially ma-la (麻辣) hotpot! My Chinese name is long-xiuying. I was left as a newborn baby by the police station. I was in an orphanage and lived with two different foster families until my parents adopted me at age seven. Now, I am an undergraduate college student with double majors in Marketing and Chinese at Rochester Institute of Technology. I am getting ready to move to Taiwan to study abroad for a semester!


I grew up in China for the first seven years, remembering my early childhood, and I never knew there was another world I would live in for the rest of my life. I knew some Sichuan dialects but lost most of them when I came to the United States, when I had to learn English. It was a cultural shock for a young child to go from living in Sichuan to living in the United States. I experienced challenges growing up in simultaneously learning English and Chinese, social norms and living in both cultures.

"I realized how much I miss my home country, the taste of spicy food, and the familiarity of growing up in a homogenous society where everyone shared the same culture."

From my childhood to my first year of college, I always felt the need to fit in with my friends and peers in school. It is because I lived in a small, predominantly white hometown with a lack of diversity. As a result, I did not have much exposure to my heritage, and I was not interested, because I wanted to be an "American country girl." However, it changed during the summer of 2021 when I was getting ready to go to South Korea with my friend. That was when I realized how much I miss my home country, the taste of spicy food, and the familiarity of growing up in a homogenous society where everyone shared the same culture. That is when I started to embrace my identity of living in two different worlds and wanting to learn more about my heritage.

I recently took a 23&me DNA test in hopes of finding my birth family, but I got the opportunity to learn more about myself. My result showed that I am mostly Chinese and some Korean. My family has been very supportive throughout my life journey and is excited for my new chapter in Taiwan.


Please feel free to reach out and connect with me!

 

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[Description: On a dusty pink background, there are three photos of Sarah. Two are of her outside with plants. To the right side of those photos is a photo of Sarah as a child. She's holding a stuffed animal and holding up a peace sign with her finger. Large text in the upper right corner says "Sarah Sabal." Small text to the left says "Chengdu."]

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