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Somewhere Between Podcast
Somewhere Between Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Interview: Pema pt. 2

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Join us for the second part of Pema’s story of self discovery and her search for her birthparents. We pick up her journey when she arrives in China, where she volunteered with an orphanage, followed by a week spent with a searcher actively looking for her birth family. Pema shares some interesting and helpful tips learned from her search. If you’re planning on doing your own birth search, definitely give this episode a listen. You can find Pema on Instagram @_pemabear_ 

We've added music!
Intro: Lights by Sappheiros (
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Welcome back to another episode ofSumewhere between a podcastline by Asian adopties for Asian adopteves hi.Everyone welcome back to the second part of my interview, episode with Emmain this half we're going to be talking a little bit more about pemas journeywhen she reaches China, so Pemma you have the visa. Now what comes next wow?So once I board the plane, it's a long. Thirteen hour journey that I take andhonestly it's a lot of just waiting. So I do the normal plain things a I listento podcast and listen the music. I sleep and I kind of try to get myselfon China time because you definitely don't want jet lag yeah, it's literallyabout twelve thirteen hours depending on what part of thin you go right, oris it all one time it's about thirteen hours, and so what I do my dad has thislittle funny cool trick that the military uses is basically you fast forlike half a day or so, and then you eat breakfast in your new time zone andthen hen you get to China you're, not detlagged, which is really fun. It's soactually kind of cool yeah, so I did a little bit of that and then I justhonestly just ate a lot because I was really hungry on the place. Yeah relatable. What were you feeling inthis? You know giant super long planid any like any feelings coming up. Whatwas vending through your mind, I guess yeah honestly, I got a little bit sadon the plane ride, because I wasn't going to see my family for about amonth and I was going to go to a a place that I didn't really know anyone,and so that was a little bit intimidating, especially now beginningthe airports all by myself, because I had been to China, but I had been witha group and so they always had people directing and kind of leading. But butnow I was totally by myself here to navigate the Chinese airport by myselfand then find my own kind of transportation to my own accommodations,and so that was definitely a step up and yeah. I was just kind of reflecting on wow I've done all thiswork. How like? What will I find? WHO WILL I be able to meet? I want to beable to be be my best Sulf, so a lot of just reflecting, and I did somejournaling and I did a little bit of like a video loge like on that one plane ride just to kind of recordmy feelings about it. That's awesome! I guess I didn't realize: U, so you tookthis journey to China by yourself. Did you have people R plans to meetsomebody over there yeah? So I went over by myself in thebeginning to do like my three weeks in volunteering at add a special needsorpanide and then we kind of went to my birthparent search, but all that travelwas basically by myself because after the orphanaged trip I had to fly andtake a train by myself to go meet my parents. So it was a lot of individualtravel within China to even meet up with my family at the Barea yeah. That's ver definitely very intimidatingto somebody like me. Who Does it? You know normally goes with a group orsomething so I hats off to you for doing all that, because Oh my gosh I'dbe so scared, just GIN general, no matter where I was going yeah, it'shonestly in China. What is good is like. Normally people want to help you, and at least someone speaks English andespecially in the train stations. There is like English below the Chinese, soit's pretty user friendly. You just kind of have to you know, navigate yourself through.That's that's really, that's helpful,...

I'm the kind of person who will getlost pretty much anywhere. So again, that's just really cool that youin another country, like I can't go from like one like if I haven'ttraveled a place before I get lost immediately. So I guess I feel, likeyou grew a lot during that trip. It sounds like in terms of like justindependence and navigating and stuff like that and Yeahse, but I definitely did and I'm definitely now, Navigation Guru Iget lost. I use my directions every time, I'm here in the states drivingplaces, so it was definitely anexperience. That's awesome! Very!Very cool, though I guess just tell us a little bit more about like what youdid in China. Some highlights what was it like? Volutaing, the orphanage tellus everything. I guess it just sounds so interesting, yeah. So honestly, mytime at the special needs, orchinage was pretty much amazing. I woke up and we had to honestly take thetrain to the place in Beijing where the orphanage was, and I was paired withone other girl, and so she and I we would work there from like nine to three, and so we would wake up.The babies bathe them. Do laundry feed them for, for lunch, put them to sleepplay with them, help the Nannie's out, and so it was alot of a lot of work, and this was in the heat of the summer and they don'treally have air conditioning. So it was like swelltrlling hot, and you werelike dealing with these crying kids and it was. It was definitely a veryhumbling and exciting experience, because during the breaktimes and stufflike that, I could like talk with the Nannies, and I use my kind of Chineseto English dictionary and I showed them videos and they had their phones andtheyere, showing me different things. And so, since the world is soglobalized, they're showing me like you know the the sog better now by PostngMalone. That was like really popy yeah, two thousand and eighteen but yeah. Wewere sharing music and different things, and so that was that was a reallyreally cool kind of part of my trip and then we kind of transferred that wastotally different from my actual birthparent search, because I honestly had no idea what to expect,and so, when we, the first day that I met up with my parents, I met Jane. Whowas our guide, and my parents and Jane had just come off of another week ofhelping my brother do h his birthparent search. So they have a bit of momentumwhich was great, and so honestly, the number one rule- and thiskind of thing is plans, always change. And so I remember the story where my dad had like obviously planned aheadand like gotten a hotel and different things, but he didn't realize how faraway it was from the actual city in town and what was really important wasthat we wanted to hand out flyers in the city and be able to walk arounddifferent shops and different hotels and different venues and differentthings. So my dad legit changed our hotel to the middle of the city center,the dayof. Oh, my gosh es all these like five new hotel rooms, just so thatwe could do it. So we were in, like a like. I don't know some Mariott Chinesehotel in the middle of the Girls Pak. Oh my gosh yeah, so that was definitelykind of crazy kind of cool. She brought me up to speed, really really fast,Ourour, Guid, Jane and honestly that day we spent she was like locating a printing friendor something, and she printed over like a thousand flyers, and so that was kindof the first day and honestly, we kind...

...of just followed James Lead and she waslike okay, we're going to get up tomorrow morning and we're going todistribute all these fires and we're going to go to your orphanage. Sohonestly, it was just really really really fast. Paced. Every single day,yeah sounds like literally like boots on the ground kind of just stop in thepavement kind of work and again it's moddle of the summer,like you said so hot, I imagine, Watyeah very, very hot and honestly, therewasn't a lot of time to think and kind of reflect while everything everythingwas happening because, as you know, the birthparents arch, itis only a week. So maybe the second day we went to my orcitage looked throughthe paperwork, and then we went to my finding spot to kind ofsee if we could talk to any of the police there and Soto. We kind ofgained a media presence because, through my like Qr Code and Wechaut,because we setall that up Jane had kind of contacted differentlocal media stations in gion, and so they actually followed us to the police station and so they're kind offorming this little mini documentary about me. So it would garder likeobviously more support and more interest, and so we went to the police station andobviously they didn't know like a ton because, like they don't keep recordsfrom from that bar way and honestly, a lot of those people had probablytransitioned out or moved away or gotten ta different job, and so whatthey did want us to do. is they wanted us to do like a blood test and theyactually did that live on wow our TV or like on the recording and so what theydid is they had camera crews? Follow me around and they're asking US questions,and I was kind of relaying a story live to the police, people as like a storysegment, and then they had like a please the head policeofficial come and like Prit my finger and then ut my put my blood on this little piece ofcloth, and then they would process that to see if there was any kind of matchesand so that TV segment kind of lasted the whole day and then slowly. We hadpeople kind of come forward and say: Oh, I think that Ike we might be a match,not not den inwise but like storywise, and so that was kind of a veryinteresting process, because through this, through this TV segment, through thismedia interview and talking to a different people and sending out myflyers with with my r code, people started to recognize me like. When Iwent around different places, people would be like, oh, like you're, thegirl on the fly or different things, and so yeah. I had several. I had oneor two families come forward and it was exciting, but I didn't want to get myhopes up and I didn't want to get in their hopes up, and so it was more oflike Oh cer, yours opportunity to meet a potential birth family, and obviouslyI thought that it was my role because some of this was filmed and stuff andjust just for my conscience, I wanted to treat each birth family as a unique family and like as a uniquelike kind of group of people, because Ididn't want myself to just be like bored and kindof like. Oh you weren't you weren't my birt birth family. So I'm not going totake any interest in getting to know who you are and kind of dismissing themright. I wanted to treat them with the same equal respect, and so I got toknow them to know hat theire. Their Story. They've showed me pictures theyhonestly, these families care so much...

...about this, like they're, all alldressed up. They were able to get the grandfather that was a little bit older,who probably knew a little bit more and had more knowledge. They ont od. Thefamilies brought the grandfather in a, and that was really hard because hedidn't have a lot of mobility, but he was like really really wha hes wantingto find his long lost granddaughter and people were crying, and so it was avery kind of emotionally humbling experience because for these families,like they've, never really told their secret before and they really want tofind their child, and even though I may not be be their child, I wanted to likebe there and show them what and what an adoptin looks like and like how you areyou know, and I didn't want to give off a bad impression of Oh we're, just thestuck up Americans and if it doesn't like help us within where we aren'tgoing to pay attention to you so yeah that was kind of a interestingtime sounds like a very heavy experience as well. Yeah definitely- and like I didn'treally know like, should I be crying on camera- can do I want to show myemotions because part of me, I just didn't- want to show my emotions likeright. Then in there I was kind of shocked I didn't. I was trying toprocess things myself Ri, so I honestly just took on the role of like askingother people how they were feeling making sure everyone else was kind ofokay and then back in the hotel rm. I was able to more process and talk to myparents and kind of like oh my gosh, like I I don't want to like you know, Sayi anything wrong or, likeI really wish this was my was my family, but these dates. Don't don't match orsomeone. You know some part of the story doesn'twork and I what are the families that actually Septe forward? It was really cool. My supposed sister,if this was my family, was a teacher and she actually was the one whocontacted the channel because she was on her wee chat, which is like Chinesefacebook. Basically right and she was like telling kind of her sad story about thefact how her sister had some like mental challenges and wassent away or something, and then she got pregnant when she was away andreturned to the village, and this caused a lot of controversy. Ohand thefather had died previously and the grandfather was like there, but not fully there, and so thisis a really really really sad story and, like part of me, was like hearing allthese iterations of stories. Part of me was like is this. Where I came from, isthis? Where I came from is this? Is this my background, and so it was hardnot being too attached to the story, because I was like. I want some kind ofinformation, but then knowing how to create that appropriate distance,because you don't want to get your hopes up rigt I mean you also don'twant to be like you know, devastated if this isn't like your family right andI'm so glad that this was not like my family, because I wouldn't wantto know that, like maybe my birth mother might have been like takenadvantage of if she had like if she was in a different mental state.Do you know like that's, not fun to know? Yes, I can't even imagine whatkind of essentially you because, like you said, you have to kind of go intothe mentality with each family that they unique and they you know whileyou're like oh well, you know you may or may not find out that thee are yourbirth family. You still want to interact with them that they could beinterested. Imagine yourself in all...

...these different scenarios that are I'msure, equally heartbreaking in different ways that you know it's likegetting your heartboket over and over again Om, yeah and, and it's hard I mean after eachsingle family. Comes you 're, like Oh, my gosh. Is this real? Is this like ismy story then to have another family come for, and I mean I kind of feltlike I don't know when, like do you know the movie Annie when, likeeveryone all the birth families come forward and yeah? This is my kid. Thisis this is my kid, like I felt kind of like her like trying to start out likewhat's real, what isn't real, what is like? What's a right match, what is ina right matge I mean in the any story they were trying to take advantage likeher. I don't think they were no one was or at was trying to take advantage inthis situation, but the ciphering and the kind of understanding is this right.Is it's not right? It's the commonality between them yeah, and I think it'sreally. You know just to see how big, in a event and howimportant it was for all these people to you know, come and potentially meet.You know the long loft family member, it kind of just shows how hartbreaking,like the one child policy was and that a lot of family. I think people hadthis idea that we weren't wanted, and they just youknow, wanted a stater XYZ, but it really goes to show you that you knowwe were onted and we would have stayed had this policy most likely not beenenacted and that these families do care and they do still view with his family,even though they did give us a way or whatever. However, we ended up adopted.I think that that's really sad, too, and I think that's a very importantpoint to touch on, because, honestly, when I was in my province in Jion likeI was so welcomed with open arms, we met with some higher up officials andthey took us to dinner and we got to know their family and I got to playwith play with their kids and they I mean people on Wees Chat, still contactme all the time saying like happin having happy New Year like like, likeMary Christmas and this family, that we kind of ate with and were socializingwith, they were like. We welcome you home to gion like this, is your homeand like we want to make. You feel a part of this, and we will be here forfor you and we'll keep our ears and ears and eyes out for you and you whenyou're your story, that's kind of what they said towards the Mery End, and so these people really do have genuinegreat hearts and they really do want to help adoptes find their birthparents. That'samazing and also very encouraging for other, hopefully any adopte out there.Listening that, if you go to China, you know there's a good chance that thepeople are going to put their whole heart in soul into you, know,supporting and caring about you as well right and, like obviously you're goingto have like some people who don't agree or some people who do notunderstand. I remember we were in a rural, veryrural village within gion, and I mean I'm talking about like like dirt houses and like dirt, dirt roadsand mat a lot of just a lot. I A lot of bicycles and stuff, and- and we were hanging posters around indifferent things and everyone's just very curious, but yousaw some people like taking down the flyers after you put put them up and,like you can't really say much because like this is their place, even thoughwe were putting I in public places, but it is kind of there right like wedidn't we didn't.

You know yeah, hey like we have to putthis up. I mean it's their home too, and so you're definitely going to havethose people who disagree or don't really agree with your mission and orThinkin adoptions kind of taboo and and the biggest question I got, and this iskind of an interesting question to prepare for if you do go over, is a lotof people ask like where people were Frustrat ing, Theyrelike? Why are you doing this? Like you live such a great life within America?Isn't this shaming your adoptive parents? Like you doing this? Does thismean that you don't love your adoptive apparance enough or you didn't thinkthat they did a good enough jobs, you'relooking for like a suckondstead of parents, and so that's Awas kind of thementality that some people had and so to explain like? Oh No, I feel wholelike I'm happy where I, where I am my adoptive parents, are really supportiveand loving, and we want to know a little bit more about my story insteadof it being like my adoctive parents are not enough and therefore I'mlooking for a second set of parents, and so that was kind of a question thatcame up during the search yeah. I feel like you. Definitely you get that frompeople like in America as well other countries. They say you know. Why wouldyou look or I think, thoes this idea, that with parents there's you knowvoles that they have to play and it kind of all ties into just likethe expectations of what it means to to be adopt that I think just people justdon't understand what that is like. I think, that's whatit all boils down to in the end yeah and it's just about education, and noneof these people were rude in the way they said it. They were just curiousand I wal try to meet curiosity with, like fact, a d and the kind opinion youknow. So I think that's awesome. It was definitely like a great experience and another thing this is kind of just afunny gem, but I actually didn't know my blood type going over to China, well, which, like normally people I mean I'vLike I've, been to all the doctors, hi've gotten all my shots and checkupsand different things, but never have I like taken the one tiny test, that'slike what is your blood type ig? So there was this little man that wasoutside our hotel and they have these all over China and you can go in reallyquickly get get your finger poked and you find out your blood type withinlike five minutes, and that is really really helpful because, obviously, when you're talking to birthparents and different things that they know their blood type, you can kind ofjust do a basic like. Oh, if you have, I don't know Ab and whatever, like you,can't make a like a this kind of Chot fe, like Bas fat fact check, so that was kind of atisteresting. Soif you don't want to do that in China, I would recommend knowing yourbloodtipt before you go over to China yeah. I I had to get prickd twice once at thepolice station and one at this medical band. Oh my gosh, and I don't like needles, so don'tbelly now on that one, it was a definite interesting time. So you met all these potential birthfamilies and they took your d decurity an a. What was the process you know forthe families that you met. Do they also submit da or was only if certain partsof their story line with your story? How would you have know yeah? So honestly, the birth families wereoffered to take kind of their DNA if they wanted to whether theirstorymatched with mine or not, because they are someone's birth family outthere. Eventheng then might not be mine,...

...and so they would also go to thepolitation and get their finger pricked and their blood would be put on thatcloth and then that cloth would be processed, and so we didn't bring any. We didn't bringany collection kids over, but you could do it through the police station and soin total, through my birthground search, I had about three families come forward,which is a pretty good number and like what I'm really happy about is likepeople kind of took it seriously and they weren't like. Oh, I just want tocome and meet an American family. So I'm going to say that, like there's amatch right like people who only really really thought that there was a matchcame forward which is really good because emotionally and physically,it's very taxing listening to everyone and being present and being there andbeing being your best self. But honestly, I loved meeting meeting thesedifferent families and they brought they brought their kids and it was justable to see like wow there's Chinese families out there that are reallylooking and really passionate about this issue. Another thing that I would say would be always just like keep your eyes open. I mean when I was distributing flyers andmarkets and in villages and in storefronts and different things likethat's the time to connect with with people. Part of you can just get inthis mode of like rjstidntto pass out as many flyers like as possible, but inorder to maybe make that connection with your birth family, you have tomake a connection with everyone. You hand out a fly or to like Mak like likelook them in the eyes say. Thank you like. I really appreciate you and inhanding handing this out, becausethen they feel that human connection and then they're more willing to helpyou you know, and so that's a big part of the job is telling your telling your story,because I did that multiple times with different firth families, differentmedia channels, different important people who we met like at dinners,handing out flyers, making genuine connections and then really just like honestly being aware of like where you are likeall times and kind of know, that, like you're, representing a biggerpopulation because a lot of people, they don't necessarily meet likeadopties and people from the US. Every day right, and so when they look to younot to say that you're, a representation of the whole UnitedStates, obviously, but they do kind of look to you and saying like Oh, is this:Like we've heard all these things about America, it is this true. Are you arepresentative of this and a very interesting moment that I hadwas towards the end of th end of my trip, because again this was only likeseven days, and so this is towards the end and Ricpalo or our hotel. There waslike a Walmart kind of and my mom and I were there shopping, and this girl had like sent something to me on my phone and I like look down andshe sent me a video of myself in Walmart and Oh, my gosh yeah, and shewas like. Oh my gosh, like I see you on the posters like I see you here andlike it, was obviously fought like a little bit of a celebrity movement yeah.I felt I felt like that was a little intrusive like I rather hear just comeup and talk to me because no one wants to be filmed, I don't eao getting fishs and Shampo,and it was just weird knowing that otherpeople around me knew who I was, but I didn't know who they were bigt, and so, when you do put all your stuff onweechat and do you do all these qr...

...codes and flyers? An different thingsbe heard that people might know you or people might take pictures like if youwent when you're out, especially in gion like it's not a like a super supersmall like city, but it is kind of small and so to Di distributed. So manyfires and we were on the news and people saw me on TV. They were morelikely to recognize me in Pubbe, and so just having that, I just felt like Ireally had to compose myself and, like I couldn't just like sit on the side ofthe road and look really bored or right yeah. You would yeah yeah you're,constantly kind of in the spotlight until you went into your hotel room andthat's not to say everyone around, you knew who you were now, I'm not sayingthat a lot of people just pass you by without looking twice likein me becausethey didn't hear the new story. They weren't interested whatever, which isfine, but there are those few people that like really do not now you and but know them, and so you know just kind ofa interesting time yeah. So how did thislittle series come about? Did they approach you? When you got to China?Did they talk to Jane Beforehand? How? How did you become like a Newspersonel, for you know,talking about your story and everything yeah, so honestly, Jane reached out to the media the daywe got there, so she reached out to an local new station like televisionstation and e Nocal, a local broadcast station and said: Hey like this girl'sadopted. We love to do a segment on this we'd love to like. Have the publicknow a little bit more about adoption different things? Would you beinterested in covering covering this story, and a lot of people were like?Oh my gosh, yes is yes and they honestly the newscast people. They cameto our hotel room and we set up like an interview, kind of thing, yeah and Soh.It was. It was really interesting and they had they had the parents like my mom and dad theydid a little segment with with them. They did a segment with the wholefamily. They Dis Segment Ju just with me, and so it felt like a reallyformalized process and Yeu Kn. They wase super cool and they also wrotedifferent articles about us and it was very cool to see everything translatedinto Mandrin and just be able to have that experienceand so getting a searcher who is good with connecting with the media.That is key. I mean yes, you can do these different fliers and differentthings, but what really elevated our search was getting connected with theMus Yeah? It sounds like absolutely yeah and the O that I did yeah get get.People excited, get your voice out there and in honestly, it's a lot ofjust like telling your story over and over andand over and kind of fol different leans that different people give you, and that iswhat the search is. I mean every day was something new. We folod a lead fromthe previous day and we really just kind of was like okay. I guess we're GOINGTO,this town, we're going to this radio station or or like. Oh, the productionteam, wants to see me walking on the road. Sat we're going to go film that,like it, was very, very unique to everyone's search. So itwasn't like Jane, pulled out like a clipboard and said Okay Day. One weredoing this to we were doing this. It was very organic and good and she was really good aboutgiving us breaks, and so when she saw that I was a little overwhelmed ordifferent things. She was like hey like why? Don't we all go back to the hotelfor like three or four hours take a rest? Take a shower, be Bot, be byYourself Watch watch a movie eat, eat...

...some food and then we'll come back. Youknow UNSO. She was really attuned to people and what their needs were andwhat the families needs were, and so, when looking for a searcher, I wouldlook for someone who kind of has the same temperament as you and your family. I wanted someone who was kind, caringand compassionate, and so we looked for that and I'd also look for a searcher who has good media connections yeah and one who really wants to get to know youas you and doesn't just treat you as oh another girl from gion who's trying todo a search bit. You know like really mits a personal to your Dourney, andyour story. that'so sounds like Jane was a perfect match in every way foryou and your family. Yes, she was great. I really really appreciate that and Ithink you would ask earlier in the previous segment about the cost about these, about thesebirthparent searches and different things, and I was looking through oneof the one of the facebook feeds and I saw a number that people been throwingout and different things for a week. It's about three hundred and ninety USdollar. So it's not like. Oh that's, not bad yuper super expensive miycompared to all the other costs of food lodging flights different things, but that's a ball park number right sofor Fok yeah for Fula, four, four Wak we cand, sometimes people charge forthe day or sometimes for the week. You can bargain kind of whiddle it down orsomesome people might have higher prices, but that's kind of a Bob BallPark range of what the services calld so E. I just thought I would let youknow. No! Thank you. I ASE that earlier. I appreciate that because yeah that Iimagine that would be for anybody planning to go over and you know tryingto find a searcher and everything just budgeting it all out. Just have ageneral estimate of how much things can cost is super helpful. I would imagineyes like for me. Yes yeah so after this week of searching what what was theresult before you went, left China and ended up coming back to America. Yeah honestly, we didn't find my birst family, but I waskind of okay with that, because we had made amazing connections withingion. I felt welcomed home and I was able to share my story and feel thatI'd done everything in my capacity to find my birth family, and so I didn't feel sad. I didn't feel like.There was something missing I felt accomplished that we as a family likeunderwent this amazing journey together and we came out a bunch stronger andnow I'm able to share my experience with other people and like, even thoughI didn't find anything. We never know what what the future holds, and I honestly put my DNA into variousbanks. After after this process, so it's not like this was the the end ofmy birthparent search. It's basically ongoing slow money until I die rightbecause, like information might come fifteen years from now, twenty yearsfrom from now, and because iave put my DNA to various banks, Suc as twentythree and me an different things, who knows what what kind of connectionswill will pop up? So I was very optimistic and...

...because I made these connections withinGon, if I do want to go back, maybe for birthparent search, maybe just just avisit. I know more about my hometown and my place where I grew up my little bit. So I felt like that was the completionand like kind of what I needed to move forward was just being able to know mybirth city a little bit more and be able to know the people and so yeah that was kind of how mybirthparents Erch ended, and I came back to the US and it was off to college yeah about so I oln summer, yeah absolutely fromone life changing experience to the next. You know yeah exactly and Donknow, I'm just very thankful and, like I don't feel like there's somethingmore, I could do to find someone or find something. Do you know like Ithouht, like ive, been everything that I can and Yvery happy where I am thenthat's goodyeah. I think I'm really happy that you know.Even I, like you, said, even Likgh, you didn't find your birth family. Youstill leugt with a feeling of fulfilment, and you know just in abetter place about everything Myo before you go on your birthparentsearch like clay through all the scenarios, and one of the scenarisscenario is not finding your birth family and that's a very likelyscenario, and so I toyed with the idea and kind of come to peace with thatbefore I even started like before I even like went went to China like I wasokay with that scenario and that's and that's what happened and that's, okayand honestly like continuing to learn about birth, parentsearches, an and hearing other adopte stories. It keeps that kind of process alive, and it keepsthis experience real and genuine, and I think that's like a lifelong journeyand like I continue wanting to connect with other people who have similarexperiences, and just because I didn't find my birthparents doesn't mean thatI didn't have a full rich experience in China absolutely, and I think that kindof goes back to what youere saying about you know it's easy to get intothat mentality of. I just have to pass out these fires. I just have to you,know, meet all these people, and you know it's easy to lose sight of that.These are people that Y U're you're dealing with and by making eachexperience. You know personal, and you really tried to connect with the peoplethat you were speaking with in all aspects. I think that kind of preventsit from feeling like, oh well, I went to China did all this work and I didn'tfid my birthparencs because that's like you said, that's the that's a very highpossibility that you won't end up leaving China finding your birth family,but because you made each experience unique in a connection. It was genuineand real. Just like you said Yeah and I think that's like the ultimate goal, like a nice for orme, and I was able to do that- and I honestly am so thankful to Jane Ou ourGuide and I would definitely recommend her. She has like per specific email and her specific wechet and different thingand. So if people like are interested, I canpossibly pass along that information. Obviously, once China opens and therest of the world opened after the FAC demic, but dafinitely definitely planahead, get to know your birth city a little bit more and honestly be okaywith all the outcomes of your birthen search before you go in and I thinkwhatever kind of journey you have, whether you find quote unquote goodnews or Qole. To quote bad news: it'll...

...all be okay, because it is your storyit in the end. I think that's amazing advice for everyone. You know who'splanning to take that step, or you know, even just thinking about you know,trying to find the firth family a little bit more seriously. Is thereanything else that you want to share with our listeners? You know about you,experiences your story or anything else. You would like to share yeah honestly, I would say, while you're in China try to like lighten your experience with otherthings within China, so what I did is I did like service work within orphanageor, if you've never gone to the Great Wall of China or Tenn and square justgo to these different places and kind of augment. You are your birthparentsearch with kind of like a journey throughout China ifyou're able to because I feel like that- really enriches your experience and inthose kinds of moments you aren't looking for a specific outcome of likeOh, I might find find my birthparents, but it's just a Oh I'm here to exploremy birth country and that's a such a wide goalen wide scope that if you gointo that segment of travel with that mindset,you don't know what you will find and honestly some of the best stories comeout of that and that's not only good as a like a mental break, but you alsoget to spore more of your birth country. So I definitely say, try to add onmaybe one extra week to your trip. If, if you were able to to be able to havethat rich experience yeah if anybody able to, I think thatis amazing because we're I think going back to China for a lot of us means youknow also, like you know, maybe a Borth paent search understanding where wewere adopted from where we were found. Those things, but also just like getting to know the other part of u identity, that wekind of lost, and I think just just becoming one with you- know China in away that sounds too cheesy, but I think that that's a really awesome secondarygoal or even primary go yeah exactly because, even though, like you may notfind your birth family, it was just a very interesting experience for me tojust be in China and be around people who looked like me, like everyone haddark, Dark Caire I blended in which was very strange because in Austin Texas, Hi, a predominantly white area, and soin China. I was so funny because I could go into the market and look atspecific things and I'd be chilling, because I couldsus I could see myparents and, and I war like okay cool there, a few stands over, but theyfreaked out because they're like where's Comi, I can't fiand so thatbeing part of the majority instead of the minority was also a really kind ofliberating experience too, and so that's amazing yea and was kind of afun littethin Kewow. Like look here my mom and Dad I'm blending in and now youhave to look twice as hard for me and ti how I flow within America beinglooked at and like standing out and now I don't have to stand out. I can standin and what was kind of interesting too.Another segment of this is that people thought I was Chinese until I spoke toyou know like obviously i'so Tryi like ethnically, but they really saw me asAmerican, like they are you're from America and they kind of just had this. It was like I'm not one of them, butI'm American and then in the United...

States. I'm not American, technicallyway, that's what some people think, but I'm yeah, and so I really think it'sthe balancnce of living between worlds and being okay with that and being by abridge between the two countries and that's kind of how I think of it,because sometimes I feel like I'm not totally accepted by Americans, I'm nottotally accepted by by Chinese people. So getting to know that balance andwhere that stands for you is very important and I felt like I gained alittle bit of insight on that topic when I went to China again for thisabsolu that something else that's awesome. No, I think that'sreally important to point out. We are whether they like it or not. We TieChina and America, and you know if you're Canadianan, Asian adoptor, Yutai,Canada and China. We tie all these different countries to Chinaperpetually. You know whether they wanted that or not were Brig Yeah and- and I think it's I think it'sgreat I mean get to know other adoptos- get get to know different storiesbecomeforol with with your own story and becomeforoble with the unknown,because Ias Yo know today the world is so unknown and things can happen on thedime and Gotto just be have to be prepared and diving in and doing yourbest and that's all there is to do it absolutely. Thank you again so much forjoiningas today PEMMA. It was amazing getting t to continue talking with you,and here you know. The second part of you know this amazing Jermey that youtook. Thank you so much for having me. Ireally appreciated getting to tell my story and getting to talk to you, ofcourse, sooner next time for another episode of somewhere between, if you'reinterested in participating, one of these episodes, you can email atsomewhere up between hat podcast at jmocom and don't forget to join ourinstagram family at somewhere between Dat fam and stay connected with CAupdates. CASTIND calls and a whole lot more thinks again. Everybody.

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