There is an ancient Chinese proverb states that, “an invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”
I perceive my life in a series of tiny little red threads keeping me in perfect equilibrium. For Chinese adoptees, the process of international adoption that bring together a child and a family are almost unfathomable. How can a week old baby found on the streets of China end up in a loving home with the perfect family in America in just 10 months? While every adoption story is different, this is mine.
I was found on a gas station corner in a small province called Guangdong in the south of China. I didn’t have an umbilical cord, a face or even a note to show me who my mother was. When I was adopted, my mother recounted the proverb of the red thread over and over again until it was engrained into my conscience and those tiny little red threads became more and more visible to me.
Today that red thread has kept me tied to my Chinese roots just as much as it has kept me grounded as an adopted Chinese individual in America. At times I’ve felt stuck somewhere between two countries, unable to identify or be accepted into either. However, overtime I’ve learned to look toward those red strings from answers. Despite other individuals proclaiming that I’m not truly Chinese because I don’t speak the language, or I’m not actually American because I was born in China, I know that those little red threads tie me to both my Chinese ancestry and my life in America. They have connected my biological parents to my adoptive parents just as much as they have connected me to each of them.
Opposed to floating in an abyss of not knowing where I belong, I’ve found comfort in leaving it up to those red threads of fate to reveal the people in my life who I hold closest and dearest to my heart. By thinking about your life in a series of little red threads you are able to remember your roots, value the important people in your life more and recognize within life you will inevitably experience suffering and pain, but you can always pull on those little red threads and your loved ones will always help you.
A Little Red thread
from a Chinese adoptee