Friday, August 24, 2012

A Quote from What I'm Reading: "An-Ya and her Diary"

"An-Ya and her Diary" is a fiction novel that is composed of several short stories written as a diary.  The author, Diane Rene Christian, is an award-winning short story author and adoptive mother.  "An-Ya and her Diary" captures the thoughts of a 10-year-old Chinese-American adoptee about her life in an orphanage, her surrender by her Chinese mother, her adoption, and her adjustment to life in the U.S.  An-Ya was found as a baby inside a box with only a red journal and her name.  Her journal became her beloved companion.  An-Ya's blank, red diary was a symbol of the mother she could not remember.  While An-Ya writes each entry to her journal, "Penny," her first mother is the subconscious addressee of each note.  An-Ya writes to preserve her past that connects her with her mother and her present reality which her first mother can't share with her.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why Knowledge of my Birth is a Basic Human Right


I never connected much with the concept of "birth" or being "born" when I was growing up.  Of course, I knew I had a birth, but to me it was an abstract concept that I could not concretize because I didn't know anything about it.  For a very long time, I considered adoption to be the dawn of my existence on this earth.  While I couldn't remember my adoption either, it was a real event to me because my parents, who were there, could tell me about it.  My friends' birth stories would perplex me as a child.  As my friend's mothers got pregnant and had babies, my friends would ask about their own births.  My best childhood friend's parents had pictures of her in the delivery room framed and on proud display in their living room.  When I looked at those pictures, I wondered what made birth so important?  I didn't think it was important.  I had never seen a picture of me at younger than five months of age nor did I know anything about my birth.  That fact didn't matter to me.  Or did it?