THANK YOU SPEECH
Well what a day we have had, starting off with Sue, Jasmine and then Claire each presenting their diverse view of their own adoptive lives. I would like to sincerely thank these three girls as i am sure each and every one of you will be able to identify with something they have said. I am sure you would all like to show (your appreciation in the usual manner). (Presentations are posted to Talks, Docs & More info)
Again i would like to thank both Julia & Margaret for their wonderful presentation of the findings of the BCAS study, many of whom have read the book have been fascinated at some of the quotes from ourselves as it has given a tremendous insight that although the road at the beginning had not been easy we have not turned out too badly…… Without this study the HKAN group, would not have grown so quickly so we are deeply indebted to Julia Feast and Margaret Grant / (researchers) for having handle our cases so sensitively and their continued support.
I think you will agree we have had an action packed fun day especially when we had a warm up game (an ice breaker) after lunch followed by a further slot for adoption voices…….. / Introductions. As you know we have had some media coverage of late especially as the Government are trying to revisit the new laws and legislation on Transracial adoption the timing of this study / book has I hope given them a good (template) to work on.
We are a unique group of adopted Chinese children that were brought over back in the early 1960’s and although the time was so different then I do hope the government will have learnt that as children we had no control of our destiny and although we have all had the luxury a of the westernized world for some ‘Love’ has not been enough, we needed to know more about our culture as we were growing up so that we could fit in and as Sue Poems goes ‘In My Skin’ . I think it is fair to say that more is being done on the child’s cultural education and as we live in a cosmopolitan country things have (become) easier.
These are just my views and observations so I am aware that you will have all formed your own opinions. I am neither for or against transracial adoption but certainly in our time had it not been for the Hong Kong ISS Refugee Adoption Project many of us would certainly not be where we are today. So the decision was the right one then but i do think more emphasis should be on trying to find a home for that child in its own country.
My final note here is that today’s transracial children and the adopters have had the benefits of a much better understanding and a system to maintain contact. I wish them well.
On that note I would just like you to know that I have a number of adoptee friends who have all adopted Chinese children some late in their lives, I am full of admiration for them and for those that know Deborah Jones in our group she is this very moment winging her way over to China to pick up two girls. I am sure you will all wish her well as she ventures on a new journey, another stage and challenging one at that. As for many of us it was quite a traumatic experience!
Lastly I would like to thank you for attending and for your continual support and friendship as this group continues to thrive. It goes with out saying Kate thank you for all the work you have done, help and guidance as without the help of kate the reunions would struggle to get off the ground. Thank you Debbie Cook HKAN Founder
Thoughts from our Adoptee Sister Mim from Seattle, USA after attending the London HK Adoptee Reunion
(Mim and Debbie share the same Chinese Name TSIN,)
How can I describe my ﬁrst ever HK adoptee reunions?. Without a doubt, the ﬁrst moments, the ﬁrst conversations, the ﬁrst sighting of other adoptees will be forever be indelibly imprinted on my heart the rest of my life. When I discovered my orphanage in 2009, I found out that there were actually other adoptees like myself from the very same orphanage and I was both overwhelmed and elated. I felt like Iʼd been born instead of hatched. At the time, the ﬁrst HK adoptee reunion in Hong Kong was being planned and I wasnʼt quite ready to meet any adoptees. But then, gradual talks with Debbie actually persuaded my head that I could emotionally handle going to a reunion.
In March of 2013, just after “Adversity, adoption and afterwards” was published and presented, my husband, son Micah and and I boarded a plane heading west to the UK for the London reunion. I was eager to meet Debbie and listen to the book presentation by Julia Feast. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, I felt like I was kind of going home…and with eager anticipation. I couldnʼt wait to meet my fellow HK sisters!
Well, to start the reunion weekend, on Friday night a small group of us met at a Chinese restaurant . Walking up to the restaurant with the wind and rain swirling around me I went into self doubt. Thoughts like, ”Would they like me, would I feel odd, would I feel rejected?” As I walked in the restaurant there were Debbie and Sue with smiles on their faces and any doubt and fear were left outside the door. Fun night with Kim M, Karen, Sue, Debbie, Mim & Marie! Great humour, lots of laughing.
The following day as I entered the BAAF building and found my seat, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of HK adoptees. As I looked around the room, though I wasnʼt a “Brit”, my ﬁrst thought was OMgosh, Iʼm just like them. And then my second thought was, OMgosh, I love that Iʼm just like them! I must say Kate and Debbie did an incredible job organizing the reunion. While the book presentation was simply amazing, what cut to my heart were the shared stories of 3 of the adoptees. At that moment I wanted to bawl my eyes out, but I didnʼt notice any of the Brits really sobbing, so I kept it cool! Good thing because otherwise Iʼd still be laying in fetal position on the BAAF conference room ﬂoor. To top off a wonderful, emotionally ﬂooded day, we went to another delicious Chinese restaurant and had more time to get acquainted. My biggest regret is that I didnʼt get to really talk to everyone. Next time!
Pictures donated by Serena
Pictures submitted by others