The Funeral by Maya Fleischmann
Exploring my Identity through My Novel and DNA Testing. (excerpt from the full article on ICAV)
The journey of self-discovery. This quest to discover who we really are is the stuff that novels and movies are made of. Though our self-perception transforms with time, events, social, and physical settings that alter our connectedness with different people, groups, and places, the foundation upon which we build our identity remains the same (although the perception of historical events can change). As an intercultural adoptee, my unknown beginnings have been an unstable bedrock in the explorations of my identity.
Who am I? In 1972, I was adopted by a Russian Jewish expat couple living in Hong Kong. I was three, or maybe four years old (my adoptive parents had told me both ages, so I am going by my fake birth certificate that was issued four years after my date of birth, also listed on the same certificate). I was raised in a household that observed Jewish traditions as well as Chinese and Russian holidays, such as Chinese New Year, and Russian Easter and Christmas. Read the whole essay on the InterCountry Adoptee Voices website.
“She knew what it felt like to worry that someone was going to ask you to talk about something you didn’t want to talk about, something that you hid away in your brain and heart, so you wouldn’t have to see, feel or think about it. She didn’t want [them] to have that same fear that someone would discover those secrets and rip them out of their hiding places.”
~ Finding Ching Ha