Although my natural father was a U.S. soldier, from whom I inherited my curly-haired gene, I never met him. After being adopted at age 12 by American missionaries in Taiwan, I arrived in the U.S. four years later upon completion of their missionary service.

Unfortunately, it was not an adoption made in heaven. My adoptive mother became jealous of my adoptive father teaching English to me. A few weeks into my adoption, she accused me of stealing her husband, slapped my face and attacked me with a wooden stick. Her abuses would begin after he left for his daily work as a surgeon at Taiwan Seventh Day Adventist Hospital. The times I felt safe were when my father was home or we had visitors.

To free myself from my adoptive mother’s abuse, I tried joining the military at age 17. But my father refused to sign the requisite paperwork and dissuaded me from enlisting.

When my home foreclosed in 2009, I lost my social security card along with my green card and landed in a catch-22 impasse. Because of my shoplifting record, I fear contacting ICE for a replacement green card. Without it, Social Security Administration will not issue a replacement.

Despite having a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, without U.S. citizenship and the proper documents, working legally has been near impossible. Please pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act, a lifeline bestowing equal opportunities and livelihood to all adoptees.

Judy’s Story, California

Updated on 2017-08-11T21:54:08+00:00, by Yongho Kim.