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Somewhere Between Podcast
Somewhere Between Podcast

Episode 1 · 11 months ago

Episode 33: The Engaged Adoptee - Lifang, Chinese adoptee & Founder of Adoptiepedia

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This month's episode is part of our new series "The Engaged Adoptee", where we interview adoptees who are actively engaged in the adoptee community. This episode features Lifang, a Chinese adoptee and founder of the organization, Adoptiepedia, which is the first interest group for all Chinese and Taiwanese adoptees in the Netherlands! She shares with us her experience growing up in the Netherlands, finding her birthparents, the importance of mental health and how she created Adoptiepedia. 

You can follow Lifang and her organization on Instagram @mynameislifang and @adoptiepedia or you can visit her website: www.adoptiepedia.nl .

*note: this episode was recorded in March 2021

See you guys next time!

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Intro: Lights by Sappheiros (https://soundcloud.com/sappheirosmusic)  

Outro: herbal tea by Artificial.Music (https://soundcloud.com/artificial-music)

Welcome back to another episode of suwhere between, a podcast made by Asian adoptees for Asian adoptees. Hi Everyone, and welcome to the first episode of Art Series, Short for the engaged adoptee. In this series we will have discussions with adoptees who are in any kind of way engaged in the adoptee community. I'M ACE and today I'm joined by Leefang, the founder and director of Adoptipedia. Hello, Hi and welcome. Super excited to have this discussion with you today. Could you introduce yourself to our listeners? Yes, of course. So normally I will go through life and sneakly I am at twenty six year old and since that I found my parents in two thousand and nineteen, I am going through life as Leefouang, so a lot of people will know me as both of the persons. So I recently, like in preparation for this, for this discussion here today, I read some some of your posts that you that you shared on on social media. So in terms of your adoptee journey, could you tell us more about that? I think you you mentioned you have mentioned that you recently just I think it was in two thousand and nineteen that you found your plans. So I think I'm at a point right now where I'm looking back and I'm seeing things I haven't seen before. So it will maybe differ from other podcasts or maybe other articles that I wrote or that I got interviewed by. And I have to say I know so little about adoption, like, let's say pre adoption, so the moment when you were put on a street or the sidewalk, then that feeling that you have, that that missing out that you have. I have never experienced that, like for Real, like I've never exposed myself to that raw emotion that could come up. And I'm just starting right now actually with a group therapy for adoption to get to know myself better when it comes to adoption itself. So for me it was actually very of course it was a blessing, but it was also like maybe a little bit of a curse, like that I'm already found my parents, because I've never ever imagined that it could be that soon. It even could be, you know, like I was always told it was so impossible, and then in two thousand and eighteen my mom got so sick, I felt so alone, I started my search in two thousand and nineteen in the beginning, and I found them within three weeks, while I was just imagining before I found them, like it will take maybe six to eighty years or maybe ever, and I was already planning with my boyfriend to go to China in the fall of two thousand and nine to do with flyers, you know, like hello, do you know me? or The someone know me? So for me it came as a shock that I found them, and at first it was all like very bubbly and very amazing, because it is amazing. It is such a such a high, you know, like a lot of people won't experience it. Maybe I don't think so. I don't think that, but a lot of people think they won't experience it. I think with the technology right now, with the possibilities, with the parents who are more open to it, I think it's very much a real option that a lot of people will find a parents. But then again, I still didn't think I would find them and and I think I made the wrong like routes. So I think it's a very good way to just focus on yourself, focus on your preadoption, focus on the feelings that you have...

...and then after that you may figure out like, do I want more? Do I want to search for my roots? Do I want to visit my country? And then after that maybe you will open yourself up to no more, like maybe you find some siblings, or maybe you find some cousin or nephew or or maybe another family relative, and then maybe you will find your parents or your resisters or your brother. But for me it a like indifferent times of my life, like right now, I'm just getting ready to get to know myself better with the adoption, and it would be a very healthy way for me if I would just start with my search after I was ready with it, with with this, because it is such a weird feeling right now, because I have never processed my emotions, my my my feelings in my sadness. But then again, I have felt so much joy with finding them, but I also feel still very empty in myself, and and that emptiness is probably a feeling that I have to conquer still, because once you get abandoned from your parents, it's leaves such a big wound. For maybe some of them, some of us, it will be already scarred, but for me it was still a wound till now and then you have to process that and when you process it and you find your parents, you can really feel but right now I'm feeling very, very empty and I need to process so many things. There's a lot of things you said there that made me want to ask so many questions. So which one to start with? Yeah, so I think maybe we can start with you mentioned that everything happened so fast and that you maybe wish that you were more read before you found your birth parents. So was it something that you just kind of expected that it would take more time? So you were kind of just putting it out there and then like, I don't have to think about it too much more. So it wasn't really something that you had planned for a long time, it do I do? I understand that correctly, very correctly, because of course I know a lot of people around me who are searching for maybe a lifetime, but are searching for a couple of months or years. I was just very impulsive and very I felt very overwhelmed with all the emotions I felt with losing my mother in the near future that I thought, okay, there must be some family around it in the world, because I was adopted. Yeah, exactly what you said. I just put myself out there with a digital poster. It's not like flying or like putting yourself into social media or media at your province. Is just for me. It felt like a good step to wait out, like, not that you wait it out literally, but just to wait out like, well, you make your digital poster, then it goes around in China, you hope, and then maybe indeed, after a few years, someone will come forward and say, Oh, it's funny because she looks like whatever, or her name or not name, that couldn't be, but her birth date looks a lot same in I like my daughter, and her birthplace looks similar. So it was just a very, very big coincidence of luck. And Not that I'm unhappy, but I'm just saying, like an advice to a lot of people, just try to find your raw emotions first and then go look, unless you're over twenty five years old. Then I which is just you, would look because people get old, you know, and if you're a certain age it means your parents will grow from a very healthy adult to maybe less healthier adults and less technical adults,...

...and then you will lose some opportunities. So that's my only advice to people who are a little bit older. Yeah, I think that's a that's a very good point that you bring up, because I recently started doing a birth search myself because I'm twenty eight now and it's kind of similar for me. I'm realizing that like, yeah, my my parents and my birth parents, they are not getting any younger. So it's yeah, it's kind of it's time to do that now rather than later. Also with obviously, with the with the pandemic that is going on right now. Yeah, terrible. It makes you so much harder for so many people everywhere to search, to do to set yourself open. I think a lot of people told me in the begating like, Oh my God, I fear so much that my parents are not alive anymore and stuff or a very sick and I said, well, to be honest, I think I don't know about your situation. Of course, I don't know about any individual situation. With let's take a general a lot of older people will die. So maybe, yes, your grandparents or your grand aunt, I don't know, whatever, maybe they will suffer from the covid virus. Yes, but I don't think the parents, the healthier parents, like in the fifth like my parents are fifty years old, so they don't belong in the risk group. And I told a lot of people they shouldn't think like that. Like the coast virus will will knock out the chance to find your birth parents. The only thing it will do is that you can travel to the country right now. That's terrible and I feel so much for all the people who are who were so ready to go for a search right now. And even I know some people who have found their parents and haven't met them yet. So that's also so terrible, like so frustrating. You know who they are but you can't visit them or hug them or yeah, that makes it very frustrating for me to hear for the others. Yeah, definitely, because also like just imagining that maybe for others it has taken many years or very long time to finally find them and then, as you say, it's not possible. It's kind of like Oh you, it's just write in front of you, but you can't touch it, and that's very sad situation. So I also I just wanted to circle back on a thing that you that you mentioned before. You talked about going to group therapy. So I had I had some cress, several questions on that. So, like was this something that you started going after your search or and is it's something that is like connected to your adoption story? Yeah, so, actually I'm going to therapy where I'm a very open person and I think it's very important that some I don't think that everyone should be open, but I'm very open about it because I want to share my stuff and my mental health issues with other people so they can acknowledge that they aren't crazy. Okay, maybe they are crazy, because I'm a little crazy to but they aren't crazy crazy. Like if you feeling very low, if you don't see any light, then you may have some mental health issues that need to be like taken care of. And I'm just pointing it out that going to therapy, going seeking professional help, isn't a weird thing, like, look at me, I'm not a weird thing. I'm living my life. I'm just seeking the help where I needed to continue, you a very happy life. So, going back to the point of group therapy. Yeah, so I had a therapist for three years, individual and I love her. She is amazing and we had such a we have such a good connection. But we came to the point where things were spoken like there wasn't anything more to address, or...

...two to really like sparkle things like, oh, that's a new thing, let's talk about that. We managed to get a lot of things out of the way where I had troubles with in my life. But one thing that I have trouble with is, of course, the adoption, but I didn't want to talk about it yet. I wasn't ready for it. Now I'm ready and it's very healthy to switch professionals if you think like you want to start a very new subject, to get a new perspective on it from a new person who doesn't know you, who doesn't laugh with you about very serious stuff. You know like because you know each other and it's fine. But if you have a new person, they don't laugh because when they hear stuff they haven't heard before, that I go like, are you okay, and they have to figure by yourself. Am I okay? It's everything okay, or is it just me being jokey, jokey, but yeah, so right now I'm in an intake, so it's that the same intake, right. Yeah, so with the with the very early start, of the group therapy. I'm not already in the group their therapy, but it will start end of March and it's especially for other ties. So it's just a group of think a people with only adity backgrounds, not from China, but just from all over the world, and I do think it will give me a lot of perspective. It will give me a lot of insights about how other people few adoption, how other people experiences, and it will give me more to go with, like to learn from, I think, I hope. I hope so too. And it's really interesting because I also recently started going to therapy and for me it was it was a bit difficult finding someone who's like specialized in adoption. So just hearing this now that it's actually like it's even a group therapy that is like specialized for for adoptees, that that sounds very interesting to me. Did you did you know before that this was something that existed? Or so this is the first group. So I'm I'm the pilot, but I'd love to be a pilot. I'm okay with being a pilot. That's really cool. That's really interesting. Yeah, I love to connect and like later on and see how things are going with with the program and because I think that can definitely have a have a good impact on if if that becomes like a bigger thing, because I think it's definitely something that that is needed in the Adopti community. Yeah, I think definitely that that help is needed. Like in the Netherlands, there was no organization or no stuff like for the actual care for the adoptees. And maybe I'm hurting some parents right now, but because they did do their best to give some things for the adopt taste of China. But we needed each other. We needed a place to feel safe, place to feel understood, a place to feel heard, but also a place where you can be hurt, where it's okay to get triggered and then talk it out. I want to point it out that's a lot of things are here in the adoptee world. A lot of people triggering each other, so getting very bumped out by each other and getting fights and getting arguments and stuff, and that's normal. You know why? It's normal? Because we don't know how to act any different. We only know our own like ways to feeling triggered, reacting in a certain way, and then the other reacting a certain way because he or she or them feel or they feel triggered. So it's a very help like not a healthy it's a very unhealthy way, but it's a very logical way to for two adopt persons...

...to interact with each other. I can tell this better in the net in Dutch, but I will try in English because it's it's the only way you know to cope with certain stuff, to not let let people close to you or when people hurt you a certain way, like I think a lot of adopted people can relate to the fact you don't want to stand out, you don't want to get locked out and you don't want to feel like an outsider. That's three different things and even we that we know it's happening to every one of us, that we feeling that way, a certain way, we're still accidentally maybe doing it to each other sometime, and that makes it like a very easy way to disconnect and to never talk to each other again, because that's the only way that we know, like well, if you can be in my life, then you will be in my life, you know. But I think it's just a good way to think about it. Now, like if you're having an argument with another adapted person, just think about yourself that. If you're triggered, you can act over emotional, you can act not justifiable, you can you can maybe make some things or maybe say some things that are very hurtful for the other even if you don't mean them hurtful, because there's a difference between intention and interpretation. So that's the thing. I just want to point it out for other outher ties, like if you're having an argument with other outher tees, it's completely logical. But just keep to yourself like Oh, yeah, I'm an adopted person to the other adopt the person to yeah. So just keep that in mind. We're all just human beings with with a bag. I'm always saying that Ros so some have a little bag because I had a very good environment and very good people around them. Some of a bigger bag because it shitty environments and yeah, it's just how you do with it. Deal with it later. Now I'm just acknowledging stuff that I'm I'm sometimes zero two hundred person and it's not normal. I don't think that's healthy, but it's just happening. So I'm trying to learn from it. I'm trying to acknolishing it, like, oh, it's happening again, I can't stop it right now, but I would try to make it less like eight maybe, and that's progress for me every day to try to make myself a more healthy and adult person. Yeah, definitely. I think also what you said, they're in the beginning. I think that being an adoptee is a very complex like experience and it's difficult for people on the outside to get that. And also what what you just mentioned. That is also very different, like every experience for adoptees is very different as well and it's very individual to to each person. So even if you're in the same room with a lot of adoptees, many have had very different experiences and how they were raised or how they see adoption in general. And because also I've realized being part of the community that death there's there's a lot of different opinions inside the community. So I also wed that you were recently on national television in the in the Netherlands. Can you can you tell us more about that? Yes, I would love to talk about that. I will keep it short, though. So there is like a documentary maker who wins a loud. He is a very famous one because he always goes to China and puts a very real perspective of China, like the nasty stuff, also the good stuff, and he banuses, he banans, Lusus it out, you know, and a lot of people respect and like really respect and viewers. And he speaks Mandarin, by the way, so that's why he's so good at his job. A friend of mine, Leon, she was asked...

...by the documentary maker to get on the got on the series, the documentary series, and because she was in an Asian studies for learning the language, and then she talked about probably like Ad Opstipedia, and the team of Rooman's lower like what is that, obsopedia? What are you doing with them? And she said we're making the place, and they said, Oh, can we enjoy? And then Leon said, I have to ask that, and I should. She was at me like Eque, is it okay if we went to US team comes around for Doping Day, and I was like, is that okay? It said okay, of course, that's okay. So I said immediately like yes, of course, let them call me, let them plan something. I'm open to everything. And then they came around and we were on television with, I think actually a very big part for the addaptees, especially because it was a very last minute item. And Yeah, I think it was amazing to just show our faces to the world, not to the world, but to the to the nelands world, to just show them Chinese adaptees are thing. We are six thousand nine hundred plus big and we need to show ourselves to you because we haven't had a good childhood and not because we're adopted, but because a lot of white people thought it funny to make funny faces with this slid eye or say stuff that they thought was funny, or maybe even they didn't thought was funny, but just pure bullying. And I pointed out I also pointed it out with my identity crisis, I think, with a part of where do I belong, what do I want? And then I told them that I found my parents and that they were looking for me. So I hope it also brings a lot of hope for a lot of other people that the parents are definitely looking for children. And I think I also talks about a little bit of my upbringing, like it's it's very different to be brought up by parents of your own culture and genetics and stuff. I think they tried their best, my parents, to integrate the stuff, because we have a lot of Chinese things in the house. But I have no affection with China because I was willed so much and because I just maybe I wasn't introduced right, because China is such a fascinating part of the world, you know, and it's just so weird that you have such a bond with the world's with a piece of a world you don't know in the in the first year, as you haven't been there. Your parents don't look alike. Probably when you're brought up in a very white village, there is no one looking like you. So it's it's actually like kind of like you're an alien, and that's weird because we're not aliens. Were just people with a heart and a voice and a mind. And Yeah, it's just just weird when I think about it. Being adopted is because I can't even blame people who are not like who are freaked out by adoption or who don't doesn't don't get it, because why would they get it? They are brought up by their own parents with a tummy, pictures and stuff. It's not weird that they don't know. Otherwise, I think a lot of people shouldn't judge about the fact that you can't educate yourself in all the things. Like some people of animals, some people of the environment, some people of Babies, some people of choose, I don't know, like whatever floats your boats. You know, and I understand completely, that a lot of people won't know about adoption, like nothing. Why would they? And I can't even blame them if they say things like I think blood is thicker than whatever. So is your family, your real family, like I can't even blame them. I feel bad for them, like I wish I could, like you can try to educate those people and if they try to listen,...

...then that's that's so beautiful, but if they don't try to listen, then well, I'm gonna let it go, because why would I put effort in stuff that I know for myself? But it's my own truth. It's not the truth. You know, I'm fair philosophical this night. I'm sorry, don't don't apologize. No, apologize here. So I definitely understand a lot of things that you're saying and also with this like being alien and being being different, and I think that the fact that you were on natural television and like educating and people and like showing that, oh, we also we're also part of the society, we also live here, we are also people. That that's that's a very important thing to do. Definitely, and also, I think like on that, I think what you mentioned, and also what I mentioned on the beginning of this episode, that you are the founder and director of Adoptipedia. So I think it would be very interesting if you could tell us more, like what is adoptipedia? Yeah, so foundation out of STIPEDIA. In Dutch, it's Adoptipedia, is the only foundation for Chinese adoptas living in the Netherlands and Taiwanese out of taste, and we are with a group of thirty five, maybe right now thirty seven, volunteers who are very passionate to work with me on amazing projects and important stuff like a website with information in Dutch. To keep it very low lucky. I think it's work. All the stuff we do is for the Chinese and Taiwanese out of taste. So it's taking care of certain things like mental health issues, racism stuff, identity crisises, roots, questions, China questions, time, Taime, Onan questions. It's such an important like we have a very certain few that Chinese adopt taste and Taime Wannese shot out of taste. Should be educated as much as we can. They can look for themselves. Is if they're ready, they're ready. If they're not ready, will find you later or you'll find us later. That's fine. But for all the persons who are slightly interested or very interested, we will offer a website with a lot of information about all the themes I just mentioned, and we also have like a very interactive facebook group. And I know I just saw somewhere there are three hundred thirty two facebook groups for Adaptias of China. I'm getting crazy out of my mind, but okay. So there's like one Dutch Chinese group, only in Dutch, only for other ties of China and Taiwan, and that's our own facebook group. And then we have, of course, are very popular instagram that is failed with all of a kind of experience stories and and we're very we're very lucky with people sending it in, with people being so open. But I'm also saying always as a side note, I also feel very sad about the fact that so many people are sending it in and so many people are being so open about stuff because for me, it gives a very urgent matter, like there was no place for it earlier on. So right now it's the first place to give it a stage and, as you can see, a lot of people are taking that stage because it's so they're finding it so overwhelming sometimes to not talk about stuff with other to not get recognized with others, and so I'm feeling very grateful that we have that platform for them to feel safe and acknowledged and we kepping it very, very, very safe.

Like if there's any comment, it has never occurred, but if there's any comment that is not nice or respectful, I will delete it myself in a heartbeat and I will block that person. If it's very nasty, I will give them a warning person, then I will block that person. But it has never occurred, luckily, because I think a lot of people respect what's going on right there because it's so it's so emotional, it's so intense and it's so personal what people are saying, but it's also giving a lot of other piece persons so comfort, like I'm not the only one. I'm not fee, I'm not having a very great bomb with my parents, but luckily a lot of other other teas don't have that too, and maybe some say like I do have a great bomb, and then you can read that story about a person who does have a great bomb with their parents and the same with siblings. It's it's such an amazing platform to just get a recognition for yourself and get recognized by others. Yeah, definitely a nation. Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head there. I could. I think it's like maybe like when you as an adoptee, when you grow up, you kind of like what we mentioned before. We feel like like we're very alone in these feelings. We're like, okay, no one else can can relate to this and I'm the only one feeling like this and it ECTER, etc. But then actually finding that, as you say, that it is possible to what you're doing, that you're giving adoptees a platform to actually share, share their stories and final community of others that have gone through a very similar thing they have done and I think not only in these times but in general also, I think it's it's very important to to to have something like that to not feel like you're alone in in something very important and big like that. Yeah, I think we're also trying and it's very hard because there are so many there's so many different categories, you know, like we want to try to give a habbyt why plus a stage. We're trying to give complex family situations to place. We're trying to give MOMS place, like there're a lot of MOMS already or having a biological child but are struggling with being adopted and not having their own mother and stuff. So it's difficult because we have to make a lot of not borders, but you know what I mean. We have to center ourselves, like, okay, we are at OPSTOPEDIA. We're doing it for all the Chinese and time when he's out of days. What do they need right now, and can we comfort them in what they need, or can we just meet them halfway and what they need? Because, you know, like we're thirty six, thirty seven people, but we're still people and we're not magicians and we're not like a higher power. So we just need to do it with ourselves, with our own talents, with our own capacity, with our own energy and time, and that's always what I'm saying to my colleagues like let me start off, but that's by saying again it's about the three things, like energy, mutiphasion and time. If one of them is missing, you shouldn't do your job, because then you will not fail. But it will, it will fill you because you won't be as pleased as you could be if you have all the three things. And I'm a little bit of a hypocrite because usually I have less energy than I want, but then again I am very good at forcing myself to make more energy, otherwise I wouldn't have come this far. So that's always when I'm telling myself a little bit with my own experience. I always try to get my colleagues as much in a mental health way as I can and of course, with my very dear cofounders. I have to mention them because I love them so Homelyn, she's the visual artist and the visual...

...manager, and then we have see Moona and Seemona is the cofounder and and right now the manager of adoptic notes club, and adoptic notes club is our very special mental health expertise piece. So we're very focused on the mental health things. I I think that's important because we're not talking only about the extreme things. Were also talking about the little things, like not connecting with friends, not feeling a little bit like not appreciate it sometimes or maybe over estimated, overestimating yourself. All the time. We're talking about this stuff and I think it's very important that we do, because the more you talk about it, the more you acknowledge that it's happening on a more than to recognize it with others and you can talk about how you can maybe make it a little bit less harden yourself with some things. Yeah, for sure. You just mentioned your your confounders there as well as so I wanted to ask on that. He's like, did you know them before or did you just come together for this thing? Or so at first it was just an idea in my head and I talked about it with a good friend of my, Linn, and Lynn and I were sitting on the table. I can remember this day until now because it was so funny. We were sitting on the table, we were talking about this stuff and I said I just want a website where you can click on all the clickable links. was already existing in information. So I didn't want to make anything new. I just want to make something that I want to grab all the pieces that are hidden everywhere and just put in a warm place for them for the Dutch tease and we were talking about the logo, so I put some chopsticks in my hair. I remembered it because it was so funny. We love so hard. But then Lynn had to go with her study and it was very busy for us, so she had to pull out the team, the two team, and then I just, I think, by Quincidence. That's how my life goes. By Quinsilans, I met homely in and so we're walking towards her house and I suddenly say like, Oh yeah, and I want to do something with the for Chinese oduptates, with a website or stuff, and she says, Oh, I'm actually a website designer and I make visual things, and I said that's funny. We should talk more about it, and then we just kept on going about it. And at the same moment I think around that my other person, Seemona, who is now a good friend, but right then I didn't know where. She just mentioned to me like I don't even know why she could not contacted contacted me. I can ask that because I don't remember, but she asked me like, Oh, yeah, I want to make an anti racisms stuff about the Chinese Aduptas in the Netherlands. Can you help me with the quote and stuff? And I said Yeah, of course. So she sent over some things as at. I love the idea, but I don't think that's a handy plan right now for us. But what do you think about an organization? Or it was an organization yet, but what do you think about something for Chinese updates in general? And she said, let's do that. I'm in. And then we just said in the library, homely in a die and Simona called in and we just talked for hours, I think, and we said every thing on paper. I think it's the twenty six large documents right now, still somewhere hanging, and we created the instagram from that. And then in August, I think, two thousand and nine, two thousand and twenty, we made in an official foundation. That's really cool. That's really cool how how that came to be. So how I think this is personally, because I'm going in in in similar thoughts, because I'm also like, Oh, why, why doesn't these things exist, you know, and then it's like Oh, but if it doesn't exist, then let's create it like kind of in a way. So, so, so, what kind of like? I we don't have to be two...

...technicals, because obviously it's different in every country. But like what are there are are there certain requirements that you need to fill out, like in the Netherlands, for example, to be a foundation or organization? Yeah, you do. So you have to go, of course, to the GAFFIC APP that's a very famous thing, and the NELLAS. I think that people would love right now. So that's only like I'm gonna say the technicals. That's only fifty euros, because they you own your own name. They also have to go to the not true notory, not not real the know what I mean? Yeah, the notary. I don't really. Yeah, so you have to go to the office and I have to sign a lot of papers and that's cost of way more vis heros. But we had we invested our own because we found it, we found we we acknowledge that was such a important thing for us. So we yeah, we did that with the with the three of us, and then signed the papers at a northw no notory, not the thing, official thing, and then after that there there's a lot of from some, of course, but I won't bother you guys with that. Yeah, that's really cool. It makes me I'm like, Oh, now I need to look into how you can do that in like Germany or in yeah, who, who knows? Yeah, that's that's really that's really interesting. So also, you just a quick quick question then on that. Like it is this, it is this something then, like your work at the at that of the PDAS, is something that you do full time or do you hand do something outside? No, so I'm working twenty eight hours at a knowledge center of child and youth, the Psych Psychotry, and I'm working there as a communication professional and Evan Manager. But is funny because I'm just going to tell you about it. In my early days I really wanted to start up my own company, but I was so fearful because what if the risk were too high? What if I lose all my money, you know, and what if it wasn't a success? And of course a little a bit of perfectionism has a big part of that. But yeah, I wanted to make it great or not, you know, like there was no in between. So it's so funny because now, right now, I show. I chose nonprofit, to create that and to put even money in it of my own and not even bothering if I ever going to get it back. You know, like I was just so invested with my love and with my passionate with my motivation in everything, and I think it's amazing that I finally, I finally have something of my own right now that I can say I'm so proud of what we do. I'm so proud of all the people who working there. I'm so proud of all the people who are involved with an Obsipedia, who are talking about their stuff, even in some ifn it's a little bit, even if you only like stuff, even if you only read stuff, it's so amazing that people are setting their hearts open to certain emotions and I'm just so happy because in my early, early days, I always said like, I want to work with children and youth and stuff, and now I understand I didn't need to work with children in general. I need is work with children, the inner child in a lot of adopt persons. That's what I needed to work with. That's really that's really beautifully put. Oh Wow, I love the way the way you put that. I think ink also something on that. I it's something that I heard you mention in different in a different context. I think it was on your on your instagram that you mentioned that you think, or and let me know if I don't remember correctly, but that you think that adoptive parents that even though...

...their shall might not be very interested in their birth culture, that they kind of should at least like give the opportunity to their child to kind of find out more about this, and I think it kind of from me how I see your your organization and your foundation, that it kind of in a way, it has all the information about about adoption and everything, that it is a wave for adoptees. Once they are ready to find out more about it, they can just go there and like do it on their own time and when they're ready. It's nothing that is like shove them row throws or like all you need to find this out. It's something that they can do when they feel that they are ready to find out more. Yeah, so it's funny because I just talked about it with a good friend of my mother when I was on a hike and we talked about a different parents there are like adoptive parents are like there's a part of adoptive parents who are very eager to look for that Shell's birth parents. I'm not actually very fond of that, because you're giving your child no choice anymore when they're like six years old and you're asking them you want to meet your parents just to investigate. Maybe you've already found to his parents, and child goes like, yeah, he doesn't know yet, he's too young. Lift if he says no, you don't know the real reason behind and know because it's not he's not all enough yet. So it's actually what I've heard a lot of young people say to me if their parents had searched for their biological parents, that they find it very hard because there was no choice for their selves, for themselves. And of course I understand all the risks and stuff like you can better search for them when you were when they were young, you know, like when then you already have them in your pocket. Of course I understand all the arguments and of course I understand all things, but it's still it's a journey you're doing for yourself and not for your child because, sorry, because your child, I'm going, I need to go to that, because your child is like so young, it has no decision yet. So what I'm what I'm talking about in my in my in my reels and in my stuff, I'm saying like just give your child some opportunity to learn from roots, mental health and other stuff like. You shouldn't shove it in their faces, but just give them an opportunity. I was just thinking about it when you were talking right now, like you need to maybe balance it out on a scale of the child's having to interact with it, because if your child has an interaction with his own roots like seven times a week because it's bullied a lot or stuff, they you should interact the rules seven times a week too, because otherwise it is such a big difference. They're getting confronting, a confronted about it, but they have no clue what's it at, what it's about, unless you tell them about it. Then you have seven times that they get confronted about it and seven times that they learn about it and seven times that they can maybe say back, yeah, you can say this or that, but I know better now. Maybe it helps. I'm not sure if it does, but in my head it's a very logical thing that if they get confronted about it, if they look in the mirror like three times a week to themselves like, Oh, I look different, should maybe three times a week talk to them about it. Hey, I saw you looking at the mirror. Do you want to see some Chinese movies? You want to get some grab some food, Chinese food, you want to make some Chinese food with me? Just keep it very low and very simple, and if the child comes to you with more questions than of course that's totally fine. But I think definitely a parents shouldn't over project their own needs on their children and I...

...think that also not acknowledging the roots and cultural stuff is also a fair bit thing to do, because your child doesn't know better. Yeah, exactly, because, like most are or like especially transracial and transnational adoptees, they are raised in a in a very different like culture from from their birth culture. So everything is very yeah, they don't even know when when they're young, probably about their like original perfect count. Exactly. Yeah. So I don't want to keep you too long. It's been a very interesting discussion we're have here and I could talk to you about it for for very long time, but I need to be mindful of our time here. So to kind of wrap things up. I would like to have a quick round of rapid fire questions. So, yeah, let's go. So the first one is fill in the blank. Being an adoptee is hard. Name one thing you can do to be active or engaged in the adoptee community. Feat what's the first thing you do in the morning? Watch my phone. I feel so guilty now. I heard you shouldn't do that. Okay. So, what's your favorite dish from your culture? Oh it's a noddle thing with a lot of oil. It's beautiful, with egg and carrot. I don't know how it calls, but it's so lovely. It sounds amazing. What's the book that you really love? It's a Dutch book right now and it's called the side and patient. And finally, what advice would you like to give to young adoptees? I always say, and I will keep saying it, it's completely normal what you feel. If you feel totally happy, then you're in that stage, and if you're feeling totally sad, then you're in that stage. And there will come a stage maybe where you will reach for more which for more information, which for more recognition, and if that time comes, just know that there are places to look and places to listen and places to read and places to meet and I think in general the adopted, the Chinese adopted people, are very lovely and very open and have so much to offer, not only advice, because who wants and wanted advice, but a lot of experiences and a lot of jokes. We are very funny people, I think, because we have to learn with dealing with the hard stuff. We know how to laugh about the hard stuff sometimes. I think that's a very good quality and quality of the Chinese outtakes. And when you're ready, you're ready and you will know it, you will feel it. Just give into it at certain points. Don't push it away, don't turn your back on it, because you're so welcome, beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much. Where can people connect with you and where can people find out more about a doctipedia? Okay, so if you're Dutch, UNCRING Ownspindo Etho of Sypedia, hopeel's website. They wepened little syopadiapens now, and if you're English, you can find me at my name is Lefa and I am welcoming you with open norms. Thank you very much, funk, for having this discussion with me today. Thank you so much for the very beautiful questions and your beautiful voice. Oh, I'm blessing. Thank you, thank you so much. Thank you for joining us today. If you are interested in participating in our t series want to be part of our regular episodes, email us at somewhere...

...between dot podcast at gmailcom, and don't forget to join our instagram family at somewhere between dot fam to say connected with updates, casting calls and more. See You, guys next time and stay engaged.

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