Voices of Adoption
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Heather Papp Jamie Kemp Jo Rankin Karen Eckert
Kate Hershiser Michael Lorilla Steven Haruch
Like most other adoptees, I was the only Asian in a sea of white people. Yet I think that I was one of the lucky ones. I was adopted by an Asian family so my adoption was not made public issue to the outside world. I also had a number of Asian role models so I grew up knowing and appreciating Asian culture.

I still had my issues to deal with at home. Devisive reactions by my father's family led to disbelief of me and my experiences by my immediate family. Not until my father's funeral did they make public what they had privately fully disclosed to me. No apologies given or requested, I was simply satisified to know, and to have my family know, that I was right, I was telling the truth when I told of their torment.

I moved on. I realized that they were motivated by jealousy. It didn't help that dad bragged about his son being a national merit scholar, the awards, the government appointments, the graduate degrees, the salary. My sisters did very well in their lives but they were untouchable. They were his daughters by blood.

I now have a son and I feel so much love and sadness when I hold him.

Ghosts and Broken Mirrors

Every day I walk past a broken mirror
I can't hide it
I've tried to swallow it
It follows me

Everyone knows it belongs to me
I own it, it is mine
It is all I have left
Yet it there for all the world to see

I see in it's reflections Pictures of a me
I never knew existed
Of a life I never had
That continues to haunt me

Jagged broken bits
Cut off without reason
Like short stories
Without a beginning
Lacking a sense of time and place
People demand
But I don't know what to say

I can only think
Of fragments of quickly fading memories
Of ghosts of butterflies
Of webs of spiders silk
Of ties that bind, yet break, yet remain
Of echoes across two worlds
Drowned by the white noise

Fade to White

Across the sea
My mother wrote for me

Complex characters
Delicately designed by this foreign hand
Always to be carried with me
Into this foreign land

Each characteristic, each clue
For insight
From the reminders
From the remains
Of a past I once knew

Bleached, torn and swallowed
Too faint to be read
Too distant to be understood
Too far to be heard
Her words, my memories
Melted by the tears
Obscured by the sea
Fade to white

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