Adoptee: Harper Wieland
Date of adoption: March 2008
Place of adoption: Yangchun SWI, Guangdong Province
Before I was Harper, I was called Dong Dong by my care givers in my SWI. I only remember this from the stories I am told by my adoptive mom.
I was adopted at 10 months old and given the nickname noodle by my mom, who said her first experience giving me a bath in the huge bathtubs at the White Swan Hotel was like holding on to an enormous wet noodle.
I love to hear about my parents' journey to adopt me and bring me home. My little brother calls me Nunna which is a Korean term of endearment for a big sister. I traveled with my parents to South Korea to bring him home when I was 3.5 years old. Parts of the trip I remember but I rely more on my mom's stories and photo albums about the trip.
I am in the third grade at a new prep school. I love to read. I enjoy music, ballet and have been in San Antonio's Nutcracker for the last two years. I see myself as a doctor, specializing in pediatrics and hopefully can adopt my own children in the future.
Harper's mom helped her write her story.
Harper's interviewMar 29, 2019
Adoptive motherFeb 12, 2019
There has always been a part of me while I was growing up that knew I would adopt. After attempts with infertility treatments the road to adoption became more clear, and I never looked back when I started down its path.
Three years later I held the most beautiful child in my arms. I remember how everything fell silent (even though we were all jammed in that room together receiving our daughters) the euphoria was overwhelming. All my senses kicked in at once with her smell, her touch, how little she was and how my life had changed instantly. It wasn't about me anymore but about her.
To this day I can walk into my children's rooms and get the same feeling when I watch them sleep. I think, How lucky am I to have been given such a gift? Yet, it's a gift two women gave me at the ultimate sacrifice. I suppose that is why I strive to be the best I can be for them, whether it's by example or by sheer will, I want them to know how loved they are and how special their start in life was.
With my love for photography I have captured thousands of memories locked in time with my camera. I do wonder how they will separate these when I am no longer here, but looking back at these moments in time brings me such joy. My favorites are the two photos of me becoming Momma to my daughter and son.
I am so grateful I was given the opportunity to capture some of these storytellers who all have their own China Story to tell. We are from different parts of this world and yet we are all part of a wonderful community, adoption.