May 09

ANNA HINKELDEY: GROWING UP ADOPTED

Mothers, we don’t get to choose them. Often times they don’t get to choose us but sometimes they do. Anna Hinkeldey’s mother chose her.

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Can you share a little bit about your adoption story?

“I was adopted as an infant from an orphanage in Nanning, China. My new family consisted of a single mother who had previously adopted another child a year before. 5 years later, I would make the trip back to China with my family to adopt a third child. I was adopted along with a group of other baby girls by about 8-9 other single, new-to-be mothers, whose families I still keep in touch with to this day.”

 Do you know your birth family? If so, what are they like? If not, do you want to meet them?

“I do not know who my birth family is. I would be interested in meeting them though I have no information or way of contacting them.”

Do you look like your adoptive family? If not, has that affected you? If so, how?

“My mother is white so I did grow up realizing I looked very different from my mother. As my sisters are also Asian, there was often the assumption that we had an Asian father when my family would go out in public. As a young child, I would sometimes receive pointed questions from people that weren’t the most sensitive or tactful which was difficult to understand. But the majority of people were kind and supportive and I always viewed my family as not that much different from anyone else’s family.”

Have you ever been upset that you were adopted?

“Growing up, I was upset not knowing the exact reason why I had been placed in an orphanage. But I have come to terms with probably never having the precise answer and I’m very happy with my life and the people I have gotten to know and opportunities I have been able to have because of my adoption.”

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Are you happy that you’re adopted?

“Yes, I am because I believe that I have had a better life than I would have had in China.”

Do you have the same name you were given at birth? If not, how do you feel about that?

“I don’t know the name I was given at birth but the name I was given at the orphanage was incorporated into my American middle name. I’m happy that I got to keep a part of that cultural heritage.”

Would you ever give up a child for adoption?

“I could hypothetically envision a circumstance where I would feel it would be in the best interest of my child to be placed for adoption though I hope I would never be in such a situation.”

Would you ever adopt a child?

“Yes, I am definitely open to the possibility of adopting a child.”

When did your mother tell you that you were adopted? How did you respond?

“I’ve always known growing up that I was adopted. My mother wanted to make sure my sisters and I fully understood the process and was completely open and honest about it.”