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Adoptee spotlight: Tori Lin

Guilin, China

Hi everyone, my name is Tori Lin. I was born in Guilin, China and adopted at 9 months old by a white couple in their 40s who had three other kids. Two of them are biological and one is adopted from Wuhan, China. Between being adopted and Asian, it was a complete nightmare for me growing up. I had kids tease me about how my real parents didn’t want me and people would purposely pulled back their eyes and call me “ling ling” and a "Ch!nk…" The majority of the people I went to school with and lived around were all white, Black and Hispanic people but no one else was Asian. This made it very hard for me to fit in, because there were barely any Asian people that lived near and went to school with me.

My parents, unfortunately, didn’t teach me very much about Chinese cultural and heritage. I have been trying my best to learn on my own, but I can only do so much research, and Google isn’t always the most reliable source. I’ve also been learning Mandarin Chinese on Duolingo. So far I haven’t been doing very well on translating, but, you know what they say, “practice makes perfect." When I came across Girls Adoption Connect, it warmed my heart to know that they are other Asian adoptees out there that want to know more about their culture and heritage and even make friends. I’ve had a hard time making friends strictly because I was adopted and or Asian. I used to be ashamed of being Asian, but now I’ve learned to embrace who I am.

"Being adopted has been an absolute blessing to me, because who knows what could’ve happened and what my life would be like if I never was adopted."

Being adopted has been an absolute blessing to me, because who knows what could’ve happened and what my life would be like if I never was adopted. However, I do feel like a part of my identity has been stripped away from me, and all I’ll ever be known as is the poor Chinese orphan girl who got adopted by a white family. I hope by continuing to learn my culture and heritage and meet other Chinese adoptees, I can reclaim my identity that has been lost all these years.

 

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[Description: On a gray background is a large photo of Tori. She is in a red flannel and is looking at the camera. Above the photo is a large pink banner. Text on the banner reads "Tori Lin, Guilin, China."]

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