Posted in adoptee, adoption, Blogging, family is everything, my thoughts, personal, World adoption day

Who I Am: Being Adopted

I’m not asking “who am I?” Because I think I know myself well enough now to tell you who I am.

I don’t think we ever know ourselves completely, but as the kind of person who tends to think a lot, I think I can explain myself at least a little.  
Where to start, though?  
I was born in Hong Kong thirty years ago.  My mother was practically a school girl, seventeen and still at home with her parents. Being born out of wedlock it was admirable that my birth mother and my pawpaw tried to raise me even still. 
It was actually because I became seriously ill that they had to give me up. 
I was placed in an orphanage, the Po Leung Kuk, and due to circumstances out of their control I was there for three years.  I like to believe that it was all part of God’s plan and timing.  
To explain my view further, my parents, Alison and Bruce, applied for adoption and the day I was born was the day they were approved.  Bear in mind, they didn’t know I existed at that time.  They didn’t find out about me until I was 2 1/2ish.  
That’s definitely God’s doing. 
Anyway to cut a long story short, mum and dad picked me up on my third birthday and took me home to Melbourne, where I lived for seven years. 

I had some great experiences while living there. Made lasting friendships through primary school and church.

I went to Presbyterian Ladies College from Prep to Grade five. I have vague and vivid memories from my time at the school. Some good, some embarrassing. 

I remember getting into trouble for poking my tongue out at my then best friend Michelle and having to sit outside the office. I remember sitting on the stands during swimming when I was not well enough to swim talking to a friend who also wasn’t swimming. I remember playing “first is worst, second is best” when lining up to get back into class. I remember Mr Law (my year 3 teacher who was captain of North Melbourne kangaroos in the early 90s).  I remember playing with my toy horses and using the partition in my lunch box as a fence.

I remember the bully two years ahead of us, Hangman. I remember playing Mother May I on the steps. Remember going to the wrong class and being totally embarrassed. This could be where my anxiety in speaking out could’ve stemmed from. 

I remember having flute lessons and having to walk over to the senior school. I remember the under croft. I remember…

It’s amazing what one can remember, though I don’t know if these are true memories or ones that I was told about by other people. 

From church – my home church then was Donvale Presbyterian Church – I remember the old hall. I can picture it in my head, but I can’t really describe it. I remember people’s faces but I can’t remember names. Well, not all of them. I can’t picture the old church building, though as it looks very different now. It’s over fifty years old, the church. 

And then there was my horse riding, and jazz ballet and tap that I did for a year. The latter, not the former.

So many memories of Melbourne; of my childhood.  They were important years in forming who I am today.  Though I’ve lived in both Townsville and Perth longer than I lived there.  

We also adopted my younger brother in this time 
And I met my birth mother.

We moved to Townsville in 1996, and I feel I remember more of the time we lived there than in Melbourne.  I formed few lasting friendships (Sarah came to my wedding this year) and for the first few years we were part of a group of families who were all adoptees/adoptive.  
It was great to be able to be part of a group of people who had shared stories. I wonder what happened to those families?  
In this period, we went back to Hong Kong to meet my birth mother again and also to meet my brother’s birth mother.  
On a related tangent, I think it’s absolutely amazing that my parents were able to connect me with my birth mother.  My adoption was a closed one, which meant that it wasn’t actually supposed to be allowed for me to search for her.  But, mum and dad believed it to be important and I am grateful that they did.  I personally don’t remember how I felt the first time, but even now it’s still kind of surreal when I think of her, as I consider my parents to be my parents.  As it should be.  
Another note, I probably faced racism in school, but it wasn’t something that ever fazed me any, it was all kind of just a part of the ingrained culture of high school and wasn’t any more bad or worse than any other form of teasing.  
Even as an adult I don’t really get any negative racism from anyone.  And I think the fact that I was brought up to tolerate and accept people who are different from me helps in this.  Also my upbringing in the Church.  
I know I haven’t mentioned much about that, but, I’m talking on more of a broad view of my life as an adoptee.  However, in essence, God is at the centre of all of it.  So, there really isn’t any need to delve into my faith right now. 
I must mention briefly that when I was in high school and doing my first degree while living in Townsville, we went to a Presbyterian Church that I eventually started to only go to once a month or so, because it just wasn’t drawing me.  I never moved away from God, even when studying a science degree, but I just became jaded about the church itself.  
Fast forward to when we moved to Perth, and I found my second home, Riverview.  But, that’s a whole other blog post.  Suffice to say that my 9 years in this city has helped me grow even more in myself, and forever reminds me of how grateful I am for the opportunities I’ve been afforded because I was adopted, and the people I’ve met.  Including my wonderful husband, who is also adopted (along with his sister and her husband).  
Adoption is special.  Adoption is about creating family.  Adoption is all about love.  
God bless you all.
**Apologies for the disjointedness of some of this blog.  I don’t think in perfectly, grammatically correct English. 
Posted in Blogging, July, my thoughts

July 30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 5

A photo of someone AND something that made my day special 
1. Someone that made my day special 

This man always makes my day special.  He doesn’t even have to do anything he just does.   Being with him makes my day brighter.  So blessed by that. 
2.  Something that made my day special 

Being at church and worshipping always makes my day special.  There’s just something about being in the presence of God especially as a fresh start for the week.  It is one way for me to recharge.  That reconnection with God. 
And being with God is the best person you could be with. Connection with God is the most important relationship anyone could have, ever. And I can’t imagine why people wouldn’t want that. 
I know I’m going off from the challenge, but after the late night/early morning conversation I had with Mark I feel like sharing some other thoughts.  
– Church denominations are a problem.  Don’t get me wrong.  I understand why and how they came about.  However, the differences between them often causes discontent and infighting between a group of people who really should be working together to affect change in this world.
– Jesus gave us a New Commandment.  To love one another as He loved us.  
–  it is sad that many Christians do not come across loving.  Perhaps they have good intentions, after all it’s not like any of us would wish Hell on anyone.  But, when it comes to the “sins” of this world many of us come across judgemental rather than loving and critical.  (Critical in the constructive way that looks to help others to become better versions of themselves, not to tear people down).
–  Connection is about seeing those who are on the periphery and thinking about how we influence their lives.  
–  Connection is about showing people that they are valued and that Jesus loves them.  
–  I can’t understand why people can’t believe in God.  I just really can’t.  No judgement of course.  But, I just don’t get it. 
– It seems that Christians are again in a position where we must stand firm and defend our faith.  Society is really getting on the “Christianity should be private” and “feel free to practise your religion, but don’t talk about it to us.”  
But, being Christian isn’t meant to be private.  We’re not meant to hide our faith.  We’re meant to go public with our faith.  Of course, not forcing it on people by our words, but by shining the light through our lives and our actions.  
– Christianity is a relationship with God.  And you shouldn’t hide your relationships with people.  It’s not healthy.  So the way I see that Christians must stand firm is in living their lives in light of their beliefs.  
– Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk

Posted in Blogging, my thoughts, personal, prevention, protection, sex

The importance of Safety

This is a topic that isn’t easy to broach, especially as it’s always such a private issue.  But the subject of practising safe sex is an important one, regardless of the relationship. 

 I believe in using protection during sex, I must admit mainly because it was drummed into me in high school.  So, how much of that is just an ingrained lesson from when I was young, to something that I seriously actually believe in?

I am well aware of the risk of getting STIs, but, the bigger thing for me is how do I go about discussing this in a mature way without compromising how I feel about the matter?  
We did talk about this earlier on in the relationship, but we get married in less than three months and I have to admit that the act of sex is not something either of us is shy about.  But, my fiancé gives me the impression that he doesn’t see the necessity for protection.  
I am on the pill, but that’s not a fail safe and it doesn’t protect from STIs.  (And I’m on the pill for medical reasons concerning my iron levels not for sexually related reasons.)
And to be honest a part of me is not the biggest fan of the idea of using physical protection.  But, I’m also not a fan of the possibility of contracting a venereal disease.   
Big point to make:  This is not a trust issue.  
I trust my fiancé indefinitely.  And I do not think for one second that he would do anything that would harm me intentionally.  
This is a health risk issue.  And whether I’m willing to compromise my knowledge of how STIs work and how well condoms can actually protect against them for what we both think feels better…
I mean, obviously when we start trying to have children we won’t use protection, that’s a given.  But do I really want to start trying straight away?  Though, I am on the pill.  It’s a lot to think about and I really don’t know why I’m thinking about it right now.  
Guess that’s what happens when I stay up way past my bed time.  
And yes this is something I need to discuss with my fiancé.  But, I needed to sort my thoughts out here.
So, to clarify:
1.  I believe in using protection 
2.  I know the pros (lots of pros), and the cons (not that many really…and “it doesn’t feel good” isn’t an excuse)
3.  STI prevention
4.  This is not a trust issue
5.  We both believe in sex after marriage, so how do I even start this conversation? Not on our wedding night surely.  
6.  I’m a virgin, whatever that means.  Basically, I’ve never had sexual intercourse. 
Posted in Blogging, July blogging, my thoughts

July 30 day blogging challenge – Day 2/3/4

One piece of advice for a newborn child?

I would tell them to enjoy life and explore everything.  Of course they would probably not understand that until they’re older, but that’s what I would want to be told.
Last movie I saw in the theatre?

Mark and I went to see Jurassic World not long ago.  It was pretty amazing if I say so myself.  The graphics and the story and the dinosaurs.  Wow. 
The music hit the sweet spot and Chris Pratt?  Well.  Just well.
My favourite scenes were anything that had the velociraptors in it though.  My favourite predatory dinosaur.  
What would be one thing I would get rid of?

Discrimination based on race, gender, religious affiliation and sexual orientation. Period.  

Posted in Blogging, challenge, July, my thoughts

July 30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 1

Write your goals for the month 
My goals for the month?  Hmmm that’s a tough one.  I think I’ll set out to say that I don’t usually set out goals for myself.   Not consciously at least.  
But this month I think my main goal is to not let things overwhelm me and to relax.  And above all to have fun.  
Also on a more productive but personal level, I’m going to start doing my devotional again.  And sticking to it.  
Even if that means waking up earlier and actually getting out of bed.  
We’ll see how long that lasts though.  🙂