Father’s Day is a day to show appreciation and love to the man who provides, loves and supports his family unconditionally. A father’s love is like no other.
My dad, Randy Rodgers, is my main supporter, comedian, storyteller, advisor and so much more. From the moment I was placed into his arms to this day, he has continuously loved me and protected me.
Being an adoptee, Father’s Day does awaken some curiosity about my birth father. I wonder which genes and traits I got from him. I wonder what life would be like if I wasn’t adopted. But these unknowns are outweighed by the countless blessings my adoption has brought me.
One thing that I have learned and admired about my father is his faith. He has taught me a love that cannot be broken. This love has guided my life and helped me understand these events in my life.
About two years ago, I was able to go on the Dillon Birthland Tour to China. I was very excited, yet a little nervous. This trip would give me some solitude with my unanswered questions about my adoption.
It felt surreal being able to walk the streets of my hometown. I also got the privilege to go to my orphanage that was relocated, and from there, I got to look at my adoption files.
I was found August 1, 1998, by a shop owner who lived near the orphanage. That hot August evening, the shop owner couldn’t fall asleep and happened to hear something outside. Realizing the noise was a cry from an abandoned baby, she went outside, and there was a baby in summer clothes. Luckily, the birth date was on the outside of the clothes. And then, the next day, she delivered me to the orphanage.
In that moment, I was filled with so many emotions that I couldn’t express it, not even with tears.
Calling this day emotional was an understatement. I also had the opportunity to visit the original site where my orphanage was. Although the orphanage building had been torn down, I got to take a piece of the building as a souvenir. To this day, I still have that piece of building as a reminder—that of my past that has brought me to my future.
While we were at the original site, I was able to post a sign that my parents and I made beforehand. The sign had my referral picture on it along with a short message saying who I was and that I was adopted into a loving family in America.
This trip not only gave me so much clarity about who I am and where I came from, but also it allowed me to add more to my story, as well as build stronger ties to my family, adopted and blood.
This Father’s Day I will keep in mind both my adoptive and biological fathers and the sacrifices they have made and the new journeys we have taken.
By Allyson Rodgers. Allyson is a China adoptee and just graduated from Bentonville High School in Bentonville, Ark.