Lane Allison straddles the line between two worlds — born in one, raised in another. The Preston Hollow resident, adopted from China 18 years ago this month, wants to help others like her discover their roots. “We’ve had our whole lives to connect with American heritage,” Allison says. “Personally, I fell in love with the Chinese language, the culture and the people. I’m just building that bridge.” Last summer, Allison co-created China’s Children International, an online network that links Chinese adoptees all across America. It provides monthly Facebook chats, a pen pal program and other resources to its some 200 members. “What’s great about adoptees is that you have a connection on a deeper level that you don’t have with other people.” Allison was 7 months old when her single mother, Jaynne, adopted her from China, following a long and difficult process. Allison says it was hard to face the fact that she’s here because a Chinese government worker chose her name from thousands of files in a dusty office cubicle — as opposed to the more natural way children meet their parents. Now, she’s searching for her birth parents. “I need to know who they are, and I need them to know who I am and what I’ve become. It’s not that my mom was never enough. My mother made me the person I am today. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation.” Allison says she feels drawn to her birth parents, partly because of the painful circumstances that result from China’s one-child policy. Last year, she participated in a four-week immersion program, living with a family in Beijing. She met Chinese parents who have had their children taken away. “It’s not abandonment, it’s relinquishment. There is a lot of remorse. It’s devastating to see them.” Allison first returned to her orphanage when she was 12 years old and saw other 12-year-olds still waiting to be adopted. “It’s a wake-up call to not take your life for granted.” She believes that learning where she came from and what could have been will help her become who she wants to be.
To learn more about China’s Children International, visit chinaschildreninternational.org.
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