Sanjana, with her grandfather
“As a baby, I struggled with my rare Anaemia Disease, Black-fan Diamond Anaemia. Though it only lasted a year, it delayed my adoption.
My mother left Seoul to open a tea shop in Busan, South Korea and she met my father there. My father owned a bar in Busan, however, my mother left him and travelled back to Seoul. She was pregnant with me and I was born out of wedlock. After my birth, I was in an orphanage and then went into foster care.
As a baby, I struggled with my rare Anaemia Disease, Black-fan Diamond Anaemia. Though it only lasted a year, it delayed my adoption. However, I am grateful that I grew out of it and very soon I was adopted by a family in the US.
I was raised in Columbus, Ohio. During my childhood, I seriously struggled with my identity as an adoptee. I was bullied and called all sorts of names. I was called a “chink” for being Asian. I never understood why I was made fun off. I had a hard time understanding why someone would tell me “to go back to my country”, while I, on the other hand, would think, “I am just like you”. I was raised in a Caucasian family and wasn’t raised to see the difference in a person’s color.
Being adopted isn’t something I will always live with. Over the years I have learnt to accept who I am. I learn and bring happiness and positivity to not only myself but also to others. Do not ever be ashamed of who you are. Own it. Show the world your flaws as they make you stronger.”
Jenna is living in Cincinnati now. She tries to listen and bring inspiration to other adoptees through her Instagram account. Follow her on @koreanadoptee255.