Yvonne Liu knew from a young age that she was adopted, but she didn’t know the details. All she knew was that she had been left by her birth mother in a busy stairwell in Hong Kong. It wasn’t until she was 30, on the night before a critical surgery, that she was given a handwritten note in Chinese that transformed her understanding of where she had come from.
Meanwhile, Lynn Domina had never envisioned herself as a mother — until she met Amy, a spunky 8-year-old who was obsessed with “Harry Potter.”
On today’s episode, we hear from two women about their adoption journeys and the emotions and discoveries they’ve experienced along the way.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
What does acts are? Come have figures summer, vacation, the vast beach house, hosts gifts from mackenzie, childs and life, size, pull toys for the kids sexton come even has worked out here for sunrise beach walks and for sunset, happy hour, there's baccarat cocktail, glasses and Zimmermann cocktail. Dresses, you'll always find curated shops at saxo com for the best summer, swimwear sandals and even us, bf plus there's free shipping and free returns every day at saxo. Come now ended her long strong, and I love you more than from the new york times. I manna Martin, this is modern love on today show we've got two stories about adoption, one from the prospect
give a mother and the other. From the perspective of a daughter. The first story starts. Over sixty years ago, with a baby and a note, it's called left to be found. I'm yvonne liu- and this is my tiny love story. She left me on a busy hong kong stairwell not to die but to be, found it would take decades for me to receive her. Only message until then I knew her as a prostitute, uneducated uncaring, at least that's what my adopted american
There said ashamed and angry about her infertility to learn that truth. It seemed I'd have to be dying the night before my breast cancer surgery at age. Thirty, I adaptive mother, fine, showed me: I biological mothers words notable for their elegant, intelligent chinese script. Never forget me, I will never forget you even thank you so much for sharing that. Thank you so much for having me today. Anna. When you were growing up what was story that you were told about your adoption.
I knew from a young age that I was adopted, but I never knew any details any back story. All I knew was that I was born in Hong kong in my photo. Album on the first page are three black and white photos and my mom said see because these photos I picked you. What did your adoptive mother say drew her to those photos of you? She never explained exactly what in those photos made her choose me. there was a lot of traditional cultural shame that she- and my father, believed in that is adoption- is something that should be kept secret. It's shameful and it's because
Lucius and his followers said, a woman's role in life is to bear sons to bear children and the fact that she could not. She felt humiliation and shame sera adoptive parents were chinese as well. Yes, there, chinese american. Tell me a little bit more about what you knew about the they chose to adopt. I think they believe the american dream was to nice, family life. You have two children, hopefully a boy and a girl, and to appear to outside that you were a normal, happy family who also have to kind of remember, culturally and also
There are very few male children of chinese descent or available for adoption, because in china is not unheard of that. If there was a a boy out of wedlock, someone else in the family would claim it as their own and what year were you adopted? Yvonne? I arrived on june, sixteenth. Nineteen sixty one did you ask many questions about your birth mother to your adoptive parents, my mother. Unfortunately, she was a diagnosis of paranoid border widen our success for that type of person, their loyalty- hats to be one hundred percent to her.
Everyone. Every other woman becomes arrival. I had to only love her. It was very clear and then, when she was mad she would say. Oh, I guess you'll be a prostitute like your mother and while my parents argued my father would call her a prostitute. So apparently that was the worst thing you could be in the world and I just felt, Which inner shame and rejection? How did this narrative of your adoption and of your birth mother shape your understanding of yourself well. Because one's identity is so much relate when you're growing up you'd, look into a mother's face, and you want to see someone who loves you the sense. I lost that first person who I believe,
to me and then, unfortunately, because of my mother, her mental ill. Number one and then to this very traditional chinese sort of asian american thinking, I think, prevented her or she could not be a good mother, so I would have It's soothe and comfort her and tell her things like. Oh mom, you are a good writer. You know, you'll be successful. Don't give up things like that. She was very much a narcissist. I mean my whole emo was essentially I would do the best I can to get the heck out of this home because it was dysfunctional. There was fighting
there was domestic violence and during the pandemic my brother was doing a deep cleaning and he found a file that was labeled, yvonne's adoption, and so then he gave it to me and I just pause sure I could even open it not knowing what would I find? What would I read what would I finally know about the truth of my beginning. So: your parents had kept this file from you for your whole life up to that point. They kept it from me just as they kept many many things and it so interesting to read the documents. One said that you know you know a pretty girl very delicate. She is in need of a good home. It's questionable whether that was a good home.
But I am very thankful that I was adopted by them, because otherwise my life would have been much different when you saw that note that your birth mother. had written. What was that like for you? It was like. Oh my gosh. She did love me. She, and she gave me up in love and I also think she said she will never forget me. So maybe she might listen to this and know that I'm out here, I've never forgotten her.
Have you tried to look for your birth mom at this point, because it's been such a journey of uncovering finding this file talking to other adoptees, which I like never did before? I started researching my own one part of me, of course, would love to see her face to hug her. The other part of me thinks that do I have the right to interfere in her current life. Obviously, in a way she had to give me up for a reason she was either just so so poor or the society was such that if she had a baby out of wedlock or if I was the second daughter,
third daughter she gave me up, but I'm comforted that she left me in a busy place. She didn't put me out on the road she didn't put me in some garbage dump, but one thing is after this pandemic. I am going to go to that place in hong kong to that street, because the orphanage named me after that street. So I think how many children out there in the world were named after the place, the location that they were abandoned. Mind first name is young toy, see it's the name of a street
That's the street, where you're birth, mom left you yes! Well, how did the review of this note from your birth mom? How did it change your relationship with your adoptive parents in terms of the relationship with my mother, my parents in didn't change because we never spoke of it again. It is never spoken of, again never brought up ever to this day. You still haven't talked about it again. My adoptive mother died ten years ago and in fact this April will be her tenth
and, of course, free of her death in may. She would have been one hundred I'm going to visit her grave and I'm going to thank her. Thank you, and you gave me this ray of hope of love from my birth mother and thank you. For. Choosing me she wasn't perfect. No mother is that I'm still thankful and grateful Even thank you so much for sharing your story with me today you're very welcome anna. It's been a pleasure thank you after the break. Another adoption story, this time told by a mother.
What does acts are come have for your summer, vacation the best beach house hosts gifts from mackenzie, childs and life, size pool toys for the kids, sacksful dot com even has workout gear for sunrise, beach walks and for sunset, happy hour. There's baccarat cocktail glasses and zimmerman cocktail. Dresses you'll always find curated shops at saks dot com for the best summer, swimwear candles and even spf, plus there's free shipping and free returns every day at saks, dot com hi, it's Becky's use with the new york times cooking, I'm in the kitchen with my colleague and friend, Eric Kim, and we're going to make some easy summer recipes today. We're going to make Prudently eggplant an eggplant plant, eggplant dish, that's grilled and flavored, like Google, which means I saw sugar garlic eggplant is such a quintessential summer: vegetable aquinas, a fruit
yeah and now you're assaulting them in a colander salting. It draws out water when it cooks, it just has a better texture. So let's get this, grill going and I will toss it in the sauce and we can have lunch in the sauce you could make in your sleep. If you don't have a grill. This is totally fine in a skillet. Okay, Eric are you in the mood for a drink yeah. A dirty shirley is the dirty, surely the drink of the summer. That is the question on everyone's lips becoming really popular and proved the controversial. All you need is lemon lime, soda or ginger ale, grenadine, maraschino, cherries and vodka. If you like it new york times, cooking has so many easy, delicious summer recipes find them all in, and cooking dot com. The hmm.
Hi, I'm linda dominant and I'm coming to you from marquette Michigan here's my tiny love story. Amy was a spunky eight year old, We lived with our elderly friends, but would soon move to another foster home because our friends were too old to care for her I was no one's idea of maternal and I ever thought of raising children but Amy wanted a family, I told my wife, I Daddy me, we doubt? Paperwork ready to bedroom and waited? After a judge's, okay, we loaded Amy's, close crane. In copies of harry potter into r s. U v, it's been seventeen years.
I'm still. No one's idea of maternal but lucky to be Amy's. Mother. When I say I'm no one's idea of maternal, what I mean is what really drives me. What has driven me for much of my life is really my professional identity. get a lot of gratification from being a writer of professor, a teacher and sad, had been sufficient. I have many friends whose lives would have really been diminished if they haven't been able to become parents and I never felt that I had nieces and nephews. I was happy that I children in my life, but I was also happy that I could try Whenever I want, I could have popcorn and brownies.
upper, if I wanted from, I didn't, have to get up in the morning to ensure that eight year old was brush her teeth and getting on the school bus. You know so I had what a freedom that I valued and it really took meeting this specific child for me, too The absolutely willing surrender all of that freedom for the benefit of somebody else. She so wanted a family. She wanted a mother and my heart just broke. I couldn't bear the thought, of her not having a family, and so I said to If I want to adapt Amy, she was shocked. All my friends were shocked I knew I knew I wanted to. I just it was one of those things I just knew it was like a calling. I knew that this is what I needed to do.
When I met her, Amy was energetic. She had lots of entry, She was obsessed with eerie potter she was absolutely convinced. When she turned eleven years old. She was going to get that letter delivered by an owl. She would do things like up the stairs and say I'm galumphing up the stairs, and she was just a really interesting kid when I was in the process of a Amy. I would go to visit her frequently and one day when I was essentially baby, her She sat down on the couch next to me and she said I think be a good mother, and I said I should have a baby, she said, no, you know what I mean, and so I couldn't
hi to her. But I wanted to be cautious, and I said well I'll. Tell you what I have asked to be able to adopt you, but I don't know if the. She's, going to say yes yet, and I think she add more relaxed to that there was a pause illatici that something good would happen to her. This actually Amy's birthday tomorrow and she will turn twenty eight. It's amazing, I still think of her is aids, and when I think about it now, the process of adopting her seems also immediate, and when I think it's been twenty years, it's astonishing usually, we have lunch together a couple times a month, so I still get to lay eyes on her, and I still you know my heart leaps to see her and
I expect all always feel that way. I hope I'll always feel that way. amy just graduated from northern michigan university with a degree in anthropology gwen says she and her wife are incredibly proud of their daughter next week on modern love. I, You should someone who just might be the very best. babysitter in new york city, our show is used by Julia botero and hans bhutto. It's by Sarah sarazen, this So was mixed by dan Powell. The modern love music and original music in this episode is also by dan Powell. Digital production by me much obliged me. the modern love column is edited by Daniel Jones. Mealy is the editor of modern love projects.
martin, thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-07-13.