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Somewhere Between Podcast
Somewhere Between Podcast

Episode 9 · 2 years ago

Our Thoughts: One Child Nation ft. Shelley Rottenberg

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we share our thoughts and reactions to the documentary, One Child Nation (available on Amazon Prime Video ). We are joined by Chinese adoptee and CCI 2020 Intern, Shelley Rottenberg. You can find out more about her project here . We also recommend following CCI for more information on events and opportunities for Chinese adoptees.

Welcome back to the eighth episode of somewhere between, a podcast made by Asian adoptees for Asian adoptees. Today we will be discussing the documentary one child nation. Spoiler alert to those who have yet to watch it. Actually, yesterday the four of US decide to watch it together just to kind of refresh the minds of those of us who already watched it and for me, who I've never I have yet to see it, to see it for the first time and kind of just do it together as a community. And today we are joined by our special guest, Shelley. Hey, I'm a Chinese adoptee and I right now live in south southern Ontario in Canada, and so, yeah, I just wanted to thank you guys for letting me be on your podcast. I'm really interested in adoption and learning more about it as a process and what it means kind of to me more specifically. So I've definitely been exploring that and it's been nice connecting with other adoptees and I come from a geography background and I got my master's recently in human geography. So kind of that aspect of looking at people and their lived experiences and how that plays into their identity and sense of places really intriguing to me. And so I'm right now working as a summer intern for China's children international and with that I've been doing a project kind of looking at adoptee sense of place. So if people want to get involved in that'd be great because I'm looking for participants. You know, one part kind of looks at adoptees meaning of home and then the other part is kind of a mapping project that kind of looks at where they were adopted from in China and where they ended up now in the world. That's awesome. I love sad cool. Yeah, we're really glad to have you on today and I actually really am excited to see kind of what your results end up being, to kind of see what other people, other adoptees, feel like, where how they identify as home, and kind of just to see where everyone kind of spread out and scattered too. But yeah, so kind of just to start today's discussion, kind of want to just leave the floor pretty open and just get you know, your general thoughts and feelings. For you, when you were watching the documentary, it was a surprised because this is my own. It was my third time watching it and I thought, you know, I couldn't cry anymore, but there were still a couple of tears, especially at the end. So I know how did you feel about it all year, since it was your first time watching it? Um, I definitely relate to the tears part. It was definitely very rough for me. I think part of like what made it so hard is initially going through you know, it definitely hits you, but that wasn't anything new to me. The topics about the one child nation policy and have a one one child policy and kind of how it worked in China and help you know the Chinese people thought of it, so I wasn't too surprised by that. But it definitely is very sad when you see like the pictures of the babies. But when that title card hit of Long Way Shoo Young Hunn China, I it just like punched me with emotions and I think it is also a combination of prior to that, when they mentioned who not as being part of like the baby trafficking, I just like kind of felt this pit in my stomach because I knew I've researched it before and I knew. I've read some of it, a bit about it, but to kind of have to face that in the documentary was surprising and also just a lot. So you also adopted from that province? Yeah, that's what I think. That's why it kind of felt so personal. That like last story and just hearing like the family speak about their lost daughter and the twin speak about it just kind of create like this whirlpool and I was so unsure of how to feel or like why I was feeling so intensely. And I remember reading someone's comment on a discussion thread about the one child nation documentary and someone mentioned and like that was like the best way I could describe it of it being a very, like deeply...

...traumatic feelings that are kind of still within all of us. Yeah, so, yeah, it was. It was rough, but I'm really glad I watched it. Yeah, yeah, it was my second time seeing it and it was good as a refresher, because there's definitely things that I didn't remember from the first time watching it and it is really sad. But I mean, I feel like now it is important to know the truth, because I didn't know about the human trafficking like when I was a kid I mean, obviously when your kid here, parents are going to explain to very simply and like based on your maturity level and like what you can handle. But kind of you know, now that I'm older and realizing that it's like much more complex and oftentimes, you know, much more difficult and not so happy, like there's a lot of sad parts to it. It's a lot to think about, for sure, and the fact that it's just so personal to all of us, even if it's like not those provinces or cities that we were adopted from, it's still like, well, that could have been us maybe who didn't necessarily make it, or could have been us of that's how we ended up at the orphanages, and the fact that we don't know is just it does suck because, like, you know, the information that the orphanage tells you know, the adoptive parents. That's something that I thought was true and there's already so little information that we know that to know that that could be fake or fabricated is discouraging for those who want to maybe find like use that information to possibly find birth family or just more about their past. Also mentioned feeling like, Oh, that could have been us I remember thinking that. I think when the journalist was or the artist was saying how he was going through trash, they found all those feet of discarded fetuses. That part, that one that that always gets me because I'm like, as I was abandoned by at least a least they didn't kill me. You know what, the little things you've got to be thankful for. It is scary because that could have been me. Yeah, I was my second watch through I didn't cry Super Hard like Im throw to other people that I know when they watched it. I watched it with another adoptee from the same province of me actually, but that that artist, that whole segment about him, like I did. Tears fell for that one. That was just really intense and I was just like I don't know what, like all blowy on the shot of like Oh yeah, and I was looking through this trash and found mannequins and then all of a sudden it focuses. I was like like my jaw was on the floors, like Oh my God, and then he would just going through all those pictures. That was like that for me. That was like wow, like this is this is intense, this is really eye opening for me. Yeah, I think as it forces us to, if forces a hard truth on us of you know, ones that we've thought of and considered but you don't really always see, and it's kind of forces you'd also look at your own mortality in a way, because you're like it's like, Oh my God, that, as you guys have said, like that could have been me. I could have been in the dumpster like that. Yeah, I could have been nothing more than a piece of trash on the side of the road to someone, and that's a really hard reality to face. Is exactly I think there's there's a lot of trauma in adoption in general, but there's this additional layer of trauma that comes from being adopted out of the one child policy and everything and a really dig into your origin story. If you want to look for your birth parents or just understand where you come from, you have to fade like this documentary is like definitely a messy because you have to, like you said, it's a hard treath. You have to face head on the reality that, like, your story that you were told may not be real, and in all likelihood it's probably not real, and understand just how much went in and the like we, a lot of us, were human trafficked as babies and so like that's that's a fact, which is, yeah, a lot to sit with. I was actually hard for me because...

I just assumed from a young age, you know, I was abandoned, that was that, and then to realize that, oh, maybe my family did want me, you know, because the way that is kind of phrased, it was like, oh, they wanted a son, so they in order to have a son, they give you up. Mmms. Like the thing that maybe, Oh, maybe they didn't just a bandybasy and I was taken from them. Yeah, or yeah, that really painful. Yeah, I think, like you, obviously some families clearly like intended to keep, you know, their babies and children or and then they were taken away. But like, even for the ones that maybe, you know, made the choice to abandon it was clear, like when they're interviewing all those families and it highlighted that, they kept on over and over saying again like but we had no choice, like what else were we to do? And I feel like even if it wasn't, you know, we were actually taken away from our families, it's still almost seemed like like they didn't have a choice, like it was still almost forced that they had to make that decision, because those out of like desperation, or maybe they were too poor, and so it's still kind of I do try to view it as like well, I do think to some extent all of us were wanted and it's just a matter of, you know, when you to, you think realistically, like if they were physically and like financially, emotionally, I don't know, not able to take care of us like that just sucks that they're put in that situation and that the cultural and like the government, you know, was set so that they had to make that sacrifice, which I'm sure it was really hard. Yeah, watching the uncle of the person talk about it, like even though he did like I don't know, that was really that was also in a really intense moment because, at least for me when I was watching, I could see like he did what he thought was best and like he really wanted that daughter, and the fact that he still thinks about like how old she would have been, I don't know, like that just that got to me too. I was like you still think about that stuff and it like it seems like it haunts these people, but they you right, and didn't have a choice and they would have kept us if they could have, if circumstances allowed. I don't know about you guys, but I know for me, when I initially found out and growing up, like I guess, the as you as you know, you mentioned before, the way that it's phrased of like being unwanted or kind of being because your female, like I knew that create a lot of resentment for me of you know, Oh, like anger towards like this whole like it's a man's world thing and boys are better, and anger to my parents for letting something so stupid kind of separate us. But like, as I grew up and like I did my own research, I kind of it's like pirate of this document. I found out some of those heart truths and kind of saw some of their stories and then, especially watching this again, kind of reconfirmed all those feelings that I started feeling. Of You know, maybe my stories like not what I thought it was and maybe for me, like the best I can do right now to tell my own version of the story. It may not be the truth, but it's the truth that I want to believe in. Of maybe I you know, maybe I was really wanted by them, but they just couldn't take care of me, whether I was their second child or, you know, because I was a girl, or they just couldn't afford it and they wanted a better life for me, and like that's why I wasn't discarded and kind of really focusing on that aspect for my own personal healing. So like do how what did you guys? Did you guys go through kind of any of that? And I feel like it's easy to kind of be angry at adoptive pay at your birth parents. Initially, I definitely had some of those same feelings. My adoptions joy, as they say, is I was left at a police station, and so my parents always kind of like you did they like they said, like they could have left you anywhere, they could have killed you, but they wanted you to have a good life that they couldn't give you, so they left you in a safe place, and that's kind of what I use to kind of to stop the dissonance in my head from like just what happened. So it all the same kind of story too. That...

...was also found on the place, yeah, station or stuff. But then after seeing how like a lot of the fight finding locations were fabricated and then just like led me to question, why not my existence really, because I already have some of them. Of that way, my one week of birth before my parents abandoned me, I've just like lost that one piece of information that I thought was through. You know, I mean, if I exactly like, for me, like having that as like the fallback. Like I don't know if you guys ever heard this, but even it's like a very, very young child, I had people saying like Oh, did you know that they killed you over there? Like you're lucky to like you're lucky didn't, like for most very hungry. Yeah, and like even I had a professor in college in a volt classroom tell me why you're lucky they didn't kill you, and like yeah, I literally reported. I was like how dare you say that to me in the middle of like we have nothing to do or talking about, but like I always got really obviously it was very annoyed and I was really upset by that because it I don't know about you guys, but for me, when people say that, I know maybe this is just me being emotional about it, but always felt that they were saying like you should have been drowned or you should have been killed, and like, I know that's not one thing, but like just tell somebody like Oh, you're so lucky that you want murdered. Like who says that? I don't know. It just it's like that story gave me piece of mind, and then to learn that that is probably not even true. I don't know. That was like a really hard thing to set with for me. Speaking of the you're lucky line, so this terrible, but I remember sometimes when my mom was bad and me growing up, she tell me you're lucky that we adopted you. God, and that too, yes, and looking back now, I'm like that's such a messed up thing to say to you a kid. I'm so sorry, though. Yeah, my mom never said that to me. I mean sometimes, like if family, friends or strangers would like come up and, you know, they'd like realize that I'm adopted, they would tell her like Oh, she's so lucky that you adopted her, and she would oftentimes she would get annoyed when people would say that and she would say no, like I'm the lucky one, and she would try to say, like I learned so much for my kids and it's like a two way relationship. And she even said once, though, there was like an Asian woman who said that to her and and I think it was a Chinese woman, and she was saying, you know, it's not great for girls in China, so she's lucky that she lives here and that you gave her a better life. So I think that was interesting that someone from China sets said that. They so funny because my exboyfriend's mom, when she found out that I was adopted, the first thing that she said was you're so lucky, and I just I didn't know what to say in that moment. Yeah, HMM. I someone said that who was also Chinese to my mom and when everybody else says it it feels different, but for some reason when she said it, it would it. It didn't feel, at least for me personally, it didn't feel the same like ignorance and whatever, because she came from China and she saw what that life was like. So yeah, that one person I was like okay, but everybody else, one person like told my mom like you're so like she's so lucky. Hope she knows how lucky you are that you got her from like that whatever, and my mom was like like lean and she's like you're looking on punch you in the face right now. took up story mom. I know my mom. My mom is like she is. She's a rock star. She takes you, takes she gives it back. I think the hard part is that it's as like you know, I've seen so many people say before, it's tied to that like save your story, and it tied to like us being objects almost to people literally, because we were literally bought, yeah, versus like I think sometimes I do understand what they mean. Of like you know, I do feel that. I feel grateful that I wasn't abandoned on the side of the road and...

I feel grateful to have the family and life I have now, the people I've met in my life. Yeah, it is, I think one of the like said to you that way of like Oh, you're lucky that you didn't die, like that's just very aggressive. Yeah, and it's like saying that you should feel this way, you should feel that way, as opposed to just letting a adoptees feel however they want to feel about it. Yeah, it's giving a dupt like babies start off of like thread they exist. Right, it's putting any adoptee into like a negative balance that they owe their parents more, like we don't. In my opinion, I don't think adoptees and people who truly adopt for the way reasons they don't look at their children as like indebted to them, for the vestors are lies, like we don't owe them more than anybody else's parents out there, you know, because they adopted us. It doesn't give us like a negative balance that we have to pay forward until the day we die. It shouldn't, at least for me. Yeah, because we wouldn't be able to exactly. Also, because, I mean, it's only we want. I mean we benefited from a rob didn't assign, you know, consern forms and everything. They wanted a baby and then they bought us, and it's always also like fulfilling their own desires. Yeah, and it's weird, though, when they talked about the orphanages buying babies, because then it's like, well, maybe that they were the first ones to you know, quote unquote by us. Yeah, M it almost is like the worth, like it's I don't know, it seems like a very complicated system, but like it was like a self fulfilling thing, like people would bring these babies to the orphanages, they would pay them to make money and to get the babies out. It was just like this big old cycle and it's like where exactly is the breakdown, like what caused what? It's like the chicken and the egg. It's like it just keeps going and going. Yeah, that made sense. I was a little blurry. Yeah, actually, speaking of that, I was kind of interest, like this was something that me when I was watching it. But what did you guys think about, like hearing the stories from the people who were doing the human trafficking, like that family? They got sentenced. Like you, do you feel like it was right or at like what? What? I kind of your thoughts about that, because I was very mixed thought. When they did the interview with, I think was it the mother who was the first person who did that. It started it as though just her action just came out of like a good place, because she just didn't want to see baby suffering. Yeah, I want to take to me, obviously, because she took that one baby and for almost two years I thought it was it started out of a good place. You just didn't want to see all these decent beings just die horrible deaths. I think so too. Hmm, I would, because otherwise, I mean that one family left their baby in a market and it died after two days. No one took it. So I mean, that is the fate of some of these children if they were not picked up by the human traffickers because no one else, you know, wanted them. So I do think that they saw like a problem and they would doing the best they could to try to find a solution, even though if it was, like, maybe not the best solution. Also, they wanted to help the aunt I was interviewed that also, that gave her baby to the human traffickers. I liked how she was saying obviously she could keep the baby and it was better to give the baby to the hum traffickers and to just abandon it because she had seen, you know, the horrible deaths that happened to those babies when they are disapended. It seemed like there were so many years that people had to disensitize themselves and just gets used to seeing dead babies everywhere. That like kind is so crazy. I just can't imagine what that would feel like to have to do. Like I don't think anybody would want to have to do sensitize, but like it just such a common thing. That is just you have to get used to it or you're going to break. You like these people tried to do something better than to. They tried to unt to sensitizees as they try to do something. And that's how I kind of self origin or like the you know, the person who was kind...

...of directing the documentary, how she mentioned like, you know, she can't even handle hearing her son cry for a few minutes, let alone like just walking along the street and just hearing like the screams and the cries. Yeah, and then, I can't imagine, the family planning officials there were the ones who were to take babies away from families or the doctors that were supposed to, you know, do the abortions or the sterilizations. And then they described how some of the mothers were like literally like trying to run away. Yeah, that was really sad. I thought it was really nice how the first family planning officials, she was trying to kind of make amends for all the thing, for all the babies she killed by trading infertility. Yeah, yeah, that was nice. That was really good. It was like refreshing to see kind of because, you know, as like the documentary mentioned, so many people do believe like this was done and like, you know, I like that one person, the Party family planning leader, had mentioned of like Oh, I do it again, like I am proud of what I did and like so seeing someone who did is like, you know, what I did was horrible. We had no choice, but it was horrible and I wanted to be able to give back in a different way. was just comforting almost to see that, like the other people there, who did kind of have a conscience. Yeah, I think, and this is I mentioned, I had a couple thoughts in my mind last night, but I think meet not everybody. Of course some people are just awful people, but I think for my sanity, I have to believe that people like that, who truly believe that that was the only way to save it, that is how they have to live with themselves at how they have to continue to go on. They need to tell themselves that this needed to happen to save the entire country. Otherwise they will go nuts and they will lose it and they will have to sit with exactly what they did for the rest of their lives, and I think that that would drive some people insane. Yeah, that's what the propaganda did. Like they were trying to really strongly push the message of like, you know, the individual sacrifice so that, like, collectively, our whole country can gain. Lie, they brainwash everybody. They to make this happen. I would I know, honestly, know that China is very big before their propaganda, but I was yeah, so I didn't expect it that way. That makes sense. Yeah, it was thought. I thought the documentary did a really good job of like explaining why people were able to do these kinds of acts and like showing how deep the indoctrination was. Exactly it we I don't know how you guys felt, but like seeing the exact same things happening again when they met with now like the two child policy, like the exact same songs, but with like to that likes sent chills down my spine and honestly, like it's literally for sure felt, but like with two kids instead of one. Yeah, it's so frustrating. It's like a one hundred and eighty and they're just okay. Now it's, you know, more beneficial for the country to have more children, and it's just completely the opposite. And it was saying in the documentary like people who, you know, lived through the one child policy still remember that time. But I mean as time goes on, if you know, with propaganda, people might not even know in China about the one child policy, which is crazy. The thing makes me mad. I think that they're I know this will never happen, but I almost feel like the government needs to knowledge the human rights atrocities that happened and I don't know they're just thing to acknowledge it that they're not going to, but I just find sure and I wish that, you know, author those off there's a reporters would be able to publish their stuff in China. Also, will never happen. It's like, I mean there's millions of lives that have forever been changed because of this policy. Yeah, yeah,...

...they're been a suffering and pain that people went through and it's just being brushed under the rug and they still believe that, you know, China is good and great and like they did the right thing for our population. It's not. I think one of the biggest pieces of like propaganda or like evidence of that whole life greenwashing and stuff was like when they would say I aborted these babies after they were born and that's on an abortion that's just started up killing a baby, like they were like full term babies that they just like well, like yeah, I aborted this full term baby after it was born, like that's just killing and that and let mean, maybe there was like a lack of Rien, I don't know what it was, but like that just showed me like the government said like Oh, you're not killing babies, you're just avoiding them late. Like I was like wow, that's that's some somersaults. To get to that conclusion of Brian and his wife before the Stock I did actually a little bit. I remember being younger and hearing a little bit about research China, and I think someone mentioned this when we're initially talking a little bit yesterday, but I didn't pursue it because I heard a little bit of like not say scandal, but some controversy behind of it being a really expensive service. Oh, so I kind of stopped like looking into it and I was like, Oh, I'm a kid, done an, I'm too young to really go into this and also don't have the money. Yeah, I haven't heard of the scandal. I mean I heard that there was some controversy. I mean the fact that they have themselves adopted children, you would think that they are doing it from the right place. And then I know there are like in the big scheme of things that there are people who will try to exploit adoptees who are trying to find like information. So that just sucks because it already makes it hard and it's already hard enough. But and it was really interesting when they did find a match from one of the families in the documentary, like the birth families, and then when they connected with the adoptee, I think in the United States, she had like emailed back sing she wasn't interested in learning more information at this time, which and I think that might be depending. I don't know how old she was. But it was just interesting that you know some adoptees, because that's quite different from how I feel. Like if I had someone literally just email me being like we found your birth family, I'd be like Oh wow, like yes, I'd love to connect with them. So it's just interesting to see that there's you know, it's just such a vast amount of I guess feelings, opinions, perspectives across adoptee, the adoptee community. Yeah, definitely. I was actually very frustrated at that scene because I like half of me, I know I understand why, like you know, that adoptee may feel that way and you know everyone's different with their experience, but then there's also the part of me that it was so frustrated and it's kind of like almost angry at life of like why that person? Like why not someone who wants to find their parents, like why is it so difficult? But for some like I, because I think it came from a personal place, because I know someone who wasn't adopted from China, was adopted elsewhere, but they just had no interest in it. But they had photos, they had information, they had a lawyer and it was just so frustrating to see how little they cared, when someone like me, who cares so much, has absolutely nothing to go on and you know, consider our stories are probably a lie, like there's just no information, and I so angry. kind of no, I totally understand what you mean. It feels like some bitter irone or some sick joke that like I want it so bad and I could maybe something I can never have and it's in your laugh and like you don't want it. It's also the other interesting thing was that not only was it that adoptee, but I think the wife said that most of the adoptees that they reach out to do usually don't want to connect with their birth families. Yeah, I whil's part...

...of me, part of me at the time she said that as thinking what adoptees are use like reaching out to. That's that's crazy, like because thine of all the people on but I've all the Chinese adoptees that I've met the I mean they would give it. I'm going to like to me to know like about there. Yeah, HMM, that that thing said. I don't want to invalidate anyone who generally does it, want to look for their birth family, and I think we're all in a unique situation that we're very ingrained in the adopted community now and those who put themselves in the adopted community are more comfortable and wrestling and understanding with that part of their identity. But I know that I feel like we can all attest to a time where we weren't comfortable with that we wanted to fit in Xyzo. We just weren't ready to to face that part of our past. Like I have an entirely different set of both parents somewhere that that's a very difficult thing to come to terms with sometimes, and I think that maybe I like to think that maybe one day they'll come to that point. But I feel like maybe that specially since this this team, seems to be like better at like finding more want to see like flesh, because we're not like me, but like, you know, like more recently adopted people, like in the s and on, which is it's a little bit like they're younger, you know, those people in like two thousand and five or fifteen right now. I don't know. I was fifteen. I didn't want to deal with the reality of that, you know. So I hope that maybe over time those adoptees will will sit with that and think about it and make that decision to try. But I feel like if someone came to me when I wasn't ready for those things, I might do the same. Now I'm looking back and I'm like how why? I of course I want it, but like back then, I would be like not ready to face that part of my life yet, just Alice. The good thing is that, let you know, always have that contact information so if they do have a change of her in the future. Yeah, yeah, and I wonder. Sorry, I'm sorry, I was just going to say again, kind of repeating similar what I said. I just wonder how much of it is a lack of information. And I've heard that some adoptees feel that if they look for their birth family they feel like they're betraying their adoptive family, so that could be another reason. Yeah, and part of me wonders, like what advy and say to them? Do they say, we found your birth family, we're willing to connect you guys for free, or we found your birth family for a hundred fifty dollars, will get you their email? I don't know. I don't know these. From what I've heard from other adoptees, they see they don't. This isn't me, like I don't know the baby. People have some really great experiences and that's fantastic. I'm really happy for you. But from some of the people I've talked to you, they've had less than desirable experiences with them and they feel like they're just getting whipped off or they're being exploited. I think when my mom's adopted me, she got an email from, I think, Brian, if you pay us so much money, will find your daughter's finding ad see, that just hits with you know. I don't know, I think they mean well and you know, I think part of it is like trying to make a business out of it, but I think part of it, like when I was thinking about it, also has to go to the expenses of traveling to China to get like the DNA, doing the hours of research and stuff like that, and that's kind of also I thought about when, like the human traffickers of getting that the when they're getting paid to do that. That, like part of it is from a good place and part of it is also you need the money to be able to do what you're doing, but we also don't know the extent of like how much they're charging and if it is just purely business. At that point I was like noodling around on the website a little bit. I fell down like the adoption rabbit hole ast and if we watched it and some of it seemed like legit and cool, but such hind it was I don't know it just it just sit right with me, and maybe that's not the most like scientific or verbalized answer, but just when I was looking at the website, it was like pay fifty for like a birth search analysis. Pay Fifty for like to see if your adoption stories...

...legitimate. Face like seventy five to see if we even, like, if we have your add it just seemed I get it that it's a business and they want to make money and there's probably is really big cost. It just, I don't know, just something the amount of things that they charged for. It just felt like it just felt so commercialized and if this is truly coming from a different heart, I just can't imaginalizing I just personally can't. I wouldn't be able to commercialize it as much. Maybe I'm young and I weave, but yeah, like those are high prices. In the wording makes it sound like they're potentially promising things they can't even follow through with, because WHO's to say that they'll search and they can for sure find your birth family? I mean, maybe I'm underestimating like the system they have in place and how much information they have, but then it kind of seems like they're gatekeepers and it's like they have the information and it's yeah, it's just like well, if you don't pay, you don't get the information, which, yeah, that's that's troublesome. One thing was that was interesting was, I think they uploaded their data to. Was it like Jed something? anyways, like said, match thinks so, but I think it's a website that I think, like could access, because I think you can upload your DNA like if you did twenty three. I think you can uplete upload your data. There's a number of different like DNA services in China that you can upload it, which is really cool. But also it's China. Yeah, that's child having your DNA isshue and but yeah, they're they're the way they word it. I'm just sleaning myself. I'm like that. If I saw an emo that I'd be like, for sure, this is spans is trash. Don't bother me. Yeah, me too. One thing that I really liked about the documentary was that story about like the twin sisters, and I thought that the one sister in China, she would say how she had finally gone contact with her sister in America, and I thought what was really nice was how a respectful she was of her sisters, like just giving her time to acclimatize. Yeah, if that makes sense, for sure, because it's it is a lot to process, you know, being told, oh, you have a toy Ester, growing up knowing, oh I have a twin sister who's in America. Yeah, especially like at her age, to be able to, you know, understand and kind of like process that, to of like, despite the amount of feelings that you're feeling and like the excitement and the energy that you want to put in, like that consideration that like, adults sometimes don't even show. And it's like also can't imagine how painful that would be because, like, I'm sure a part of her, like one ste clearly wanted to ask for those questions, but she didn't, one being very considerate to her sister. Of like that might not be something as you want to talk about and to like I can't imagine what it would feel like. It's like you can't get hurt by the answer you you never hear kind of thing. Yeah, like the ignorance is bliss, and that's the same with like if we try to find, you know, information about her birth family, because, I mean, there are some families that are clearly looking and they've submitted their DNA and, you know, maybe they're doing posters trying to find the babies that they lost. But then there's also the chance that if we search like we might find nothing or we could find something that's like opposite of what we're telling ourselves. Like, you know, birth families might not be looking for us or they might not want to connect, even if you know you found, I don't know, somehow found them. So that's also, I guess, a barrier to even like search because emotionally, just getting your hopes up and then if it's just not what you'd imagine it to be, absolute that would be there's a whole thing the idea that the our families want us as much as you want to find them, but that hope is dangerous because it could it could hurt us just as much. HMM. And then maybe some of the reasons that some families aren't looking or they wouldn't want to connect is just maybe the guilt of what they have done, if they just...

...feel really bad about, you know, having to give up, you know, their daughter, that they would maybe worried that adoptees would be angry, which you know some are. So maybe they're scared of kind of experiencing, I don't know, backlash from us. I don't know a really good means. Yeah, I think though. Watching that's and like hearing their stories really just kind of gave me this deep urge to like hopefully one day find my birth family, just so tell them, like I'm not angry at you, I just want to let you know that, like, I'm doing really well with the life that you gave me, you know, and kind of as like I almost comfort to myself and to them, you know, whatever they want me or they actually want to keep any contact, but I want to let them like know that it's okay. You don't need to feel that, you know, it's in shame. Yeah, I feel like that. I have a desire to do that as well. It's also, I'm this is slightly veering to another direction, but a part of me during covid nineteen, was wondering, what if I have birth family that died because of the virus, which is like a whole other kind of worms, but just the idea that I always imagine that they are alive. But I mean then the other thought of like well, it's possible that they're not or one of you know, my parents, first parents, is not. I've always wanted to look at somebody who's, I potentially look like, which sounds like very maybe it sounds really weird, but like I'm my whole life I wanted to see one person who like looks like me, you know, because my I mean obviously my parents are white and they look very different. I just it's such a weird little thing, but it's like all I've wanted. It's just actually not that. Like I personally have like thought about getting plastic surgery, but I've I've always thought I can never get plastic surgery because what if I have my mom's nose and then I change my nose and then I don't have her nose anymore, like something like that. It's so like weird and random to think about, but like it's always like that's always been like a really big thought on my mind. I totally see where you're coming from because like every time I see and like settle Asian adoptee traits or, you know, fccny or CCI. So I'm in post like Oh hey, I'm from like such and such region and it's the same as mine. I like scan through the comments sometimes looking at people's pictures and be like do they look so much to me? Do you look so mular to me, like you, could there be any chance? HMM. Yeah, I think that's definitely common amongst adoptees and it's like, I'm sure maybe sounds weird to none adopted people because they're, you know, they probably do not have to think twice about that. I think it's also because when you hear so many success stories, almost of like these crazy stories of Oh, we found each other because someone on social media said like hey, we look alike, and you see connect because of this, you're kind of like, Oh my God, could that be me? Yeah, because that's how, like a really famous case is like a viable person on line. That's how they found someone. They were blood related to you, which I think is like so, so crazy. Yeah, definitely gives us something to kind of hold onto for hope because if it could happen again and thinking negatively, we're like, well, that could have been us. About kind of the sad part of, you know, the adoption in China, but at the same time when you see the happy reunion stories, what's like, well, that could also be us. Maybe you know. Yeah, I guess it's just a balance of trying to you know, to be hopeful but not have your expectations to I kindly still that they really, you know, what we need. I definitely want to check out those books that they were they were talking about and stuff. I'm really curious to read my to read those. Oh yeah, I found out of that like right after the documentary. Furnish's like okay, this is on my list. Need to read it. Let me know when you read there we can do like a little bit of Oh yeah, that'd be fun, because I does really...

...help to not only like, you know, watch something or read something and then process your own thoughts emotions like by yourself, but then in talking like with you eyes and, you know, other people in the adoptee community about certain topics or, you know, something that they watch her read it really sometimes they'll say things I was like, oh well, I never thought of it that way or so it's really cool to hear what other people think about you know, this whatever it is a content, and to kind of hear their perspective. I find it really helpful, totally. So I, like any other thoughts, are like kind of feelings that you guys had while watching this, just that it's a Mussy when you're ready for it. Everyone's ready, but when you're ready and tit, that point it's a Mussy for any Chinese adoptee or anybody who loves or is connected to when a Chinese adoptee. In my opinion, yeah, yeah, I think I just definitely something I want to share with you, know, my mom and my boyfriend, just because it's kind of like a it feels almost like a piece. It is a piece of my story and I think for me personally, like how much emotion I went through, like I kind of want someone else who isn't part of or like may not understand, but to kind of get them to understand, you know. HMM. And then the whole thing about it's not like adoptees job to educate others. And it's so nice because this exists and just simply like, you know, saying hey, like maybe check this out, like so you can understand my story better. And then that takes like the emotional burn off of you to have to maybe get into kind of the you know, the darker parts of adoption, and then it could be come you know pretty taxing and hard for us as adoptees to kind of get so personal. So for this to be kind of an in between and like a piece of creating awareness, it can help people understand without us having to dislike completely open up about our whole life story and the history and everything. It's a great point. Is there any thank you, guys with the documentary had shown more of or could have covered but wasn't able to. I just wish it was like I just I just want to know more. I want to know everything, and that is not a helpful answer at all, but that's part of the adoption rat. So yes, but what it would be, I have no idea. I think, I mean, I forget when it was created, but just maybe a bit more on the to child Pulsey, because that's like we're you know, everything's a right now, because I've heard that the two child policy is not really working, that the one child policy works so well that now people are whether they're afraid to have two children or just I've heard the people are choosing to kind of focus on their careers and and you know, it's getting expensive to have children, so that they're still sticking with having one child, so the too child Pulsey's not really working. And then demographically that's pretty bad use and they have older generation. There won't be enough young people to take care of it. But I guess maybe that's just more people. Can you know? It's like food for not getting. We're left with to commit maybe do some research on HMM. I think what I kind of wish the documentary would have covered would be kind of maybe like what other alternative solutions were proposed. I don't know if this is even was even like put out anywhere in China, because China tess to squash that, but like if there was another solution or if, like other people, other nations have kind of come up with solutions for population control like that that aren't so harsh, because I understand somewhat of like okay, yeah, you're worried about the starvation and, as someone mentioned, like cannibalism. You know if it getting, if it getting to the far and then you give your country, the people who live in your country are really bad life and living positions. But there's so much better way to go about it than committing human atrocities, of killing babies, of forcibly sterilizing women, like m it does remind me.

It was at the very beginning of the documentary and the grandfather was saying how unfred was able to have a younger brother because he told he begs the family planning officials to not stayalized the moment, to like give her like a couple of years and then they have another child. And the way it was worded, it just bothered me because it was it was a man dictating what a woman was able to do with her body. Does that make sense? And he was saying, Oh, I could stomach waiting another four years for of Sun. I don't know. I understand where he's coming from in the TOUCHINA's culture, but just hit sing. That didn't sit well just to my mind. You and with how he think the grandfather's for all sitting together and then none who saying, Oh, does my son mean the same as my brother's son? So angry and their logic. It's again, you know, understand, there's it's stuff the culture, but still, yeah, it's me mad. I just reminder of exactly where the value is placed based on gender and how it's goals. It's all about the guys and then they would have been maybe interesting to hear more perspectives of other families because, I mean the person who was making the documentary focused on her and she like interviewed her parents and her brother, but maybe like other families, they I mean to interviewed other parents and, you know, like uncle and aunt and people, but like maybe other people closer to her age, so like people that maybe were only children, that grew up, you know, in a generation of other kids who were only children. And then, like, did they fully know what was going on? They notice that there's way more boys than girls, like just, you know, because they made it seem like some people didn't know what was happening. You know that like the severity of what was happening, because the government did try to keep it very like hidden underneath the surface, but then at the same time some people did, because it was happening on the streets and people were banding babies everywhere, it seemed. So it's just interesting to know, you know, the people that would maybe be our age but like living in China. Like, you know, if we had stayed in Chataw, what could art of life look like? Awesome and kind of cool would have been to have a little like interview maybe with an adoptee. Yeah, so how that has affected their life. Yeah, I feel like that could be like a whole documentary on its own. To honestly, I think there was a documentaries. I think it was very similar to the title of your podcast, or maybe somewhere between or somewhere in the middle there. There I watched one that had a very similar title and it did focus on adoptees. I think they're in the United States and there were on the younger side, so like they were younger than we are, but it focused on adoptees and I it might have been made by like a group of adoptive parents. I don't quite remember because it was made a while ago, but it did kind of feature their stories and then the the adoptees were like connected. I think they might have been in the same adoptamut of adoption group, but kind of focusing on their different feelings. It be really interesting to see like the stages, you know, of like four adoptees who are younger than the stage for adoptees of our around our age, who are kind of coming into adulthood, and the ones who are older and are starting to approach that age where they're having their own kids, you know, and kind of seeing like our spread out stories and experiences. Yeah, I just googled it. So it is called somewhere between and it's a documentary that was released in two thousand and eleven for and so it Arnicles the experience of for Chinese girls who are adopted by American families. Oh, it was released weight, was released in Canada. Might have been released in Canna, but I'm not sure. Hekay. So maybe something else that people can watch to to learn more, but I guess from our perspectives, is anything else you guys want to talk about? Feeling covered a lot? HMM. Honestly, I think pete more peaceful and like calm after like kind of just talking through everything with you guys,...

...because last night I was like, Oh yeah, so much emotion. That's why we as a community, we gotta we gotta be there for each other, we gotta stand together, and so it makes it's just the adoptee community coming out in the way that it has so unique and so impactful. Is that? Like never have I thought I would be able to have these kinds of discussion with people who really got it, and I think that's unique. Can really can't be understated. The importance on that yeah, and I think just the importance of for people haven't seen it. If they do watch it, to make sure they will watch it maybe with the right people, and then they have maybe so to talk to you afterwards. Thanks for joining us today. Tune in next week for our discussion of the one child policy. If you're interested in participating in one of these episodes, you can email us at somewhere dot between that podcast at gmailcom. Don't forget to follow our instagram family at somewhere underscore between, underscore fan and stay connected with us an updates, casting calls and a whole bunch of other stuff. See you guys next week.

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