March 18, 2012

Back to the Motherland: Laney

The first time I went back to China was the summer of 2006. I was twelve years old.

  Instead of doing a homeland tour my mom and I toured China with different guides in every city. The experience felt surreal, being back in the country of my birth. At the time I did not fully comprehend the significance in being back in China. I was merely a tourist taking in the beauty of a great country.
The last place my mom and I visited on our trip was my hometown. It felt weird
being back in the city of my birth. I remember visiting the two orphanages. One for infants and the other for older children. I was happy to learn that half of the children's orphanage had turned into an elderly folks home because there were not as many babies being relinquished. At the older children's orphanage I was able to meet the nanny who gave me to my mom 11 years prior. I was proud to learn my nanny had become in charge of the older children in the orphanage.
This past summer I had the luxury of going back to China for a language immersion
program. I would say that this past summer was more significant to me. As I have grown older I have begun to reach out to my heritage and learn more about my roots. After four wonderful weeks studying Chinese I ventured to my hometown with my mom. This time would be different since I was searching for my birth family. It was great to be back in my hometown. Visiting the orphanage again was nice, everyone was so eager to help me in my search. It was incredible that my nanny still worked at the orphanage so I was able to talk a little bit with her this time. I found out her name and was able to get my picture taken with her again.
It's an amazing experience being back in China. Everything feels a bit different, in a
good way though. All I can say is I can't wait to go back this upcoming summer!!!

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