Adopted students expand definition of family: Melanie Hyde

Written by Danielle Gee

Sophomore Melanie Hyde discovered at a young age that she was different from her parents and family, but that did not stop her from immersing herself in the culture she was born in. Hyde was born in the Fuling District, which is in the center of Chongqing Municipality, China. She was brought to the United States and adopted at the young age of just eight months by Carol and Larry Hyde, who are American.

Hyde’s parents told her at the age of 3 that she was adopted, but she did not let her adoption stop her from having a normal life. However, as Hyde has gotten older, she has found that some people form quick judgements of her simply because she looks different than her parents. “The worst thing is people looking at you weirdly if you are with your parents—people [speculate], ‘Is she [white and Asian]?’ until I tell them I am adopted,” she said.

Hyde has also had trouble going through airport customs when employees see that she is a different ethnicity from her parents. However, internally, Hyde has accepted who she is. “[You should] take pride in being unique,” she said. “Being adopted should be celebrated.”

Hyde’s parents immersed her in American traditions such as trips and watching Stanford football games. However, Hyde is equally grateful that her parents made sure that she was immersed into Chinese culture as well: they celebrate Chinese New Year and go to Chinese shows as a family. “Externally, just learning about the culture is something that I will always be connected to in my past,” she said. “I’d say where I was from in China—it was a farming town and I would be working the fields. In the U.S., I had the opportunity to a receive a great education with a bright future.”

Hyde was brought to the United States with many other girls who were also getting adopted. To this day, they still keep in contact. “Most of [us] came from the same orphanage, and although we have not seen each other in a while due to busy schedules, we try to stay in touch,” she said. For Hyde, the bonds she made through this journey and the opportunities that were provided to her through adoption will be ones that stay with her for the rest of her life.

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