Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Somewhere Between Podcast
Somewhere Between Podcast

Episode 18 · 1 year ago

Interview: Josh H.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this interview episode, Aimee is joined by Josh H, a Vietnamese adoptee. Josh is currently an admin for the SAAT Facebook page, and also works with the Asian Adoptee Chinese Language Table. Together, the two talk about Josh's experiences while living in Asia, being a SAAT admin and more!

We've added music!

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

H, welcome back to another episode ofsomewhere betw Pon Cathine myisnadoptis FORASAN ADALTINE, everybody welcome back to anotherinterview, episode, Imeni and today were joined by special guest Josh, H,Ohrn, so that those of you who weren't list to the PL episode Dactins en thisis the second time joining us, but for people who missed it, do you want totell us a little bit about yourself? Yes, Um. Of course my name is Saush h?U, I am a twenty four year old, bnames adopting and I'm currently living inMinnesota Nice Yeah. What are you doing with your life now? What are you up tothese days? That's a very good question. So I guess for me, right now isobviously have this like Coben pendemic, going on, which is crazy, um. I guessso. I graduated from college almost two years ago, which is crazy to thinkabout. I graduated with a degree and financeand Information Systems, and afterwards I worked a year in corporate America. Ithought that was good, but then on the work a year I was like. I really for mepersonally, I really love traveling and I really love Um, getting newexperiences, and so I decided to quit my job and I'm currently getting mymasters program in China Right now. Oh Wow yeah. It was a so I was over in Chinafor about five months being my masters in Um financial computing, and so then inJanuary, Coba, nineteen heads and then you know, had to come back to net satso currently I'm finishing ot y masters POGREM and I'm not quite sure what I'llbe doing afterwards. I'm not quite sure if I want to go back into corporage or either an it or finance or move out,maybe somewhere else or maybe gabroad again. So things are happening hereright now, a lot of things that I want to do, but a couple of things that youknow still need to do and just kind of figuring out balancing between what Iwant. My wife, my career and different experiences. So Y, absolutely, and especially, like yousaid, with everything going on right now- feel like a lot of people's lives,are kind of up in the air. For just especially since we're living inAmerica everything's crazy, no one knows what's going on Wel yeah things are definitely a littlecrazy right now, but you know I think it's important to just like enjoy thelittle things I you now spending a lot of time with you know, F, high schoolfriends who I haven't, Yee Knowa, while cause I'm back home, could be withfamily. So I think that's really good too so yeah! It's it's been a really nice timeor enjoying the time that I didn't have before so I'm taking thatton Oyeah. That's really! I'm glad that you're able to find and take likeenjoyment out of everything going on. That's really important. Yeah Yeah, Ithink it's important to say aptimistic so going up in Minnesota and just ingeneral. What was it like for you? Yeah! That's a good question. Minnesota isvery interesting states Um. So I grew up in a rual part of Minnesota. It's avery, very small town. It's it's! The towe I lived in was only fifteenhundred people, an yeah super small in the class I graduated with only hadabout a hundred kids Um, so it was, and it's mostly a white areatoo MHM. So I mean it's one, those kind of smalllike rural American towns. where, like you know, you grew up, you kneweveryone. I knew everyone in my grade, everyone below and above me, Um, and Imean I had some realy good friendships. It was forthe, most Pir, I'd say like apretty normal childhood groing hum the one thing I will say, though it'sit was really white. Yeah like I was like pretty much. The onlykid of diversity really immigrate Man Yeah and that definitely I think it didn'taffect me growing up, but I realized how much it affected me later on inlife and when I, by that is that there was not many opportunities to learnabout either an Asian culture or kind of really Bein, the Mese culture and Um.I definitely felt like once I went to college and I started reating otherAsians from different um areas of walks of life. I couldn't relate to them as well, andso I felt very kind of isolated 'cause. I felt you know. I felt like two liketoo asien to be white 'cause, I'm my skin by then too white to be Asianbecause, like I didn't have that cultural background so and you know alot of Adois kind of have that similar...

...feeling kind of going to college. Shewas well for sure that must have been a really big culture stock for you fromgoing up. You know one of the only people of any kind of color and thenall of a sudden you know ban you're in with other people, upcrazy yeah it was it was. I mean it's atransition and you Calin a transition that I'm still making today Um slowlybut surely so things I've done to do that is you know. I started learninganeven language. I've travelled extensively in Asia, so those are justlike small things that I have found personally fulfilling for me mom, soyeah it was pretty good m outside of just like the whole. Predominantlywhite thing. I think the other thing too is. I did experience Um just like, and we we talked about this in our lastPOK ass, a little bit just like some small forms of racism, just like peoplewould make fun of me for being Asian whenthere. Be Jokes, spell your eye,sjokes about like your skin jokes, about like things like that, you know,and most of these mosy signs theyre coming Cro, you know quote unquote yourfriends who were just like like to like rib each other and stuff like that, but yeah you learnd to Kindof, get a toughskin and learn to like kind of Shok things under school or so a it was aninteresting ren, to say the least. Absolutely I especially if you're oneof the few people of any kind of color in the community, it's even harder forpeople to tote that line between this is okay. Joking. This is not okay! Iit's all one big R area, because they're just not used to it too. Oh Yeah. I definitely would agree withthat and Um Yeah I mean granted. I mean I' still in touch witha lot of my friends from high school and Theyre good friends. It's justthats M. sometimes you know those jokes. When happens over time, it definitelycan wear on you and I definitely know m. So I pre have a younger adopted sisterand she- and I ti also had a very hard time in high school, and she also got, I would say, definitely gotbullied and she actually tredit. She switched high schools Um Midway through,and I know for her. She she did make some friends in her new school, but-and I think it was a good choice for her it' just that it was definitely arough experience, and you know I I think, looking back if one tant to tellmy parents growing up if there's something they could have done. I saidI would have said I wish there would have been more um been a place ofdiversity, so we caldn like feel Freeto e more of ourselves instead of kind ofconforming to this, like Um White Rurle America place yeah for sure, I'm gladthat your sister was able to it's awful that she had to transfer, but I'm gladthat she was able to make funds, and you know it sounds like she. It was agood decision in the end and it really helped her soul overall yeah. I think Ithink it did help tat so yeah. That was that was, I think, areally good experience or well. It was just an Xi sai an experience, h growingup so yeah. I know my friends, they used to call me Asian, you know, andwho can you know? I was to be fair one of the only Agians in the school, butnow you know coming up to a place with more nivercity and stuff all of thesuet people yeling Asian, an IT. It is a little bit more joying now than I'm,not the only Asian person in their in their lives. They would really do that too yeah.That was like my nickname, wow yeah. Now that I'm as way more nuts h saying it, as you know not like in a more developed or notdeveloped ut, you don't a yeah, looking hindsize twenty to an s as they saidyeah. I guess you know, and you know growing up. I had like similarexperiences too and like before I went. I be ucomfortable calling an out, but Ithink definitely I reached an age now, where I'm more comfortable with myselfand my identity, that I'm able to kind of call out those things a say like Ey,you know: That's not cool. I don't feel comfortable if you say those type ofthings to so yeah. I think that you know becomingcomfortable with the identity. That is a big journey. It's something that wenever kind of stop with whether things that kind of helped you WEAC to thatpoint Um. How did you feel about talking aboutyou know what you identify with? I definitely so for me growing up Um in a right white area. You know, if you think about it. My family iswhite, so my parents Um and my son and family, my grandparents are whites. Myteachers are white and my friends are white, and so for the longest time, Ithink all the way up into college.

Really I identified really as aquotable white person. The big transition for me kind of coming interms of my identity, as like an Asian American, really happen. Actually, whenI did a study abroad in twent ad seventeen and I study abroad inSingapore, Oh wow yeah. That was a really cool experience. I gotto dothere for four months at a sing, Mormantrin University, I was doinginformation systems over there and that was an a fantastic experience,because I really for the first time in my life I was the majority. I was partof the minority and you know whether it be you know taking the m subway toschool, whether it be going o to restaurants e, whether it be going outto the bars. You know there were people who looked like me, and that was justan amazing experience and that really kind of made me feel kind of pried,almost in being Nasian and being who I was, and I was really glad to have thatexperience, because I meant like a lot of local people there too, and you knowthey would ask me about America and when it's like there and then like theywould share like their fulture with me about like things that they like to dolike eating hot pot or drinking bulbal or different anemies. They like towatch, and I just kind of like absorbed it from them. Almost a feand like justlikelike. Tell me more. Tell me more. What's like growing up here inSingapore, nd tell me more what it's like. You know: Um Learning Chinese,and so that was actually a big transition. When I started learningChinese was in twenty seventeen as well, and so I've been learning that languagefor about three years. Now, that's really cool yeah. It's it's been a verydifficult jernney learning Chinese Chinese is a non aneca language,especially for English speakers. Yeah Um, but so I've been learning it forthree years and then a big reason actually why I wanted to ogive. Mymasters in China was to improve my Chinese language ability, so n M- and Iactually now I'm hus posting with Charlotte Cotter, a Chinese languagetable that we host on Fridays. So we've been doing that, for I think everyFriday for most of the summer, so that's been not really cool experiencewhere we meet up with other dopies on. We speak toews with each other. I'veseen you post about that. I think I'm in the group. I just you know it's likewhen you're a feshmen in college, you sign up for all these clubs 'cause. Youreally want to do them, and then you realize your schedule does not permitall of these clubs. It was one of those things right, but they seem like they seem like sucha good idea. I was actually going to ask you about that, like what inspiredyou to create that and everything m yeah, so the big thing was is so when Iwas in China one area I was realy close to Iwased in Sujol China, but it was really close to Shanghai China and I joinedthrough 'cause, I'm PARCCI too, as well. I joined I asked Hay Nostheran inChinese nareas and it turned out thereas like a like M, like eighthundred twelve e or twelve of us in Shanghai, so I went to go visit themand it was really cool 'cause. I met a whole Wonc of about these. We were inShanghai. We got hot hot together, which was amazing to take e grapes, serden and Um because of Co. Wou hit most of us who were inShanghai. who were? U S? Adoptis? We all came back to the United States, andso one thing I was missing being in theUnited States is missing the opportunities to speak Chinese.Basically so, like you know before I was speaking, Chinese whetheris t go bythings going out to restaurants, Hanin O ith, friends and stuff like that Um,mostly speaking Chinese, and so I wanted to be able to kind of bring thatback into my wife here in the U S, and so I asked I reached out to those sameadoptes who a metinshing hi saying like hy. You know, it'd be really cool. Ifyou could get together once a week and speak Chinese, they got on bored andthen Charl too. I D I had made a post andshe's like Oh, I was just making this idea for C C. I and I m us like, ohwell, we Dodo this together and so that's Kindo how we kino collaboratedon that and Um Yeah. We kind of made this like Chinese language group that twoll speak Chinese together. So it's it's not really something where well. Iguess the coolest part about it. I will say about this and this isn' anadvertisement for it, but the crews part from me was that m. You know not all heurChinese. A super good mine is not like amazing by far, but we it's kind of cool, because all ofour backgrounds is that none of our parents had taught us Chinese and the only way that we could learn isif we want to go, learn ourselves either self learning more throughuniversity, and so we kindo have this like on understanding that, like wewant to be like helping o each other...

...like tospee Chinese with each other andlike he like Kindo understanding like not be judgmental ofh each other. Soit's really cool. That's really awesome! I think you'vecrat a really safe area to like practice and Larn, which I think isreally key. When you're working with the language that you're not reallyfamiliar with, is just feeling comfortable t trying to speak it. So Ithink that's R, awesome, yeah! It's it's been really cool andwe've had some funny stories that we kind of tell each other about just likeour experiences traveling in life and IIT's, really interesting using Chinese one time we were doing like Um, we weredoing like. I think it was just shrates or something and someone had todescribe. Oh, we were wewere talking about anemy wewere and someone had todescribe like Abatar the last ear bender, but Il use e times. I like this is awesome. 'CAUSE, like Iknow, Avatir Los Air Vendor, I'm a big fan of, and I know like I can speak alittle bit of Chinese so like trying to make those together. Wis, just O Freeweare from experience, so ny wish. I could have heard that like littlesniffe that sounds hilarious yeah it was a. It was pretty cool, so yeah, and so I guess that's kind ofbeen my journey wrapping. That up is kind of being more comfortable withmyself, my Asian identity and kind of, like kind of I'm just kind ofconnecting with the culture yeah for sure. So Your Vina Mys adopty andyou've lived in Singapore and China and you got really Um. I would say you're pretty good atseeking Chinais, no very comfortable. I the language, do you ever have a is, ordo you have desire to leat Vietnamese too? Or are you sticking with theChinese for now? That's a good question, a question. Ioften kind of get asked by friends and family. So I guess the big thing for mewas: you know growing up 'cause. I grew upin such a white area. I had no kind of concept of like what Asian was and whenI was in Singapore kind of how the Chinese kindof cameabout was what would happen. Is people would come up to me and speak Chineseto me 'cause? You know they think I wuld cine and when I couldn't respondto them, they woud kind o get kind of disappointed in and yeah I felt bad. I felt bad and theywould ask me questions like you know you w. Why can't you speak Chinese?Like you know, D, Why didn't your parents teach you like your parentsmost be bad parents for like not teaching your language. O is heartnang yeah, it was super disharting and thatkind of I kindaf got mad about it. 'cause, I'm like you W. my parentsaren't great Barens. I don't. I felt kind of offended on almost their behalf,and so I was when I came back, I was determined to learn Chinese, but aslong as like you know why Chinese, and why not vineme Um the big thing? Well,there's a couple things one is like when I got back to university back, Imade international friends and just Asian presient, veneral and majority ofthem were Chinese. There's not a huge Vietnamese population by me, or I guess,maybe kind of where I was. There was just a bigger Chinese population and so a njust I kindof meant more Chinesepeople and I joined actually joined like a Chinese Christian church Umlater on too, and I I guess woving to was just like learning Chinese comparedto Larning veatames, there's more resources out there for learningChinese there's, obviously a lot more tiny to peo out there in general, andso I think, there's just a lot more likeChinese culture, 'cause, it's so domiting across Asia, and so for me,warding like an Asian language. It kindo just made sense to be Chinese,however, saying that I do want one to one day: Learn Viiamese just for my ownpersonal and it doesn't even have to be good Um, but I definitely think one dayit would be nice to learn just a little bit of the enemii just to kind of complete that, like identityfind that like fulfilment, I guess yeah, that's awesome, and you know what nowthat you mentioned t it you're right. I guess I kind of have a little bit oflike privilege in that area, as that, like I am a Chinese adopty and there'sso many things out there for me to learn about my culture and learn thelanguage n you're right I'd. Never you hear about Chinese, maybe Japaneseclasses, sometimes Korean in colleges and stuff, but you very rarely ever seelike thienamise classes or things like that S. I I wouldn't even know where tobegin, if I was looking alone that language or connect with that on adeeper level. Oh my gosh, well right and I mean think about this. Like youknow, people call it like the Chinese new years, even though it's like aluner new years for like most Asian countries, people call like the Chinesenew years and like if you, even if you...

...want to like, read Chinese Combertotetames online, there's just so much more online chiese articles on therecompared to Vinamese and and even translated too there's a lot moreChinese um things out there. So in terms of like culture, language andstuff theres, it's just like very um th. It's comparably easier to find, if youwant to to that Gill Serch, and so that's kind of why I've naturallygrapitated towards Chinese and yeah, that's just kind of Bin, my story andalso the other thing I want to mention on top of that, just when we're on it,if that most adoptes, if you will get sat, are Chinese anapis an so when Iconnect with other adoptis, and I really love connecting with otheradoptes, it's mostly going to be either Chinese or Korea there's not as manybeat Anhese adoptes to connect with, and so when I make friendships withpeople. My Age they're most likely going to be a Chinese adopte and sobeing able to guy connect with them about, like Chinese culture, Chinese,food, Chinese language or S. things like that is kind of, naturally, wherekind of also gravitude, for so um culture and within ioption is anotherbig thing about that too, as well yeah totally. That makes a lot of sense likenow that you're saying Alvsing, I'm like Oh yeah, obviously of of course, Iguess I never thought about it before yeah, it's a it's something that justkind of happened, I guess to say, and just kind of going where everything isGointa is o yeah. So, since you grew up in a mostly white town and you didn'treally travel much until afterwards, we connect d with any other adoptinsoutside of your family, or was it mostly your community until you gotinto like the later sages of your life? Oh growing up, I did go once like a year to thisculture, Camp Foradoftes, N, Om for vinamesabappis. But for me growing up t I mean it's just once a year, so the e,like I'm glad I have that B'cause I've made a lot of connections with otherdoies, but outsid of that I didn't really have any connections with anyonewho was Asian or any kind of cultural ties or like interested in learningabout, like maybe the music or food and Um ou know. I I think I and I think thesaid before I feel like kindo growing up I've kind of felt like maybe notgood enough to be Asian in like a sense of the word, and so that's why I'vSpent you know all years in my twenties kind of like trying to kind of catch upso to speak, yeah. I think that's definitely something that people canrelate to it's kind of I mean not to name job, but it's kind of that feelingof being somewhere in between two different cultures: Different worldsand not quite knowing where you fit in Quoton Qua wher to place yourself.People left run you WAN T le between exactly Hay. BWHATWHAT is your experiences with thatthan like, I guess, Chinese culture and stuff yeah. It definitely for me Um,even though I am in a mostly white community, I think in high school theydid a pole of like the sudent body, and it was like some clazy like ninety fourpoint, one something percent white people and it was like agans of thenext of like a four point: Nine eercet. It was very predominant, but we stillhad SOM ASIONS UM. So I would spend time you know visiting my friend'shouse and their parents. Would, you know, make hop poter make me on afterschool. So, even though I I had like a nice little like bubble, I could escapeto, but still had like a lot of m white influences the community, and you knowgetting that experience. My parents were also really great up fing to getme to learn my culture without forcing it on me. You know they. Let me exploremy interest with it. You know being like you have to do this, which I Ithink is something that I'm really grateful for now that I'm ould Um. So we would, you know we'd Seebat, Loneeear, and you know the best they could. They Ha to look on some things. Theywould they definitely looke up unbow this little bed envelope for those ofyou listening who don't know what that means, they put money inside Um. Theywould hang up planterds, they weren't you now them both epicated, but I thinkthat they did the absolute best D, which I think is really affeciative,and I never felt like I was you know I feel like I' mentioned this beforethere's there can be a fomin line, at least for me. I was always worriedabout appropating my culture, where shes appreciating it and trying to bonand go, and I think they did a really good job of respectfully showing thamecculture without making me foel like. I was like in some kind of school andbecoming a faricature of Bom Chinese. I hope that makes sense. Yeah totallythat's awesome. We had that experience, wow, that's really cool and thatparents couldn't give you that space to grow in your own. On your own terms,yeah. My mom even asked me when I was-...

I might have mentioned this before inthe podcast, but she had asked me if I wanted to go to Chinese school, and Iasked the my friend at the time who was also Chinese. Bran said B: Do you likeChinese School? Should I go like this is like six year old amy and he waslike no, I hate it and I was like why it was like because it's school andSaturday obviously- and I was like- Oh you ave my obviously I don't want to dothat- toned it down. It's like the one of the biggest I gets in my life, but II know that if my mom had forced me Nto it I would have been mere senful. So like one of those things I kickmyself for, but I'm glad that my mom gave me the option but didn't make medo it right and you know I feel the kind ofthe same way 'cause like I wish. I would have spent more time warningabout like what it is so like about Asian culture really growing up younger.But you know the thing is: is s like there's still plenty of time and thegreat thing about having an adopting community is like they're, really agreat resource to kind of learn from people about like where you can findlike you know, if you want to learn the language they're, really good, O likehelping you fin the resources for that or like steps you can take by that, ormaybe it's the food or maybe its enemy. So I think all of us have like our ownkind of m pockets of like where we like reall, enjoy about what is to be kindof Asian adopty, and we can definitely, I think it's one of the really coolthings that in my actaren is that sharing that with each other, and it'sbeen really something I've enjoyed so definitely still plenty of time tolearn, and if you have any questions about like learning Chinese or anythinglike that, definitely Gelr Dai. Thank you. I I say a lot like all things likeI'll totally do it but, like I think I'll actually message you at some point.That is something that, especially with all this time on my hands, I've reallywanted to get back into exploring my Chinese college days is nowhere, whatlike it's definitely fallen off since then. I definitely understand I I don'tonlyfeel, like my Chinese- has gotten worse since, like coming back from China. Soit's something like you. If you either use it or lose it. So that's onereasons why we made the table so yeah, but I'm looking forward to that message.So I hope you sendit my way, yeah that must have been amazing tojust like living at China and being they say that that's the Best Bay tolearn any language that is, must have been amazing yeah. It was great I every morning Ihad Balza or dumplings on the morning, so that was delicious and H. I mean it's just it's just acrazy experience because, like the city I was living in, had eleven millionpeople and O, would you rit? I can't even imagine like oh my gosh it. It blows your mind. I alwaysexplain it to people it's like if you ever go to like the state, fair andwhatever sait you live in, like there's, usually just like waves and waves ofpeople, and it's just like it's like that at the state fair, but like everyday, and it's like whether r anywhere you go they're just people and uh, theyhave like M, they have a sang like ran. Shan Ran Hih, which, like people,Mountain people, see, and it's like. They say it because, like itlooks like there's a mountain R C of people and it's honestly true becausebeen just so many people, I Goshi just looked it up really fast, that's so NewYork City, which is what a lot of us Americans think is like the densestmost populous part of America. That's only eight point: Thirty nine ninemillion, at least in last time they, the almost three million more peoplethan yeah. That expression makes total sense 'cause. I know that way in otherplaces, but eleven million people in one city. Oh my gosh yeah, it's it's Higherafr head around,but an at I atere, two city, thats itere Winsa SA Tro. I jeeze it'sit's, pretty crazy, so yeah! No, but you know I I mean I wishI could go back there. I don't know if I will be over Abe to, but it wasreally a good experience and I definitely want to go back if I cen,just for even just a little bit to travel a little bit more before I comeback just like no focus on my career focus on, like you know, making moneyor like advancing like other things in my life, so yeah, that's awesome. Ihope. Also one day you're able to you know experience those things again thatyou really miss about everything. I sounds like a special kind ofsituation, ot be in or maybe not I don't know it sounds special to me atleast well. Thank you amy. I think it was really cool and I enjoytraveling, but you know, I think one thing that I've gotten to Ois, thatI've been able to be come really part...

...of the adopted community, and so I'vebeen spending all that time, obviously doing the Chinese table, and then youknow working with sat. So I think that's kind of my main focus like thesedays. I feel like hmhow do t, so those people who don't know Josh is an admanfors that the subble Asian adopte traits that we constantly bring up onthis podcast. How Dod you come to be involved with that. So that's a good question, so how I gotinvolved with is so originally I'm not like a founder of the Basebullcommunity. What had happened is I wanted a way for a dackes to so. Haveyou ever heard of the Sutileatian Adapti Confessions? I care afed on thatyou'll see them post like and they'll say some really interesting thingssomethin El. That was actually my idea and I'm a TRAperson. Who Does that? Oh, that is so cool. I did not know that at all yeah it it. I want it a way for peopleto be able to say things, anomyously 'cause, some people have maybe it mightbe things in their personal life or something like is really something theydon't want to disclose to other people, but it's something that's important tothem and royded to a docky or Ornot, and so I thought like. Oh, this wouldbe a cool way to do that, and so I reached out to the Amans and they'relike Oh. This is a great idea. Do you want to be also an adman and I saidsure why not yeah it? KINDOF just happened like that,and so I run the adocty confessions compage and then I guess, kind of overtime. I've just KINDOF taken a bigger role as an Aman 'cause. It's notoriginally. What I signed up for as especially we've had encountered someproblems here and there, but um it has been really good experience. ECAUSEI've really connected with a lot of other adopes in the community,anthrough current instasses and occurrence, and it's been a really coolway. To kind of, I feel like give back 'cause. I do feel like there's a meatforit and D, I'm glad Yo cind have helped other adopes. where I can. I think that's really awesome andreally admirable that you kind of you know. You said with one thing and justit it kindaf not snowbald, but like in a good way. noball. There's such athing into this thing that it is now and it's. It really is like this huge Iron't Wan to say movement, but you know huge upcoming and huge part of identityfor a lot of asiadoppis. I now I can't even imagine like that's it's so pivotal for a lot of us at thispoint n our times yeah, I think, especially with coganranking. It's been a great way for people to kind of connect with eachother, while wew're staying inside and an tosay and so really m. You knowadoption as I feel I com its own subculture, and ah I mean the GRO membership. Now is overthree thousand and it was, I think, like I think, just under two thousand,when I came on as an admen, and so it's really kind of balloons, I mean I waslooking some oversomesatistics that I was looking at some basebalk anamoticsand it's Craz how much people are involved in the cunty. I was looking atit and so on average, on an average day, we have about ninehundred and thirty three commonts. Oh my gosh, crazy yeah. It's it's! It's crazy. I couldn'tbelieve it myself. I was looking at the excelled documents, I'm just like wow,that is nuts, and so we have a huge amount of comments we have about. Weaverage we accept about, I think, like fourteen people a day and then I thinkthere's about like thirty two posts every day, and so you know I'm sure youscrol, so your Basebok and Itus, like everything I feel like, is aboutsolation an aldetraits like the page for me to be on so it's D, it's really cool to have somany people want to be a part of it and want to kind of Um want to kind of be involved in like oneof the third voices. So I think it's been really great 'cause. I made a lotof connections. I know. Other people whohave also made a lot of other greatconnections to the group and it's really cool to help that in waste thatI can and help give people unoutlet to kind of express theirselves in ways thatthey're not usually express themselves either, maybe with their friends orfamily, because they're not adopted yeah. I remember. I didn't know aboutthe pit must have been like, I don't know when exactly it started, but myfiend had mentioned like to me. Oh the FS, which also lofted e said. Oh, like I just joind thefacebook group. It's like this spin off of like the big like setal Asian traitslike youdoing. It too, I was like, oh sure, like honestly. In my mind, I waslike how big could it be? It's probably just like you know a couple of hundredpeople. You know nothing too big, but over time, it' just wontedto like itsHu honestly. It feels kind of like a big old and aty family. A the ESCIB insome race t is very much of family Wa...

...te was, I guess I guess. Kinda curiousis like what's kind o your favorite way to interact with a group Um, I'mdefinitely when it comes to the face. Bupaid, I'm more of a Lokar, the honestall like stuff, or you know, Um like look at contents and stuff, butI I'm always shy unface book in general when it comes supposting. So I neverreally comment. Unless it's you know something I if I can get passy anxietyposting something on facebook, then I'll I'll come in a little thing hereor there, but I recently started going to the zoomhales and Askd Wer. I feel alittle bit more otable and I really even though I felt connected to theGroup- and I you know I got to meet people even to the porecast like going to thezoom calls like I thought. Peoe were Kindo like mint is ther fun, but youknow when people say: Oh, you got to do this thing. It was like okay sor,everyone got to do it, but like man I upsited going and I'm like Yo l Ke. Youshould really go to them. 'cause they're really fun like everyone's, sonice, so welcoming a'm meeting so many people- and I just wouldn't feel like,even though I'm like still a Luk on the face but t I really feel like I'm inthe community. Now you know wow, that's great, I'm so glad that you've gottenthat experience from it and h yeah it's those sum calls are really great. Icommand a people. Who've been hosting it Arin mats, mats, Um and other'speople too, as Wellwhov hosted it for other people 'cause. I think it's beena really great way to connect with others, and I've really enjoyed it. SoI'm happy for you yeah, but uh yeah, no, just with the sat in general. I'vereally for me helping other dopies is really important for me. So, inaddition to what have done I' Sad, I've also gone public. Speaking at like theAdopti camp, that I grew up, I'mcurrently helping out with anotherlike adopty organization, offer mental health and yeah. It's it's something that I don'tthink it's something thathas been kind of, especially right now, 'cause. Ihave the time. It's just been a big focus, O my wife ight. Now that's good!What is it like? Um, public SK speaking about this kind of stuff? That's beeninteresting. So when I've done for public speaking is I've talked to bothadoptes Yogerdappis, like you, now nine and ten year olds and apparance, and sowhen I talk to different of groups, I kind of change kind of my message andlike what I'm talking about, but the general things are the same m talkingto parents. You know for me when I'm a public speaking the biggest thing isI'm trying to make a connection with my audience, and so I really kindo want tomake things sort of relaitable. And so, when I talk to other parents, I kind ofcontalt O, like I kind of emphasize my connection with my parents and say,like you know, I really lavt my parents, you know they've been a really greatrole models for me, and this is like you know the experience that I'v GoneOut. F It and, however, I also want to say like if I could talk to my currents.You know ten years ago or fifteen years ago, when I was these kids age. I wouldwant this to be happening, and so I fhound that's been a really great wayto connect with parents, about like understanding like that, um beingunderstanding of, like your kids, really care about you, but also like,if you really want to help him out going in later into their lives.Theseer, not Awak, and do that and it's like kind of like you, said kind ofwhat Youve said before in his botguast- is just like giving them that option toconnect with their culture and like having a little bit more diversy aroundthem is like, I think, really big things and something I couldn'tadvocate for and then like I've had parents come tome and, like have me talk with their kids, so I've done that a couple oftimes too, as well. If I, if they want that, is well talking to adopt es I've kind of youknow for them. My big story is like telling them how they can be proud tobe in Asian, American and things like that things that they can reallycelebrate about our identity and being how to be that M. A'm. Just kindosaying, like or, and I kind of emphasize like you know, I really lovethisenjoyabout things about being like you know having like that white culture,but then here's so things I really enjoy about like Asian culture, anddkind of like showing that, like you know, I kindo, I kind of think it'slike I kindof show them like Iam a cool dude, though I'm that's' debatable, butI can't Ho e Mari show him that I'm a cool dude and like Um, that you knowbeing in Asianan American, is something that they can be really a probess. Youmade some really good points and I think that that it's really key,especially what you just that about you know you encourage them to be proud ofwho they are om in their identity, but especially with the talking new of theAdoctie parents, a shorthand for those who don't know map M. I think thatthat's really a great way T to start...

...the conversatioon and kind of buildthat apor. So therein E staces in a mindset, kind of Lien and Takin thosethe efint that you have to offer. I think aw Esarm ater community a relationshipbetween a Doti and EPS anhe. You know multuwit or there can be a lot of areaseven with the best of you know. Faimles though I think professing thatconversation and emphasizing you know the good things and then the thing thatlooking back these are the things that I want to see that I think that it likesuch a great way to kind of open the door to those commercials. I hope T att y it wasanacit people that sounds like it would right exactly and yeah Imean you Kinda now that had I mean as a parent, you have to kind of think aboutit that nobody wants to be told how to raise her um child and so having liketelling him how to raise heur child is very like sensitive topic, so I thinkif you kind a come in with this, like understanding of like you're, raisingyour child good, but there you, girls, O, raise your child better. I thinkthat's a lot more. There there's a lot more bridge to connect with each otherand it's it makes them very receptive to that or, as I found in my experience, so yeah Vemso Kinda, like meeting themin the middle like he like wha, has e doing, and there is my experience.Kindo like like Ou, said, build that filld that gap or built the bridge. Icant English, but you know what I mean. I think that of all them- and I yousaid that you done all kinds of for so clami te like what you're saying yes, I I've I've done it a few times.So. Thank you, I hope to be able to. I Ge, said, make a difference for other dot yeah. I find that especially the people.You know who are N, likemilk, twenties or even just you know up and comingafter high school graduation. It was just this overwhelming desire, a lot ofes to just help. Each mother t helpd the younger generation Ofatoftis, and Ithink that that is really really special ind. The adoptin o kind of another thing that winds us together iscause our desire to help each other. In a community yeah, I guess yeah, that's. I definitelyagree with that. I I found that I I've wanted to help adoptes as I've gottenolder wel for kin. Two really big reasons in my wife. Well, three. Iguess three three reasons so the first one is that Um one I know I I feel like.I have been given like tools and skills that me as a good person to help them'cause. With my business background and my it background I feel like I am kindof in a position of the place where I'm able to kind of really use those skills.I've learned in the private industry and in the professional world and usingthe colls ttish contransation to help adokes in, like you, N, W A personalsetting. The second reason: one is my sister whoI've known she's like a big Um thing for me andshe's, not really interested in learning about adoption or being Asian,or anything like that, and I told Ar respect that M. I want to be able, ifshe ever ihave kind, O always inrationalized at if she ever does wantto be able to learn more about thatthat M. I would be there for her and likeOlburin, that ways sa she wants to learn. So that's been a big reason whyI want to learn about Asian culture and also gobactation adoptocommunity mom,and the third reason why is like is because I in my life I experiencedsomething that had happened to me. That was pretty traumatic. It had a hugeimpact on my life and it is about another abopt e and why Ireally could ave wanted to get back, I'm sorry for whatever happened, but II think it's really admirable that you're able to turnthing awful that'shappened and find a message that you can gind to go forth. thinkthat'that'sOkoy, I'm glad yeah, it's Um, you know the Adapi community. I havenot also doptis who have had you, know mental health issues and definitely myown experience in my life. It has been m there's. Definitely some words gotGoten, rery bad, and so it's so important to be able. For me. Ithink, to kind of fun ways to get back and fune ways to help others, because Iknow how much of a problem it is, and you know 'cause, like you know, onething I talk about in my speech is wha. I say is like you know, Um, I think youknow. International adopties are like...

...twenty five percent, more likely Um totry commence suicide because they're an option, and I think fifty percent morelikely than other like Fitim or cent more likely todevelopmental health issues, and I know personally a lot of other dopies whohad issues with that, and so that's why I think it's so important to be able totry to build a community where you're not feeling like you're alone you're,not feeling like you're the only one whois going through these problems ofnot fitting in not feelin like you're like acient enough. I not you know Umall the aboves. So that's why, for me I want to kind ofreally help leters in terms of like building communities of like talkingabout it and helping others yeah. I think helping people find that thing orcreate that space that helps them feel less alone in the world. I think that'ssome of the most important things that people can do totally agree. Toaly r yeah- and Ithink you know what you're doing with this pottest is a great way for toreach ouch other dockes and help them like just like letting them know thattherease other dopis who've been through t their experiences and kind ofsharing that so I think that's a great way to help us. Well absolutely thankyou by the way for saying that I feally appreciate it. Of course, no problem have you been able to go back to Chinaor Tvisit the Orphanis, so you were up from I have not. I definitely want togo it's one of the like I'm, not a bucketless person. I've never been like.Oh, I want to do these things you know, but if like that is the one thing thatI want to make sure that I do at some point in my life is to go back to China and specifically, I wanowetracethe South Soesy. I might ivmegioned it for it, but I want to retrace thejourney that my parents took when they went to adopt me so go like take thelike fly into the city and follow around like iweplace like markets thatthey went to, and you know go to the orphan age, and I just wanted be thisbig cheese ball of crying emotion, basically, but ma day. What about you? I promiseyou it's emotional, so I shouldnever goack bring Om Trin some cleanaxes'cause. It's it's a ride, my Gosh! I I honestly, I think I wantTa see if any of the adoptes that I'm meeting on would want to go with me that, from thesame general area, Yeah F, you can go with other people. Iwent with a close friend of mine when I went so. I would definitely recommendit's. It's a really cool experience and honestly great to talk to someone elseabout it. 'cause afterwards, you hun it us ont of Um just talk about it, Um'cause! It could be very emotional, oh boy, okay, good to no thank you forthe heads up, yeah, just a for warning or for anyone who decides to do that, andso I guess I can explan. I guess maybe people is experiences will be different,but in my personal experience so I went back to Vietnam after I got donestutting abroad. I did this Kond trup around Southeast Asia, where I went to Um Thailand, an Indonesia and Malaysiaand the Philippines, and then I went also to on Dietnom as well. I'm sorytealous of you. I You K ow. I feel lucky 'cause, I'vegotten to have the opportunities to do that during my study abroad Um. So itwas, it was a really cool opportunity, Athai yeah, so we fell in at the endfor like just a short trip to Vietnam, where I was born in Annoyn and I gotand we arranged it. I knew some people before and theyarranged for me to go to orponage when we wit you broght Um. I I'd save up some money, so I boughtlike a whole bunch of milk 'cause like the orphanage wanted milk for the kidsecause. They came an up it, her AAn toise as well, so we got hem like these,like soccer balls and like a colering book and like other like and somethinglike Crans, the Goaas coloring book and, like other just like Um toys that youcan like packy sacks, the kids can play with Anoh. Well Yeah I mean I felt like I had todo it Um. So W we go to the ORPENA. We we boughta translator with because most of them spoke Bein, MES and so walking into theorpanach. It was. It was a very emotional thing for me because they were very you know. I justremember walking ind and you just walking and like as soon as you walked into like anyothe rooms, like all these, like little eyes would like stare up at you ma by a WLITTL. I mean like reallyyoung, like you know, between the ages,...

...like you know like one in like threeand like they would like Moke up at you and like they're like wondering if youwike were going to come play with them or like wha. Why were you here and likethey'd like say? Oh, this is someone new yeah. Someone were shy to and, likeyou know, you Youl to these kids' eyes and like Um, I rememberstaing thislitle kid's eyes, and I just I could see myself yeah 'cause, I um and you know they were supernised.They they all smoked, Teetnamese, which was kind of weird because, like Icouldn't speak, Anybi in the nes, and so there was like a feeling ofdisconnect there but UM. No, I kind 'cause. I there's some older kids there to Asokids, who you know didn't get adoptet a young age, and you know you just fillkind of honestly. You feel guilty. You feel guilty because you look at thesekids and you like. Why did I get like adopted and like these kids, weren't hand I suppose, O woat o say it's kind of like adifferent kind of survivor's Gilt, almost yeah yeah, basically- and you kind of like I think about mean, like theopportunities I've been given to like go to college now, I'm being my mastersdegree like to be able to like you know, I've done work in the pipat industrybefore Um, and so I think about like you know relatively I concerder mysuccesses. I'm like you know I look at these kids and I'm like these kidscould be like just as great or greater. You know if someone would just givethem a chance. You know. Instead, you know they're here, youknow with mmal nutrition, not being able to enough food education wise,like you, know, yeah, it's it's it's emotional and yeah, and you know I remember the I gotto meet one of the social workers there and they pulled up my file from when Iwas adopted Um and she wasn't there when I was like akid, but she was super glad to see me ecause a lot of the doppies. Don'tchoose to go back and UM. Always that's what she told me and you know I thinkthe two questions. Woild. Never forget her asked me. She asked me thequestions. One was I was with loving family and the second one was like youknow. Did I have a good education and to both answers I could say yes andshe's Tard to cry 'cause like for her to see the fruit of like Al like o thehours and hours that she puts in for these kids and helping them to theirlike you, Kow to the crying and though the diaper changing andthrough all thatstuff to see that it actually makes a difference in these kids' lives andthat it can be something Um. I was really happy to thank her for thework that she did for these kids and to show her that, yes, it does make a bigdifference and it does Hav inpact. That is, I have like chills. Oh my gosh, that's amazing. I'm really happy that meeting you and talking to you couldgive her such joy and I think that's awesome. 'cause she'sdoing such important work, wow T as well. I mean it's. It's a thankless job,but yeah she's doing Um really important work. So yeah my motions, yeah, IT'S A I! You know. I know a lot of Dappies,maybe don't get the chance or opportunities, but I, if people Cani'dsay to go back a for me 'cause. I was almost getting ready to graduatecoltept that time and being able to kind of go de my past before I startedsomething. Li E in my future was, I think, really important for me. Absolutely. Is there anything else that you want totouch toporn befor? We wrap it up. I guess one really thing important for me. Is Ireally for the Adaphi community if those are lessaing too stressingimportant, sulpemental health? I know I culdn't touche ton before butnow ther. There are definitely been times in my life where I've haddepression and I felt really down in my life because things that have happened to me and O. I I for a while i'de, beenseeing a therapise too as well and a therapis who was adopted, which was areally great experience for me. 'cause. I could help. I feel, like almostnormalize. My experiences like I'm, not the only one who's been going throughthem. Absolen and yeah I mean I. It was areally I had some really tough moments in my life, and so I just want to saythat, like if anyone was listening, if they have experienced with those eitherin the past or now, that n definitely feel free to Li e reach out to someoneand get help, because it's so important,...

...um to you know, take care of your mentalhealth and understand, like you know, the experiences you're going through isthat you're not the only one and that there's other people and like peoplewant to like to share you to share it with them and that t people are willingto listen so m it S. it's really important and definitely m. If people want to reachout to me, theyr feel free, Toug, readh out to me to as well so M yeah. I Ithink it's important and I think it's something in the D which definitelynormalize being solk about our mental health and just like saying an Houarddeeling and like why we're feeling this way because Um, I think it's good tomake those kondconnections. Absolutely I A hundred percent agreeand for those people who are considering seeing a therapist for thefirst time, if you don't click with the therapist, the first go look for adifferent one, because finding the white therapist fror, you is likemaking a new friend or you know, getting in a relationship with somebody.It's everybody's, unique and one therapist, tyle and technique might notwork for you. I know I fasced round for a couple weeks in college trying tofind the therapist until I found one that clicked. But there is somebody out there who'sgoing to be able to connect with you on the thing, with te issues that you needto connect with, so don't be discouraged if the first one or even acouple, don't don't feel wite. 'cause you'll find one yeah yeah. I I say that too 'cause. Ihave thi similar experience as well, and I think for me. In my experience, Ifound that having a therpis, who is a person of color, really helped n Wen, Iwas able to Pinthers who a fellow adopte thatlasous like fantasticexperience, Um, and I really enjoyed that and it was Ableto to have a goodrelationship with that. How I kind of Rationali said is you know? One thing Ilike to do is o to go work out and keep my body in shape, and so how Irationalize it is like you know you work out to keep your body in shape.You should also like you know, talk to someone and keep your mental healthenchune and- and you know I mean if, if you have a friend to or close familythat you like talking to, I think that's great too but M. seeing atherapists can help seeing a professional can, I think, has likeadditional benefits and able to handle it out, handle like Um things thatpeope are going through a little bit better ibsolutely. So yeah, that's a that's kind of mystory. I guess thank you so much for talking with me Josh and you knowcoming back on the podcast. It's always a pleasure. It really is Um in you have anything that you wanttowant o anything Um. No just hopefully people if people aren't onsad definitely encourage them to join sets Um. I think it's a really coolgroupd to be a part of, and Kno Chinese language table, tooas cool too so yeahthat'a HA re owesom. Thank you. Um so thinks everybody's listening to ourlatest episode, Tunin next week, H, if you're interested in participating inone of these episodes, you can email Tis at somewhere a between the pod cassat GM docom and don't forget to dorn an Instrigra family somewhere between ashfam to stay connected with upxressing, Celd n more you get sex te.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (31)