Chloe Ng is a Cal Poly SLO first-year majoring in mechanical engineering. Her and her sister, Christine, are huge Warriors fans, and reside in Los Altos, California. Before Chloe and Christine bonded as sisters through basketball, they lived 6,870 miles apart.
In orphanages in Chengdu, Sichuan in China, a child’s future could potentially be with thousands of different families around the world. Born January 31st, 1998, Chloe Ng’s first family were the fellow babies awaiting parents and a place to call home. After six months in an orphanage, the agency had finally placed Chloe with a safe, permanent family of her own.
An article published in the Atlantic in 1996, just two years before Chloe was born, stated, “this past January, Human Rights Watch/Asia published a lengthy report asserting that thousands of children in Chinese orphanages have died of starvation and medical neglect.” This statement shows that Chloe is lucky. She had the privilege of being placed with a family before it was too late for her to have a chance at a normal family life. The children who die in orphanages are the toddlers and young children who have not been placed with families because of illnesses or disabilities they’ve contracted due to neglect by the orphanage. Chloe’s placement with her family is a privilege not every orphan receives.
Once adopted, Chloe not only had met her parents for the first time, but also her big sister, Christine, who was also adopted from China just a few years before Chloe.
Chloe’s adopted parents are both from Hong Kong, and when they immigrated to America as teenagers, they faced a language barrier in their schooling. They met in the Bay Area in Northern California, and after they married, chose to adopt two girls from China. They decided against raising biological children, and instead chose to give back to the country they grew up in. Chloe’s parents chose China because of the high rates of abandoned and orphaned children that may never find homes.
When they were placed with Christine and then later Chloe, they were thrilled that their dreams were reality, and their family was complete. They were excited about their plans to return to Hong Kong with Chloe and Christine and engage them in the culture they knew as young adults before coming to America.
“When Wilson and I made the decision to adopt, we put our trust in an agency to place us with two healthy daughters. I love taking my girls to my home in Hong Kong, which is great because they get to see the part of the world they were born in. There’s nothing like authentic dim sum, and that’s Chloe’s favorite dish,” said Florence Chan, Chloe’s mother.
“We were placed with Chloe because she was the fattest baby in the orphanage,” joked Chloe’s father, Wilson Ng. “Chloe was an angel on the plane ride home and ever since just been a dream come true. Her mother and I are so proud of her”.
Sociology professor Seth Hannah at Cal Poly SLO states, “a lot of times people who immigrate to America wouldn’t have the socioeconomic status to adopt, as that is a very expensive process. Immigration can place you in a state of vulnerability that is not even derived from your own doing. The circumstances are out of your control. Social change like working with your local city government is the action that needs to take place.”
Chloe’s video interview is lighthearted, but her adoption has not been perfect. She also stated that she had brief contact with her biological parents, whose current location is unknown. Her biological mother reached out to Chloe when she was a toddler and again as a young teenager, but Chloe, understandably, did not feel comfortable talking about this sensitive topic.
While aspects of Chloe’s life are difficult for her to speak about, she is very passionate about policies regarding Immigration. When Chloe joined Cal Poly’s Undocumented Student Working Group at the start of 2017, she was ready to help raise awareness about immigrant intolerance.
Casey McCullough, a California State University (CSU) STEM VISTA AmeriCorps member supporting undocumented students at Cal Poly, stated, “we want to raise awareness around the injustices faced by immigrants in the fields, in our schools, and in the community.”
The Cal Poly Undocumented Student Working Group participated in an event on May 1st, 2017, in honor of documented and undocumented immigrants. Chloe and her fellow members of the Student Working Group were in attendance as well as San Luis Obispo’s Mayor Heidi Harmon.
On May 4th, three days after the honoring event, the San Luis Obispo City Council and Mayor Harmon unanimously signed the “Welcoming City” resolution, which states that San Luis Obispo police “will stand with all people in San Luis Obispo, regardless of their immigration status. Similarly, Cal Poly Police will not assist ICE in any immigration enforcement”.
The steps made by Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo City Council allow documented and undocumented students to not only feel welcomed, but feel safe.