A mother and her adopted daughter reflect on their closeness
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Time now for StoryCorps - 22 years ago, Jami Miyamoto traveled to China to adopt a baby girl. Recently, Jami and her daughter, Daily, sat down at StoryCorps to talk about her adoption during the era of China's one child policy.
DAILY MIYAMOTO: What was it like to see me and hold me for the first time?
JAMI MIYAMOTO: Oh, it's so weird. They said to stay in your hotel room, and they were going to knock on the door and bring you the babies.
D MIYAMOTO: Oh, wow.
J MIYAMOTO: Yeah. It's like Uber Eats delivery.
D MIYAMOTO: (Laughter).
J MIYAMOTO: They just deliver a kid to you. It's like, OK. And you were so sad, just sobbing, and I just felt so bad. And you came in this little yellow Hello Kitty outfit.
D MIYAMOTO: You still have it. It's so cute.
J MIYAMOTO: But it was so cute. And then as soon as they put you in my arms, you peed all over me.
D MIYAMOTO: (Laughter) I don't think either of us remember when you first told me I was adopted. It's just - I've always known my whole life. Yeah. I don't know in what conditions they had to give me up in, but I just hope it wasn't a super traumatizing thing for them to go through.
J MIYAMOTO: You know, I think I told you why you were probably adopted as a girl. You sort of just accepted it all...
D MIYAMOTO: Yeah.
J MIYAMOTO: ...And then moved on.
D MIYAMOTO: And I understood because I remember even a long, long time ago, I always thought, oh, I hope they don't think I'm mad at them. I hope they know that I'm OK, you know? So one of the main things I want to meet them for is just to let them know that I lived a good life and so that they can rest easy because I know a lot of birth parents who give up their child for adoption just never know. And they're just left to wonder.
J MIYAMOTO: Yeah.
D MIYAMOTO: Do you think someday that technology will allow us to find my birth parents?
J MIYAMOTO: Oh, God, I hope so. I really want to meet them, and I feel so bad for them that they never got to meet you.
D MIYAMOTO: Oh, wow, Mom, you never cry.
J MIYAMOTO: I know I never cry, but I really feel bad for them.
D MIYAMOTO: I don't know, growing up just you and me, it's made our - I think our relationship is really strong. I remember when I was a kid, I'd have nightmares about you getting married. Was there ever a time where you really wanted to start dating?
J MIYAMOTO: I think the first, God, 10 years or whatever, I was so exhausted. Of course, you know, it was the best thing in the world. Now that you're in college, I feel like, yeah, I could date, but now I'm, like, 62.
D MIYAMOTO: (Laughter).
J MIYAMOTO: It's like...
D MIYAMOTO: Sixty-two years old.
J MIYAMOTO: It's very different than if I was 40. But that's OK because, you know, what better to dedicate your life to than your child, right?
D MIYAMOTO: Oh, that's really nice.
J MIYAMOTO: Yeah. I mean, I don't think I would change one thing.
D MIYAMOTO: Really?
J MIYAMOTO: Yeah, not one thing - I think it's all worked out pretty well.
D MIYAMOTO: Thank you for everything. I mean...
J MIYAMOTO: Thank you.
D MIYAMOTO: For what?
J MIYAMOTO: Bringing so much joy to my life.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
FADEL: That was Jami Miyamoto and her daughter, Daily, in Santa Monica, Calif. Their conversation has been archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
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