p.o.v.'s "adoption stories": wo ai ni (I love you) mommy

Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column examines the blessings, heartaches and inevitable complications involved in transnational adoption, and talks with documentary filmmakers Stephanie Wang-Breal (Wo Ai NI Mommy) and Deann Borshay Liem (In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee): Born across borders.

Both films will be airing on public television over the next few weeks as part of P.O.V's "Adoption Stories" series -- three acclaimed films about international and domestic adoption, exploring the challenges of adoptees forging new identities while holding on to their national and racial identities, and of parents helping their adopted children make sense of their new lives:

Stephanie Wang-Breal's Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy is the story of Fang Sui Yong, an 8-year-old orphan, and the Sadowskys, the Long Island Jewish family that travels to China to adopt her:
Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy by Stephanie Wang-Breal

Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 10 p.m. on PBS; Streaming online from Sept. 1 - Nov. 30 at www.pbs.org/pov/video

What is it like to be torn from your Chinese foster family, put on a plane with strangers and wake up in a new country, family and culture? Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy is the story of Fang Sui Yong, an 8-year-old orphan, and the Sadowskys, the Long Island Jewish family that travels to China to adopt her. Sui Yong (now Faith) is one of 70,000 Chinese children now being raised in the United States. Through her eyes, we witness her struggle with a new identity as she transforms from a timid child into someone that no one — neither her new family nor she — could have imagined.

Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy is an intimate account of a global phenomenon — transnational and transracial adoption. Little Sui Yong’s adoption takes place against a background of more and more Americans adopting overseas, especially in China. Since the Chinese opened their doors to foreign adoptions in 1992, some 70,000 Chinese children have been brought to the United States, making China the top choice for international adoptions by Americans. To further explore the issues in the film, POV will host a live chat with filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal and Donna (mother) and Faith Sadowsky on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. ET on www.pbs.org/pov.

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee documents acclaimed filmmaker and Korean adoptee Deann Borshay Liem's search for the Korean girl she switched identities with over forty years ago:
In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee by Deann Borshay Liem

Airing Tuesday, Sept. 14 on PBS; Streaming online at www.pbs.org/pov/video Sept. 15 - Oct. 15

Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the U.S. in 1966. Told to keep her true identity secret from her new American family, the 8-year-old girl quickly forgot she had ever been anyone else. But why had her identity been switched? And who was the real Cha Jung Hee? In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is the search to find the answers, as acclaimed filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem (First Person Plural, POV 2000; encore POV Aug. 10, 2010) returns to her native Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America.
The films will be airing on PBS starting August 31 through September 14. Check your local listings for exact airdates and times. In addition to premiering these documentaries on television, P.O.V. be streaming them online in their entirety beyond the broadcast to commemorate National Adoption Month in November.

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