NPR

I Found My Birth Mother. It Didn't Rock My Life — And That's OK

There aren't hard numbers on who is searching and how many, but many adoption agencies in the U.S. confirm that they've seen an uptick in international adoptees searching for their biological parents over the last decade or so. Source: Angela Hsieh

I don't know anyone who looks like me.

I used to stare at family photos and search my parents' faces for any hint of resemblance to mine.

But there is none. I'm adopted, and my white American parents with their German-English-Scottish-Irish ancestry do not have my almond-shaped brown eyes, high cheekbones, dark brown silky hair or typical flat, round Filipino nose.

I was born in 1988 in Valenzuela, a city in the Metro Manila area, the capital region of the Philippines. Sonya and Vernon Westerman adopted me from a nearby orphanage 10 months later, and I moved to their home in rural western Kentucky, halfway around the world. They had wanted children but had trouble conceiving for years. They decided to adopt from the Philippines, in part because there were already three adopted Filipinos in my extended family. It was the late 1980s, and international adoptions into the U.S. were on a decades-long rise.

Two years after my adoption, their first biological son, my brother John Paul, was born, and two years after that, my brother Eric.

Eric takes after my mom's side. John looks like my dad. For them, looking at our parents was like

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