Adoption Story

Backstory of Parents Parent’s Marriage Adoption Story Reiko's Name Moving to Torrance Voluntarily Moving to Salt Lake City, Utah Parents in Utah Topaz Visit as a Child Coming back to Los Angeles after the war Finding out about adoption Kent State Shooting, Ohio

Transcripts available in the following languages:

  • en

Around 1939 they learned about a Japanese baby girl that was in an orphanage. I'm not sure which orphanage it was but it probably was a Caucasian orphanage because my mother said when they first saw me, I was wearing these dirty little shirt, tee shirts and, you know, onesie and it was all dirty and I was dirty and they never really took time, I guess, to clean me up.

But I was five months old and they had not been able to have children. They had a dog, Pekinese dog named Chingy, but that was like their child, right? So then they decided they would adopt me.

And so when my dad came to pick me up at the orphanage, he had bought a new 1940 Plymouth. I have to say that that was the luckiest day of my life.

Date: May 13, 2022
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Evan Kodani
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

adoption family Japan orphanages

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