One of the many reasons I decided to work at People’s Light was due to the organization’s investment in community engagement and partnership. People’s Light sends employees and interns to local community events year-round, as well as supports our partners’ events. Our relationship with Mainline Chinese Culture Center (MLCCC) is particularly important to me.
2018 is the Year of the Dog. It is also the year that I am going to become a māmā to an orphaned toddler in China. People’s Light has been a blessing in this adoption process as it is a place where I know my minority daughter with a rare genetic disability (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congentia) would be welcomed with open arms and an open heart. Adopting an orphan comes with a unique set of challenges. This journey has been arduous but never made me doubt our decision to travel across the world to adopt our daughter. Currently, we are waiting on the Chinese Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) to provide us with our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). Until we can have her in our arms, we know that her ayi (nanny) is caring for her until we legally become her parents.
Two years ago, when I was a part-time House Management Staff member, we produced A Single Shard. It is a multi-generational show about an orphaned boy in Korea who masters the art of pottery. This production began our long-term partnership with MLCCC. This also was around the time that my husband, Alexander, and I began discussing having a family together. Alexander was adopted from Colombia after he became orphaned as an infant. It only made sense to us to adopt, and to provide a better life for a child in desperate need of a family.
This past February, People's Light was among the sponsors of the MLCCC’s 2018 Chinese New Year Gala, which I was lucky enough to attend. I walked into the doors of Great Valley High School and was immediately overwhelmed with a flood of emotions. I was surrounded by families and friends who came together to celebrate a New Year of health, success, and happiness. Red paper lanterns dangled from the ceiling, women walked by in gorgeous purple and white dresses, various Chinese games were being played, calligraphy was being practiced with patience and grace, and I was able to hear children singing melodic Chinese songs.
At this event, Alexander and I were able to meet Qunbin Xiong, the Principal of MLCCC. He too is from the same province as our daughter. We felt welcomed as an extension of the MLCCC family, even though our daughter is still not home. We left the New Year’s Celebration at ease. We knew that our daughter would be surrounded by two positive and nurturing organizations with her best interest at heart. We will be sending our daughter to MLCCC’s Chinese Summer Camp beginning in 2019 and she will be at People’s Light regularly to see shows and to come visit me at work.
This union of two organizations reminded me of a Chinese Proverb that often follows me throughout my journey to my daughter and to China:
“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.”
Connection made my family. This connection will further cultivate my daughter’s future experience with her culture, and her community. For this, I will always be grateful.