Adele and the Power of Finding Others Like Her - Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

Reader Story

Adele and the Power of Finding Others Like Her

My name is Adele and I was born and raised in China until the age of 9.  According to my adoption paper, a police man found me on the street in a very bad condition: my skin was blue/purple looking, had hard time breathing and was not responsive.  They brought me to a doctor to do a checkup and found out I had congestive heart failure.   This was around the age of 0-2 years old.  They took me all the way ( from Jinan, Shandong, where the police found me) to Beijing to one of the best hospital to get operated.  After I was released, they brought me back down to Jinan to a nearby orphanage where I grew up until I was adopted at the age of 9.  They admitted me to the orphanage on January 1, 2001, which is when 21st century just started and that’s why the orphanage named me Shiji (世纪)-it means century (100 years), the very first day of 21 Century I was admitted to the orphanage.  Crazy right?!  I have attached a photo of me and in it, you can see the scar in the middle of my chest where they cut me open and operated.  Unfortunately you can’t see the full scar but it is between 8-10 inches long.   My whole life I was embarrassed by it so I would always wear something that would cover my scar like long neck shirts or sweaters or use a necklace to cover it when I went to prom in my dress.  I didn’t want people to question me and/or feel sorry for me and slowly it just became one of my insecurities.  When I found this page, I was like, yes! I’m home! There are other people just like me or who at least understand the feeling.  Thank you for creating this organization! Keep fighting guys!