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Somewhere Between Podcast
Somewhere Between Podcast

Episode · 7 months ago

Interview: Emma and Connor

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this interview episode, Alia is joined by adopted but not biologically related siblings Emma and Connor. Together share both the common and the different experiences they had growing up, their relationships with their family, the importance of Asian representation to them and where they are in their adoption journey. You can follow Emma on Instagram @emcol10 or @emcoography and access her website at emmacolton.com . Connor can be found on Instagram @cpcolton

We've added music!
Intro: Lights by Sappheiros (
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Outro: herbal tea by Artificial.Music (
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Welcome back to another episode ofsomewhere between a podcastmine by Asian adoptees for Asian adopteves, hi, everyone, I'm alia, and to day I'mjoined by am macculton and her brother Connor Hi. Thanks for having US hey. My nameis Emma. I'm twenty six years old, I was a doptor from Fuja Jong Shi and Igrew up in south Florida. I went to Baknal University and I graduated intwo thousand and sixteen I was a psych major and then right after college. Imoved Too York City to pursue a professional dance. Pareer did that forabout four years in the city, and now I am transitioning careers into more TVproduction and digital media. Oh fel, psych, major yeah and conter. If you don't mind you doyour inteduction hi, I'm connor and I'm from combing China was adopted at the Ange of four.Obviously I grew up in Florida and I'm still a student at PIN CRI school,I'm in Eleventh Grade I'm eighteen right now and I want topursue real estate in the future wawesome. Thank you guys so much forjoining me today. I start with a simple question: what was growing up like foryou to, I think, yeuere different yeah. I thinkwe both had completely different experiences, just because you know backin the S, because that's when IV adopted it'. Actually in my hometown I made alot of local newspapers because it was like yeah, because it was the firstlike international doction in our hometown, and it was like you know hugeand so different, and I didn't you know, obviously a orGollf this about being like in these. You know, magazines and newspapers whenI was older, because I'd like to look back at like all the documents and justlike you know, go back and check it every now so and look at everything butyeah, it was just like really vare and there were no adopties in my hometown,like growing up, I was literally the only one in my school. I just you know as a child. I Li thinkabout it. Like I didn't care, it wasn't like a thing in my mind, but Idefinitely went alone in the sense of you know. Community there was no otherlike in terms of like friends and close friends at school. I didn't have anyoneelse like me, but my parents tried really hard to maintain some sort ofconnection with my Chinese heritage. In that you know we celebratee Chinese NewYear we had other family friends actually inour hometown, who adopted children right after us because they were like,I guess, inspired and wanted to also you know adopt. So you know we wouldalways get together, and I think my mom really tried to get usor trying to get need to be closer with like this community, but it just didn'thappen like, of course, we you know, got together and did things, but Inever thouht very, very close to these other com. My friends mostly were just like thepeople that I went to school with and saw every day and and then I went and also you know,my hometown is actually very Jewish Bu. We grew up Jewish. So just being likeyou know, I went to heper school every Sunday, and so you know obviously haslike a little kid. You don't think that you like well, for me at least I don'tremember thinking like oh I'm, the only Asian in this like Sunday, school orlike I'm different than other people, but I think I started feeling it moreactually like in middle school, when I also, I also want to pine crest. So Ithink so I started middle school and then that's when I started feelinginsecure about my Asian in this and just being different, because everyoneis literally like there are maybe like one or two other Asian kids in ourprivate school, because everyone is Jewish and just like, there's no diversity. So like growingup, I I think, as I got older, I got. I got more insecure about it and I didn'thave you know an older sibling like conor did to feel you know lessabouutcast I mean I didn't feel like an alchast. I just was like and I try. Iactually was really embarrassed by my adoption. I you know never talked aboutit. I didn't want to. I didn't want people to know. I was reallyselfconscious about like when my parents did come for, like studentteacher conference and all of those things I just like. I justfelt like people were steering, or I think it was in my head- A lot becauseI don't think anyone actually cared, but I was very insecure about it. I thinkobviously I was like probablyknown as hat you know the one girl who's adopted whatever who knows butyeah I had a completely different experience. It took me a long time towant to embrace it once you connect...

...with it, want to know more about it. You know I'm twenty six years old nowand it and now I'm finally curious. So it tookme that long but yeah you want to talk about your experience. Mom was Awas.Nothing like that criminis. It was, I think, im when I was adopted. It waslike more common and all that and there's a bit more diversty at Pinecrise. It's like not. You know, it's not crazy, but there's more, I think, having an order sister, whoalready is Asian and adopted, made me it made me feel better. I guess,but I never really thought about it either. Like I mean now, I pind Chris, I have afriend, that's also an intotod Asian and like we like to like connect with likethat wic were like Oh depedations, like her sisters right, but it's just like doesn't really bother me like ifsomebody asked me like owhere you're from I'll tell them like. I have noproblem telling my story and yeah. That's why I was a lot I was.It was a lot easier for me. I think, but Wat do you think it Wa's easierbecause of me because of having me around or now I definitely was like where I was like aware that okay, I'mnot the only adopted Chinese, so I mean yeah, it was you di Yiu did make iteasier for me yeah, but I also I wasn't yeah like. Ialso feel like going back to you know not having other friends or otherpeople to connect with like I like. I did have that, but it just I felt likeit was forced right like for your friend ow adopted. Like do you feellike pressure to be friends, because you both have something in common oryou just genuilely get along generally get along yeah and like actually justounobis. When I went to college, I actually met a few other girls who hadthe same story as me like she was from China adopted, but, like I think at the time, I wantedto ask her things, but I could tell thatshe was just not at that stage and I don't think she was open to talkingabout it. But you know again, like we weren'tfriends because of our story: Wer Friends, because we both study, danceand were dancers and like that's what Gougt us together, but at the same timeI always felt in the back of my head that, like she didn't want to be like as close to me because, like Idon't I don't know, this could be like an ansecurity but deep down. I thoughtthat maybe she didn't want to be as close as we could be, because shedidn't want to accept that we like both have the same story or something Idon't know what it is, but I just like GE yeah. If you know what I mean, Idon't know it's kind of that similar feeling thatyou felt of like are we friends just because we're adopted and like? Are webeing forced together versus like yeah? You know e identify e relationship and,depending you know, as everyone has their different adoption story,different journey to with like how they coming to terms with it or just youknow, exploring I guess for her. Maybe she just wasn'tready to even also accept that sign of herself and you know want to connect toother adoptes. Maybe it just made her think more about being adopted. She had younger sister, though that wasadopted, so Yo never know ibut. I probably get youon the part of you know when you kind of Org your parents, take you to aplace and they're like hey a bunch of adoptees, make friends, and you knowlooking back it's it's it's very odd. I guess because in general, kids, you goto a class, and this is your class you're not going to be friends witheveryone, because that's just how it is not ev one gets along, but then you'rekind of takin to this, like small group of adoptes and there's so few of you,that's like well get along. You have no choice like we're going to make you yeah, but it was interesting because,like it, it wasn't like one of those like groups that my mom downe liketheur facebook, whatever like she actually did meen a go, and actually Imet a girl who I'm still sort of friends with, and she has like the same aacxt storyas me like she was adopted into a Jewish family also from China. We're close, but it was more of like we have like close family friends inhour, hometown who also DOPP with kids, and so whenever wwill get together likeYeu hang out, but but, as we got older Yo know gizzled out, so that type ofthing yeah, it's always difficult, because ingeneral, like relationships as a kid you're like we're best friends forever,then you get to high school and you're like where dd you go exactly so. It' in Oyou' be fine yeah, but wejust reel like one of Mo friendsre Goinna. You Know Hen we're going toseparate, says my close friends,...

...obviously, but w a lot of people whoare still friends in high school. I don't Bo like outside of CollegeOrlike in college, like in College. They stake Tam, O Maye. I don't need to worry. I mean we also have more technology nowsocial media, like even discord, people who never used discord before now, withlike the pandemic, using discord for friend groups to just meet up and hangand chat or zoom is the other popular one. Yeah, Okay Yeah. I guess I'm moreof a zoom person. That's why I have no idea how to use discord. feellike, anold woman honestly me with any technologytechnology, just hateing. I come in Clo in coast, contact short circuits, but yeah. It's the you guys had veryopposite. You know experiences growing up. What was that, like kind of whenyou talked to each other about it? You know as like the older sister, whereyou ever kind of like Oh, like if you have this trouble like I experiencedthis, like you know, let me know, or, as you know, being the younger brotherdid you ever kind of experience in things and then go to your old, ersister and say like hey like? Do you feel the same way about this? I don't think yeah. I don't think wereally talked about it until recent, like I'so just hot. I never reallythought about like the past. Ever when I was adopted,like I never like. If I were to go to classroom wand, everybody's White, Iwouldn't be like H, I'm the own Asian here yeah. I thought I feel the samelike when I was in his when I was his age. I never thought about those things.I never really thought about race. Really. I never thought about raceuntil now, honestly and like you know this past summer with like Blm andeverything, that's when I started really just like Didin and thinking more about my identity andeverything, but don't remember yeah, we didn't talk about like growing up whenI was like in high school still we didn't talk about it. We just were likeyou know normal. I would do my thing because I was always busy you wouldhave his like. You know extra curricular after school things. Iactually, you know just had a very deep conversation with him. This pastsummerand we had it, was like when was it was August IV,no idea yeah something sometime this past summer we had like a very deepdiscussion. I recorded it and I like send it to Er familyme, because youknow it's like it's like really special to have that conversation with with likeConnor. You know- and I definitely think about its closer andyou know I really appreciate him for being so open to talk about it,especially at his age, because I know if I was him and like I had oldersister who's like let's talk about race and racism, and all of this I'd be likeno thank youlike like why you so deep. So like I've really admired him forbeing, you know so open to talk about it at like such a young age and yeah. I mean I didn't yeah. He nevercame to me, as you know, as like, like years ago,with any problems or wanted to talk about anything. But I do want tomention that you know because he was four years old and he spoke. He was Flui in Chinese.Like Chinese was his first language. What I always do, Eingto talk to himabout was like I'm so sad that you didn't keep your Shinese, because Iwould like die to be fluwmin. I Chinese, and you know my parents actually triedreally hard to maintain it. We had a Chinese Nany when we first came and sheonly spoke to him in Chinese, but he refused to just like to be kids so but yeah, that's the one thing that Ialways just like bring up, and I always do anymore story than me right because,like the narrative of you know one childpoisy and all that is like girls right like like younger yeah, young babygirls were abandoned because they wanted men to take over the family,Blah Blah Blah. So you know my parents always said that it was very differentand strange for him to be adopted because he was a boy, and so we wedon't know that much information about it. Obviously, but I mean reember likewhat was mom storing to you like. What does she tell you weal? She just toldme: She just wanted another adopted Chinese tit. That's all like. Don'think there was a specific uncommon, weird reason, but no onasking, because, like mom told me that you know like that story of, like youknow, baby girls were abandoned because they were women and they prefer ten andlike that was my story like. That was the thing that I grew up. Knowing aboutlike why I was jopted. So like...

...you, it's so different and I don't knowyou ever talked Onou. She never told me any a reason. She just told me like one another, I think Itas. It was jumblike janise prison, which is my sister, my other sister she's, our oldesis yeah wasn't did'. You guys like get me likeDu her birthday. No, it was basically just mom want another kid and shewanted a boy that's, but also just to give you background ofour family. It's my oldest sisters, all biologicallyrelated, so like yeah and they're all four yearsapart and then ymy sister actlikay. She really wantedanother sister and my mom like no way, I'm not having kids like I'm forty,five or whatever like no way and then that's how they started to learn aboutadoption whenever and then so then it's me we're eight years apart and thenit's really funny because we're also eight years apart, but my mom did notplay them. Oh my God, yeah wow, that's it's kindof just like life of just plans it for you where everyone's equally spaced,but it's really amazing that you guys still have like that close relationship.Despite you know, having those age gaps, Oh Yeah E, I would say, like I feelclose with all our ever siblings, but because conner is like way young do youfeel that's glose no like like he could be jenis kid. You knowshe's in her torties, just interesting that age, age, Gep Yeah, especially like you know when yougrow up with such different things to and like different generations, it's hard to connectbecause a lot of t things are like you grew up together and like be you. Dothese things together or similar favorite like TV, shows or somethinglike that, you know yeah and itwas actually interesting,that you're asking connor about you know what his adoption story is like,because I was actually thinking the same thing because for you and me like,I was told the same thing like you know: China, baby girls, Bah Blah totallydidn't you know, influence me to develop a severe dislike towards maledominant cultures. TOTALLY DON'T HAPE! Patriarchy looks noit's not that bad, but it was when I was younger. So it's interesting, I'm like yeah,wait. What do male babies get told and if it's and of I wonder if it's hatopposite story, where they also tell you like you know it could be that orit could be just your family. Couldn't have you and you know your mom couldn't take care ofyou. They didn't have the resources or anything, and so they decide to giveyou up in hopes of like a better family who could take care of you. So in it'san it's, an odd dynamic yeah. It's like interesting that Iguess we'll never really know our true story, which kind of you know it'sunfortunate, because it would be great to know especially like again think about it.Like occasionally like do you like everthing to really know your Baklor,you just kind of frush it off or like whatever Iman I'm definitely like interested init I mean I was like. I was left next to a police station, so m alwayswondering Yo said I don't remember, Anthingihi.Think it's like a fake like explanation, because I was also told that I was leftin front of a police station sign. I really don't think it's like it could be fake onting. Didyou guys see the documentary one child nation I did, but I think connor hasand also there's another book called like one child or something that Ithink I didn't know actually illet I'll like message you about it afterwards,but it's yeah intere is like a woman and she I don't think it's the same. Idon't think it's the same woman, but it also goes really deep into that wholepart of China and that history and it's really good, but I did see thatdocumentary and yeah, because that's that's what itreminds me of. I remember in the documentary they stated that you know when they're going through therecords a lot of records either say like left by the police station left onthe steps of somewhere, and so so and I was like the the almost made it seemlike it's just forged locations yeah. But then you like learn about you knowthat underground like ltrafficing Na and it's probably likeyou, know those the women. What do you call them? The women who, likebasically like, took babies from like one place, the other like they probablylike Aur sor. I could have been one of those like you know. We were just likesnuck into an orphan inge or something I don't know, but whatever know I gis yeah yeah, it's just so many unknowns. Then,when you think about that too you're...

...like wait, a minute, am I even bornwhere they say I was Foun like for me. They said Chow Yang, Hunar and I'm like,but is that true? Because in the documentary thereis another town nearbytha being with like an L, and you know they say that they would go todifferent towns or like nearby and I'm like lat, you, like you, never knowwhere to search. I know I was all under under the books they'r just like norecords of anything, so it's just like crazy clos my mind but yeah, but that'swhy I'm like so interested in it now, and I just want to talk about it morewith. Like other people, you know that's why we're here honestly, I feel the same Ay. I thinkits Atero had story. Nono one has what we got yeah, but that's Lika reallyoptimistic way to look at it because heits like I would love to just knowwhat time I was born. What Daa was a simple things like that and not knowingis just like. I don't know. I mean you're still likeeighteen and you haven't like fully thought about ut as much as I I have,but I feel like those little things of you know just simple things likethat and then having the reminders of whenyou go to the doctor's office, and they ask you, you know: Do you have historyand this and that it's like it's like all these years of it just you know,being in the back of your head and then having to you know constantly think about it in thosemoments it builds and builds and builds, and now I'm just like you know, I wouldust like love to know like it sucks yeah. I kind of quote that, like I don'twrealty know my age Butyour at you just on think so I mean could have given melike any. You know, anyport tat they like can tell roughly like how old thebaby is, an an owe wo make it up. Okay, we you ECKI on your younger one year,older, whatever see, I'm kind of on the side of thattoo, where I hated not knowing my birthday, and I wish they made it aneven day because I have this weird like I have OCD. So I have this thing withnumbers, and I hate that it's not like April eighth, when it could have been,but I it could have been because they put it April seventh, and so instead Iwas, I was like Connor, I'm like. Oh, I don't know. My Age like hy whole weekis my birthday, nice dibling, don't bulliyve me! That's so great! I love that the golike if it's within that, like you know they always say like a week like a fewweeks like time, span up like guessing when you're born, if you're reallyyoung, when you're found. So I was like okay going to make this myerthday likefor when I turn twenty one. I was like birthday month that yeah that'sactually a really great way to look at it. I was six months old. How old areyou? I'm not exactly sure? I think from whatmy mom told me, they said like I was a few like weeks old when they found me,but I wasn't adopted until eighteen months. Oh Wow, so justi had a really grumpy face and allmy pictures so probably highly likely so and turn me down svery angry child.I love looking bag at pictures. It's like my favorite thing to do. Myparents actually kept the clothing that I was in at the orphanage and Iactually still have those clothes and I love looking at them because they'rejust like it's insane that I was in that many layers, because you know howlike Chinese people, they thought like putting babies and layers is the way togo and then there's just like little squits in the back. So you can go tothe bathroom, yes yeah, so I love looking. I just like every time, I'mhome I, like I love going back and just looking at all that stuff. Well, that'sso to Oh yeah, my parents dad the same thing I was. I remember I saw themyears ago that actually makes me whent. I like next Tom. My visit back home, Igot to look for those again because I do remember they had the little slitand my mom explained to me why, when you have so many kids, you know youneed that little hole for them to just easily go to the bathroom, so you don'thave to take down their pants and like diaper whatnot and that actually led to you know a lotof adoptes when they come to their adoptive home already, probably trained.That's actually really funny, because I it took me a really long time to notlet the bed- and I remember, like I was a little late like I was still wearingpullups at the time where you should be myng ful ups. So that's really funnythat you mentioned that, because that was not the case for me different for everyone. I mean honestlywhen I was a kid that was the same too like I wonder if it's an anxiety thing,because my parents actually told me growing up that I contained I did likekeep a lot of those anxious tendencies from when I was probably in you knowthe welfare institute like I would do things like hide bread underneath mypillow F, like you, don't know when...

...you're going to get food nexts or you know like that, like jumpy nature,so I wonder if that's kind of tied to that O, like the anxity being a newenvironment and just adjusting from what my sister told me is that I waslike really adjusted really easily to the family which, like I guess I yeah. I know I don't know why. I us,I think, Parl, because they h think, like I've been like moved around indifferent orphanages. I think, by the time I was adopted, I was like I,whatever it just another s, another home and sometimes ha next time, ' reallyintalkit from this one. No now I mean it's good that you adjustedso quickly, but Oh, oh my. Ah, I don't know but n, he was he's a me. He was agoner, that's ow! That's how we say his name all the time like a little puppy. Now he he the true baby of a Familaasaneasiest child ever like I mean he had obviously like his moment but yeah helike adjusted really. Well, I mean we have a really great relationship withour parents. I don't know I kneed that laid backmaker, yeah cones, just a chill person, that'swhat it is. Okay, we all need some of what counners on seriously honestly andactually perfect segue like speaking of parents. You know you just mentioned.You have a good relationship with your parents. What was that like growing upfor you? Is it something thats different now than it was when you'regrowing up or you know, is it kind of just been they've, always been therefor you and like it's been a positive relationship, I mean, I think, that it's the same, like I'vealways been there for me. They've always been there for conor and they're,just like the type appearance that just want to support. You, like, I, don'tthink I've ever fell to chaned or guilty for choosing anything that I'vedone and they're, not the tin of parents that are like EO force you todo something. Obviously, they're, like you know, youhave to get good grades like any other parent like get good grades like behave,Wellm, school and you'll be fine like that type of thing. I would say, though, like I definitelyhave a secure attachment with my parents like. I never ever think thatthey're going to like leave me abandon me, or you know, like Betrayi e.nothing like that like like, if anything that they did reallyreally well, was to build that secure attachment. The one thing I think that I seelacking is like a deep emotional connection like I don't think my mom or dad is a type of it would belike the first person iwould go to. If I was like sad or you know experiencinglike a breakup like, I would probably go to my sisters for that or no bestfriend, and I know you know some other people have differentrelationships where they could tell their parents everything like. Idefinitely could tell my parents, everything I don't feel like you needto hide anything from them, but in terms of like getting that emotionalsupport, I don't think I ever got thatthrougaparents and I just think it's because you know they're not very muchsowl themselves, maybe they're very caring, apathetic people, but you know all parents are different. Youknow they're not going to always be that that type of person for you, but I would stara, I feel very, veryfortunate to have the parents that I have wher bout, you. U I'm definitely fortunate very fortunate, but it's different for me at leastbecause I don't really tall them much and from what have I seen like M in myparents. They have like a very stronger connection than I do with my parents,even though, like I live with them alone, I think it's just like how I am becauseI'm a very like independent person solike, I don't I'm fine being aloneand everything so normally on like school days, I just tet home, you know,have jinner with Dumb Giv my word in my room and then just stay there for the restof the night. So I don't have like yeah emotional connections, but alsodon't really tell them many things, but if I do need help in something I I'find going to them talking to them, Whi Ust, I don't do that often so yeah I mean everyone has their ownpersonalities and, like Ema said, you know you each connect with your parentsin different ways, but that's so amazing to hear that they're thatsupportive- and you know you feel that deep, like secure attachment, which is,I mean, you know, being a fellow psych major like it's so important, becausethat just affects like the rest of your...

...life and like your relationships socheesyhey but Dan, it really does go all all the way back to childhood.Ohhay you Knowtho'r great about that yeah I mean I really wanted. Thus soand the sisters were great to with it. Oh yeah I mean like our dynamic, wehave a huge family and, like you know, scipling rivolant, ry or whatever, butwe never had that like. There was no there's no like attention for parentsapproval, it's like very, very like equal, and even when, if you ask RNSWHO's your favorite child, just like as a joke, if they would never say one kidor the overther, they don't like believe in that. The one thing that I have really bonded with my mom is a love foranimals, like my mom loves all tipes of animals and she always likes tol megrowing up, like don't trust, anyone that doesn't like, like you know, dogsor cats, and I just thought that was really funny at the time. But like isnow looking back a'd like maybe, but you know like. I think that is something that thatbrings us closer like because you know when I sed up. We did. We don't havelike that of emotional connection, but but like that really brings ustogether, and I mean, like our whole, family. Just is really reallysupportive of each other and we get along and yeah. I don't, I don't think I've hadlike any hard feelings like like. I guess what I'm trying to say is like. Inever wish that I, like I never had like. I never reallythought growing up like I wish I you might bilot your parents, like youreally want to know. I think, like I was just so happy to have a family thatI've always had is just was never a thing that I thought about now. I thinkabout it. It's just out of like curiosity to know, but it's not becauselike I wish that I could be with thumb or whatever, and I know it's differentfor everyy adopte, but for me, like my parents, are the only parents I had and that's it like. I don't question it yeah now that's really sweet and you know Ican definitely see then also now how you mentioned. You didn't really feelbeing a different race from other people. You know until more like middleschool high school, especially when you your family, is that supportive and youknow you don't feel that other from people who are supposed to be closestto you. So that's really amazing. I'm glad you guys have that yeah and likegrowing up, I actually don't really remember feeling different from them, eventhough my momlike, I think I asked him like. Did you ever tell me that, like I?Oh actually, she told me that I did ask one time, but I've no recollection ofthis, but she told me one time that I did asklike why I look different and I wish I rememberd having that memory, butbecause to me I thought like Oh, you know I didn't think of it at Al, but Iguess is was so. That was really interesting and I really wish I had. Iremember that, but I never felt you know different. Sometimes I havemoments where I'm like you know they don't get it becausesometimes lit sometimes I'll joke about like how like Oh you're, so lucky, youdon't have our greams and stuff like that, and I'm sure, like all you know,families like o joke about that one way or another, but I think, as I'm older, it is a littletriggering as like. When I was younger. It waslike Hoa t's, fine, but now that I'm more curious about you know my identityand trying to figure out like that side of my life. It is alittle that's a little thiggering. I never really thought. I knew why I look different. I justlike I was like okay with it Wel you'reolder. I was Oh, you were a baby and you so I was aprobably like you know, one two years old and that's why I don't remember anyOh, Oh wow, so like very, very young D, like wait a minute, I think okay happenAnswerye. I think I asked that and I just don't remember, but it'sinteresting for you then connor like what did you ever have a strugglewith? Like you know your racial identity or you know when like evenjust something as simple as an exam paper, and it's like, Oh, you know forsat like what race are you from. Did you ever feel weird about that? Not Really I mean like youll say likeI'm American Asian now I still see myself is just Asian living in American,but I', not Chinese yeah. I mean Chinese Bood, I never really sorte with that. An youknow: question like...

...my like Nou American Pecial, plaing yeah. No, I didn't. I didn't reallyShur with that. Ever reallhy questioned it, but how about you Emma? I mean it's like yes, I'm Tryinnese,like that's my echnicity, like that's what I look like, but I would say like I'm just American like I'm so American, like I'm,not Chinese at Ale. Like I don't speak the language I barely feel connected tothe culture, I'm not really quite sure what Chinese cultures like I mean. I'vealways had an interest, I'm wanting to eventually go back and live there andlike try to pick up. You know Mandrin, but it's just so hard. It's like. Ifanything, I'm just you know like a white girl, like I mean, like I tin,prob white family in America, if anything, I'm more related to a whitegirl than a Chinese girl, and so it's like hard for me because, like whenpeople ask me like even little things o like when I go Anto a cab right becausecab drivers love to ask me where I'm from and and I'm like, oh I'm from Florida,because I am like that's literally where I grew up and they're like no. No,like you looked Vietnamese, you lave Chinese, like what are you and I'm likeI'm Chinese, that, like I not look Chinese, but I literally grew up inAmerica. Stop asking me this question, but like little things like that, justyou know it's really annoying like. Why do I need to explain my whole backstoryfor you to understand that, like I'm from Florida, I'm American like stoptrying to think that I'm you know someone else is just really annoying inthat sense and yeah. I don't know it's like weird,because is Chinese adoptes or any interracial adopte who grows up in adifferent race than them? It's like it's kind of like. What's the word, I don't know it's like you grow up in adifferent body than what you look like, and so it's hard to like to help people that when they don't knowyou or they just like look at you really quickly. You know so it's justlike in a way, sometimes I feel like, and especially when I like, hang outwith you, know other, like Asian Americans who are not adopted. It'slike wow, like I really can't relate to you guys, like I didn't, have an Asianmother who cook me this type of dish or, like you know, I didn't have like allthese little stories that they can relate on. It's like okay, we're allAsian, but I can't rellyte to you because I grew up with he Jewish mother,like things like that, it's just it'scomplicated and I feel like it can nevern et it, but I've gotten used toit and I've adjusted to it. It's just really frusharting. To always, I guess I just need to find a a way toaccept it and not be so annoyed by it. So that'swhere I'm at I mean totally understandable becauseit's like, especially with the where you really from question and like I'myou, I don't know you my life's Tor and and like you mentioned like you knowthat disconnect between how you grew up and what your experiences are versus.You know how people expect you to be just based on how you look and it'slike it's that own complicated battle within you of okay, like u expectations, but you knowI don't meet expectations and bouncing. Does that matter to you and how do youdeal with, like your emotions, tied to that? I feel like that's like almost alifelong battle. Honestly, because, as you grow up and you change you get, youknow you go to different areas and especially being in New York City,where, if you're on the subway and Chinese grandma looks at you and she'slike ask you for a question, Chinese or directions, and then I'm like, I feellike you feel like it like shame, and I'm like. I don't ee know how to say,like you expect this of me, but then afterwards you'R also like wait. Why do I feel shame about this? Youknow it's not fair for someone. Some randomperson to make me feel shameful for just how things worked out for me. Yeahso definitely complicated. Like you said Aand, I think momer. I think conor alsocan't really talk about it much because he still lives, and you know he stilllives with my parents. He still is in like Mol, you know his high school andhe hasn't really like been out in the world. So I'm reallycurious to have his. You know conversation again and like you know, because I've never had anyone that likereally asked me. Where are you really from you know, because I mean like Ialready told I already told him that like Chinas Bi grop in Forda, then Idon't know for Somereson after that,...

...the Stope rassing a okay cool, an maybeit's also like. I also wonder if it's like, maybe a gender thing like I wouldI a hundred percent, no, that I've conter Gottento a cab by himself, anice city. The cab driver would not ask him where he's from because he's a man think about it. It's like this weird,like feized Asian woman and like they want to ask us where we're from andjust like, it's gross, it's like ice like insulting, it's gross, and it'slike. Why do you need to know you want to ask a man this like leave me alone, you're right? I didn't think about that,but yeah like they the whole conversation of like they just don'tcare but they're like oh I'm, going to strike a conversation with you becauseyou're female and like, as you mentioned, that whole like fetishizingaround Asians and then then they expect you to fit that view that they have.But then you tell them ye like yeah. No, not that and then like waiten, nowexplain yourself. Yeahi never got that which is funny so Kino. Are you seekingkind of like a more diverse environment, or you know like a similar environmentwhen it comes to colleges like is: Does that kind of play into your choice ofwhere you want to go? Definitely more diverse, because my scrol is not thatDever ittle and it's small he small private school. So I'm thinking about like wanting to goto college and New York just because, like as the only city that I've reallyvisited right so and and I love it- There's a lot of diversity there. Theschools are much bigger, some of them so yeah, you know definitely one morediversity, because too many way, O Muh wool. Ohy. Honestly, when I was going toCalli, I mean honestly it's funny that you saythat, because I also felt the same way when I was applaying o colleges afterhigh school, but I somehow still ended up at a school. That was like eighty percent light, and so I don'tknow it's just like what happened, but yeah so make sure that I mean, if youend up in Yourxcity, you'll, be fine because you'll experience every culturein which all of all the things all the foods to that's like the ighline at's,the only thing I' misin China, I think the Food Tl. I still love Chinese feebetter than any other like cultural fruit, oh yeah, conner dim it like youdidn't like cheese right or you still don't really like C. I don't reallywhat thuse a I love Jeese, it's Bhat lattos and Tolerancyn TelligHem. No, please don't put that in us. Don't seriously is, but I still lovecheese. Look. We actually have lack chase pills. I know it's weird. We have like thesein our genetics and it's like that tie of like hey whe'ere Yousin, to like wealso can't have dairy gbut. It's like got damnut. Why is this all that I knowconter? If you do end up coming to school in New York City, do free to hitme up. I went to college here in the CNI system and if you like Chinese food by the way,Chiatown cantones places, I'm partial, because that's what I'm used to butlike really best sitanes food is nice. You know onon food is nice, butcantones chicken, panc Fai, don't know. If there's man to are there many tinesbeforeh onnotintown we live in a very small Jewish like so we're from Boko ratone. So Imean like there's. Definitely Chinese people in Florida, but I'm not quitesure like. Oh, so there's not any like big communities near you. U Ie actuallyasked my mom this before actually told me that there is an Asian population,but it's small, obviously, but I don't really know like what part ofFlorida like they settled. Inner Theon like whatever decided to stay in, or I don't know, but no ther. There is definitely majorpopulation, but like the community that we grew up in which is just Jewish. Sothere wasn't that many ag people, so just Jewish people, yeah yeah and itsounds like there weren't, really many big. Like hubs almost nearby. No, Imean there's no Chinatown in Florida, which is so sad yeah, it's very hard tofind Realy Catud. We found a Chinese market to like get Chinese noodles andall that. But it's like it's not even close to h mart in New York City. It'slike so tiny, and I mean it's great, because I think that my favorite soysauces and like all that, but still very tatch. You can't beat New York yeah and I guess to close out theepisode. My final question for you is, you know what is like it. What has it been likefor you? You know connecting to...

...adoptees, since it's you know,especially for Oum, seems like your stories starting more recently. What have you found like the mosthelpful? Well, I definitely havef joined those face. The Chinese dockyfacebook groups and it has helped a lot to confirm that the feelings I havesometimes are normal because when I do have thes fleeting oem, like insecurityabout my story or you know a little bit of you know anger all different typesof emotions towards it. It does help a lot to know that there'r.So many other adoptees who you know, experience the same thing and I love beating you know differentpeople stories. I love you know, reading their questions. If you knowbecause a lot of people be like hey, does anyone else have this experience,and you know it's just makes me even more curious to you know, read everything, but I'mstill not at the point where, like I want to beach out personally and likemeet up with everyone like I just feel like I don't know, I feel like it would beforced again right because it's like we're all part of this group, then whenwe actually meet up it's like like. Will we be able to just like you knowhow a relationship? Aside from that, because when you meet someone you don'tknow anything about them, you kind of it just kind of like happens, butbecause you're so much like you know all this, like not baggage jhat's, notthe right bird, but like this very deeply, like similar story that you're all likesharing about on this facebook group, it's like okay! Well, are we going totalk about other things? I don't know ite like yeah, but I definitely like haveimproved because before I didn't even like want to join thegroups- and I think my mom has actually been trying to like get me to becomemore involved with in the community like to always send me links likeshe'll email me, a link be like girl being nied with her, like sisterseparatd, that Bird Tan, like she'll, just Sai Li, be stories, and I justnever open them. I'm like, Oh, my God, mom stop like you're, so annoit Butd. Now, I'm like curious to justlike join it on my own, and I mean I actually like. I think it's really part of like a lotof the work that I want to create now like, because I'm a dancer, and I'malso you know a geographer and a lot of the work that I want to like. Basically, cover with you know myart right now is you know my Chinese identity adoptees,like I just really want to like dive deep into that, and all my work isbasically senter around it's rigt now, like I'm, just really curious, I'm likewanting to collaborate with other asiant artists, adoptye or not. Does it matter, but I'mvery curious on wanting to connect more wanting tocreate work made by more Asian artist, because we are underrepresented,especially in the arts community and the FINAC communiy film community. It'sall very, like the film communities very male dominated, not diverse, andthen you know the dance performing art community is heavily white. We have oneacient token dancer one Asian, this one blackness whatever, so it's still verymuch like not diverse, so my whole, you know goal as an artist is to create workthat is mostly from asiant artists and bringing up different thengs.Specifically, you know unchild policy, my story, you know internationaladoption, all of that and just reading like new concepts and new themes to thearts world, because I feel like yes, people know on thesurface about adoption. But if you ask any personons Tobe, like hey, have youheard of one tob, holicy Te'd be like no like. I just don't think that, likethat specific part of history is worldwide, like yeah people know thatpeople are adopted whatever, but to Oen die deep into. You know the documentarythat was that we watched and just like that particular time of history thatpersonally affected me and thousands of other people like that is the most thing. That's like the mostimportant thing that I want to dive into with my artistic expression rightnow, so that's wherht yeah, where I'm at and I apply in graduate schools andlike thats, essentially what I be working on so yeah yeah. Oh I'd love to see more of yourwork because, honestly I mean, even...

...just as you mentioned, with media likejust seeing more Asian focus movies or Asian people in the media is so amazingbecause, like Wei're, even if, like you know, t we don't feel super tied to theculture. Just seeing someone who looks like you, Hou just automatically kindof at least I find myself I'd like root for them. I'm like yeah, Oh my God. Iwant you to win like the thelympics or something yeah and o yeah. I mean itdoes make a difference to because when like when, we were growing up, wedidn't see any Asian people like on TV or any any sort of person in aleadership role. Right like for me, that's so important, and I really wantto change that, and I actually like I have me have our sister has kids, whoare like you know three to four years old and they're, actually watching theloose clues and the host of Bluskoz is a Filipino man. Like he's a and it'sjust really exciting, to see. INASIAN cose on a kids show for likeNickelodeand, like that's huge like personally for me: Wow, they killed it.That's amazing like let's keep going yeah and it just normalize things also remember the movie on CrazyVrigasians, but thoe Wurd yeah. To I mean it's really int entertaining, butI still think that they they still liked, like they still pertraye Asianpeople like in a certain way, but whatever regardless it is still good tohave it all a path, love it yeah, Gota, aoit's, a good te forward, but yeahyeah, I think hit was like the like one of the first movies in like nine years,or something like that to have like a fully Asian cast and to have like thehype that it did, because I think the previous one was like the joy lot cluband Everthrit's a book by, if I remember correctly, Lisas C, an just about like these Asian Moms, who kindof just get together and the tit's like the story of their relationship withthem and their their daughters. It's more like Asian Asian culture likeif you grow up with an Asian mom thing. I think got it, I can't remember. I sawit once but yeah, I remember when like Crazierg came out and then there wasalso freshoff the boat, I think I've neverseen Ityeah. So it's nice having it like within our culture because yeah wecan go like watch. You know, K, drama or like Chinese movies or Anama, butit's not same. It's all the same, because it's Al American yeah. So yeah. What about you conner likewhat about you for you know reaching out to other doptes, because youmentioned you do have a friend who is an adopte? Do you kind of feel the needto seek out a community and like join some, the ones that you know ammosjoined? How do you feel? I think, I'm still at that age where I'm I like I'minterested, but I'm not like searching for answers. You know Weli'm,not I'm not joining like group to fine other adopteds, like I got lucky that Ifound jade who's. My friend that's adopted. Even at that point like we don't evenreally talk about our doption at all, we just serious. Soas friends so yeah. It's like, when you kind of want someofe that you're justcasually friends with n you talk about, like you, would with anyone else, butthen you know if you ever want to or guy, if there's something that isreally adopted related and you kind of want to bring it up and like hey, youknow I saw this like what do you feel or you know you have like kind of thatbalance where it's not your mean like this is what's holding. This is theglue that's yeah. I think I m once I get older o sure out, you know, invest more of mytime into learning about my past and everything yeah so before he close outtoday, you know. Is there any like last minute thoughts you guys want to share,or you know any products you're working on things resources you want to talkabout. Well, I actually am working on aexperimental film project with Connor we film something summer, and it's still Ifworking forygress, but it's essentially, you know covering both of our storiesand our family dynamic into basically like a dance film and we actually bothdance together in it. I made him learn some chaography. Even though he's not adancer, you know that I'm still working on that still gathering resources for that film. You guys can follow my work at Mcoography. I got nothing, I don't Sur, but what Oh yeah I do have aet say you could also check out my wet SI.It's just ma, Cultoncom think she, you pust your projects,therge now yeah theure, like igafinished, do like some the worksthat I have published officially...

...they're, just like theyre, more likepofolio reasons, but yeah, the one that I'm working on now and it won't be upthere for a while everything at your own pace, yeah Thak, you guys so much for joining metoday. I really enjoyed talking with you and you know going to hear bothsides of your stories and kind of also just it makes me reflect on my ownhonestly and like with my sibling and kind of makes me want to reach Aan, belike hey sibling. Talk to me. Let's have a lot. Hamea de have a ches yeah to our listeners, thanks for joining ustoday, if you're interested in participating in one of these episodes,please email us at somewhere, dop between t podcast at gmailcom and don'tforget to join our instagram family at somewhere between Datam to stayconnected with updates casting calls and more so you guys next time.

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