China - United States
Wilbert, Stuffed Animal
A shaggy, yellow, faded, worn stuffed animal. “Wilbert” is an unknown animal that appears to be a mix of a raccoon and bear. He is maybe as old as me, maybe not. Items left behind, or brought with by immigrants and refugees got me thinking about my own travels coming to America and what I brought with me.
I was adopted in 2002, from an orphanage in China during its one-child policy era. While I am unsure about whether the details of my story are valid, I am aware that I was put into an orphanage. I held onto this stuffed animal since then. Wilbert was all I had in a country that found me to be a burden.
I often do not feel as if I am one-hundred percent safe. Wilbert has been everywhere with me, even here at college. I have carried him with me since childhood to all the places I have been. Just the presence of having my stuffed animal near me gives me a sense of comfort and security within this world.
Both Wilbert and the medicine bottle are objects that serve as a source of comfort and safety. This medicine bottle could have stored herbs and objects that are crucial to ritual purposes for immigrants, giving them a connection to their culture and heritage.
By Lili Dimitroff