Since 2012 I’ve gone through some specific reflections questions at the end of each year. I don’t set resolutions for the new year, but these reflections do help me recalculate and decide what I want to continue on with and what I don’t.

However, 2020 was not like any other year.

It was a year I merely wanted to survive. So I resisted any expectations for myself. Still, I did things I was proud of and took opportunities when I could. So I took a minute to list out significant things I did in 2020 before I went through my reflection questions. In a way, these could be considered my highlights.

In 2020, I was able to:

  • Lead a local Be the Bridge book club online
  • Attend my first Asian American Christian Women’s Conference!
  • Start a local BIPOC connection group
  • Facilitate an 8 week BIPOC group discussion on racial healing
  • Start the Adoptee Influencer Network (AIN)
  • Host 3 live informative events related to adoption
  • Gather over 200 adoptees in our AIN group
  • Connected with them on 8 zoom meetings
  • Gain 1,500+ followers on our AIN Instagram
  • Reach over 30,000k via our AIN Facebook page
  • Have two articles published on Christian digital media outlets
  • Give two presentations; one on adoption and one on civic engagement
  • Be a guest on 7 podcast episodes!!!
  • Discovered more about my Chinese ancestors.

But even if I hadn’t….

Even if I had accomplished nothing other than the basics, that still would have been amazing to me. Because “the basics” with a baby, a toddler and a teen are challenging enough as it.

Yet 2020, brought additional challenges, like:

  • Keeping three boys occupied through COVID social isolation
  • Supporting the teenager through distance learning
  • Navigating estrangement from my adoptive family
  • Having my first anxiety attack & beginning therapy
  • Leaving a harmful church community

These could be considered my 5 disappointments. But they aren’t necessarily things I had control over.

As far as game changers?

I think the pandemic and racial justice uprisings go without saying. Also, having my adoptive parent tell me anti-Asian hate wasn’t a real issue and didn’t really effect me was a game changer.

Areas of Focus?

Mental and emotional survival. Community work. Taking care of my family. That pretty much sums it up.

Things I Forgot?

Typically I think of things I wanted to do but didn’t, which would include my own physical health and fitness. Again. But maybe I should also include things that were good for me to forget. For example, at the top of the year I quit my remaining volunteer roles as the church we’d been attending. I knew my work was going to be in the community but not through that particular church.

2020 Reflection

I could write a novel. We all could. But really, I’m ending 2020 with a sense that I don’t want to go back to the old normal. Not if that means being back into a fake community with people who aren’t willing to speak up against racial harm and violence or wear a mask to help prevent unnecessary deaths.

I look back at this year and I think it’s clear that I have way more trauma than I previously realized. I have a lot of inner work and healing to do. I need to prioritize that if I’m going to be a healthy parent to my kids and a helpful community leader.

So that is how I’m approaching 2021. With an increased commitment to deconstructing and reforming my faith, my identity, my community and relationships. I’ll continue therapy and working through better coping mechanisms.

All I can do is take what I’ve got and do my best with it.

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