Hua 花

Chinese character "Hua" 花
Chinese character "Hua" 花

 At 10 months old, I was adopted from China and moved to the U.S.  All that I brought with me was my birthname, 花. For a long time, I barely used my birthname and never knew how to spell it, but I still valued other parts of my Chinese heritage. My parents always made sure to introduce Chinese culture to me and bought me toys, art, and books from China. Even though I never used it, my parents still called me by my birthname from time to time to embrace my heritage. Their dedication to Chinese culture I will forever cherish. As I grew older, the differences between me and my peers grew more evident and alienating to me. No one in the room ever looked like me; I grew lonely. I started exploring Chinese culture on my own, and this new passion sparked the rediscovery of my birthname and its significance. I dug deeper into Mandarin Chinese to uncover my name’s meaning, “flower,” and practiced writing Chinese characters. I grew proud of my birthname and told more of my friends about my adoption experience. I began signing some of my art and school assignments with “花,” with a few art projects focused entirely around my birthname. Perhaps most importantly, I have learned that my Chinese background will always be a part of me. My birthname is a permanent reminder that I will always connect with Chinese ancestry; I should never feel ashamed about my identity’s complexity. It reflects the most important aspects of me, and I’m happy about who I am.  

Place(s): Guangdong China, New York
Year: 2006

– AZ

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child