I was a couple days old when I was found at the side of the road with my umbilical chord still attached. I was taken in by a farmer and stayed with his family for a few months before officially being put up for adoption in an orphanage.

My parents adopted me when I was around 20 months old (I was like a family Christmas present lol) and brought me back to Canada.

I was also born with a clubbed foot and couldn't walk by myself. This led to several surgeries as a kid to rebuild my foot but it ended up not working out in the end and I had a trans-tibial amputation when I was 16.

It's been a long road but I'm excited to be graduating from University this June. I had also completed a program a year previously.

I've done AncestryDNA and I know my estimated ethnicity but I got no hits on close family. I probably won't find out who my birth parents are.

I've been told many times that my story is quite interesting but I mainly wanted to post this AMA for people who are curious about leg amputees but are too afraid to ask in person.

EDIT: Adding proof. This is the letter the farmer left to me and translation of adoption papers

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/117aEU1wcWAumHXTa69dR7XnBKh6obPKe?usp=sharing

EDIT 2: Going to bed, thanks for the questions!

Comments: 71 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

authenticapathy30 karma

What is the biggest / most common misconception formed about you?

jjbeaniebean80 karma

The biggest misconception is people assuming I'm able bodied since I'm young and have a baby face (I still look high school age). Then they ask what I did to get my accommodations that I either had to pay or fight for.

An example would be when I lived in a Uni dorm and I got one out of the two studio apartments. I'd often have parties and invite people over and they'd be amazed at how I got it and one guy assumed I was "the top dog" or something lol. I actually had to pay a significant amount more because I needed my own bathroom and shower since I can't share easily.

I also get shamed for using accessibility parking spots but that's a whole other can of worms.

ToastOnBeanz25 karma

What would you say to you biological parents if you could meet them?

jjbeaniebean59 karma

I lived, surprise!

ToastOnBeanz16 karma

Oh also, can you speak Vietnamese?

jjbeaniebean30 karma

No, my adoptive family is from Europe so I only speak English. I did try to learn from cassette tapes when I was 8 or 10 but it was difficult.

kaceyh722 karma

do you ever feel phantom pains?

jjbeaniebean34 karma

I don't get a lot of phantom pain, but I do get a lot of phantom sensations. They seem to spike when I've been on my feet all day.

I notice that if you put pressure on certain spots on my residual limb then it triggers phantom sensations.

My most common ones are feeling like my toes are in a clamp that keeps squeezing them, I've stepped on a lego through my heel but softer, and feeling like my leg and foot is full of sprite - it feels all sparkly and bubbly, almost like pins and needles but softer (it is as annoying though).

Geese-surf-the-net19 karma

As proposed in the letter, have you ever attempted reaching out to the farmer?

jjbeaniebean6 karma

I haven't yet, I do plan to in the future but at the moment I can't afford to search since I'd most likely need a PI or something plus a translator.

HaratoBarato14 karma

Do you ever want to meet your biological parents?

jjbeaniebean40 karma

I'm definitely curious as to who they are and knowing their reasoning but it's not something that keeps me up at night. I've been lucky enough to have a reasonably good family growing up and knowing my bio parents wasn't a big priority to me.

I probably would meet them if I had the opportunity just so I wouldn't regret it later on down the road.

ThatBAOB9 karma

What did you study in/for in University?

I’m a bit curious.

jjbeaniebean17 karma

Accounting and Costuming! A weird mix I know lol.

ThatBAOB8 karma

It’s okay! I’m glad to hear you will graduate! What matters is that you wanted to learn and you did!

jjbeaniebean11 karma

Yes! I'm lucky to graduate this spring. I had to change careers because entry level costume jobs are often on your feet for long hours and I learned that it wasn't for me. I still love to sew though.

Minuted3 karma

Costuming!

Is costuming a term that I don't know or is it literally the discipline, science and art of making costumes? I didn't know they had higher education on stuff like that. Not bashing it it sounds really interesting!

Or is it just a term that's come to mean something like "fun/wacky outfit" colloquially but essentially just means the making of clothes, or something more specific in a particular field of study?

Just ignore me if I'm being dumb, just curious.

edit: Thinking about it I'm not sure why I find this surprising, there are plenty of things that require those sort of skills, TV, movies, stage productions and theatre etc etc. If it's not something completely different that is lol

jjbeaniebean2 karma

The broad term is Costumer and there's a lot of different sub-titles within, like set costumer, background costumer, dresser. There was a blog I found years ago that had definitions for all the terms and titles but I don't remember it now.

We do a lot of things from sketching a picture of a costume to actually drafting a pattern and building it. There's also breakdown artists who make clothes look worn/ not brand new/damaged. It's quite fun.

HHS20193 karma

Very cool...is costuming a program to help you prepare for theater/film/television or does it have other applications that most people would not consider?

jjbeaniebean11 karma

It teaches you to sew and draft patterns so you could branch out to specific things like millinery, tailoring, or corsetry. We also learn basics of continuity for film and how to conduct ourselves professionally on set and with theater. There were also a lot of people who had cosplay backgrounds.

onmywaytocpa209 karma

Do you have other siblings? What degree are you graduating with? What languages do you speak? (You are soo pretty!) :)

jjbeaniebean16 karma

Hi! I have an older brother that I'm somewhat close with. I just got an accounting certificate and last year I got a diploma in costuming. Unfortunately I only speak English fluently. I do know some phrases in French, Korean, and Japanese. I did try learning Vietnamese when I was younger but it was very difficult and gave up lol. Thank you!

onmywaytocpa2010 karma

Cool! I just graduated with an accounting degree 2 weeks ago. Thanks for doing this AMA. I had a classmate learning Vietnamese too and she said it was difficult as well lol

jjbeaniebean10 karma

Congrats! That's great!

MLE_1088 karma

Do you feel traumatized by your experience in your first few days of life or were you too young for it to effect you?

jjbeaniebean28 karma

I don't know if you mean if I remember anything from when I was a baby that traumatized me, but I have no memories of it. My parents were always open about my history - my mom did give a censored version of it though since I was so young.

There was a time when I was seriously questioning my identity and coming to terms with the reasons why I was abandoned. (Born female, birth defect, etc)

It did make me a little insecure about relationships with friends, family, etc. because I probably do have slight abandonment issues.

joshually4 karma

What is your ethnicty breakdown from the test kits?

jjbeaniebean14 karma

I only did the AncestryDNA kit and it came back as 87% Vietnam and 13% Dai (The website says it's primarily in Myanmar). However, I also got a breakdown from MyHeritage using the DNA for AncestryDNA because I used the website Promethease and they say I'm 69.2% Vietnamese and Chinese, 22.3% Thai and Cambodian, and 8.5% Filipino, Indonesian, and Malay.

A lot of people ask if I am Filipino and only a couple so far have guessed correctly.

HHS20194 karma

You have a great story. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your accomplishments. Do you know the identity or fate of the other children or woman in the shared photo?

jjbeaniebean12 karma

The woman is one of many who took care of the kids. I think she may have been the one carrying me around most of the time since I also have another photo of her carrying me. Unfortunately I don't know what happened to the other kids. There were quite a few being adopted and I stayed friends with one girl and her family until I was around 5 or 6 because our families lived near each other.

QuiteDuong4 karma

as a vietnamese fellow, do you try to understand the history and culture of vietnam? have you visited vietnam after the incident? how did it make you feel? also, great job :D im proud of you

jjbeaniebean2 karma

Thank you! I wasn't interested in finding out who my birth parents were when I was younger and that also translated to not learning the history or culture. I lived in a predominately white neighborhood and my family is from Europe so I have't been raised culturally the same, which is something I do feel regret not learning.

My parents did try to keep some of Vietnamese culture around like keeping two traditional outfits for me and gave me books to try and learn the language.

Creeperjin3 karma

I'm really happy that you were so lucky. Congratulations on graduating soon. I'm wondering if you've been in touch with the farmer or his family?

jjbeaniebean2 karma

Unfortunately not. I do want to try in the future.

curious_bee12123 karma

Have you been to visit Vietnam since?

jjbeaniebean3 karma

No, but it's on my bucket list.

[deleted]1 karma

[removed]

jjbeaniebean2 karma

Hi! Added a link to google drive with pics of proof. Thanks!

mmm_toasty5 karma

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/117aEU1wcWAumHXTa69dR7XnBKh6obPKe?usp=sharing

The drive link requires an email address to view. Can you adjust the privacy settings?

jjbeaniebean2 karma

yes! just did

peeppeepii1 karma

If you were to find your real parents, would you be angry? Would you curse them out or ridicule them for their decision?

jjbeaniebean3 karma

No, I don't feel resentment towards them. It would undo all the work I've done on my mental health if I kept on letting it get to me. I can't control what happened but I can make peace with it and move on.

BlackHazeRus1 karma

Kudos to all good people who supported you and helped you to grow in a person capable of talking about such sensitive things.

It's amazing how sometimes people's fate changes drastically, because of painful events.

Wish you all the best!

Actually, I would like to know have you ever faced problems in love relationships because of your lineage and heritage, and an injury? I do understand that it might be sensitive and private topic for you, so feel free not to answer it. I'm just a curious fella on the internet, heh.

jjbeaniebean3 karma

No problems here! I do have funny stories though of people not realizing I'm a leg amputee and then freaking out about it after. I don't let it define me and most people accept me for who I am because it's a fact about me, not my defining principle.