Sydney Lillis

Humans of WHS


Joy Ren

Sydney Lillis, a member of the Wilton High School community, takes part in an interview for the “Humans of Wilton.”

Tell me a story about yourself:

“I was a baby, around nine months old, so I don’t remember anything. We don’t know where I was found or how I got to the orphanage in the first place. It might have just been because I was abandoned on the streets or I already had a bunch of siblings, but leaving is a bad thing to do to your kid. So wanting to meet my birth parents later, when I think about it, I would want to meet them to see how tall they were since I don’t have a reference of what I’m going to look like grown up. I’m not going to go searching for them. But if they came, somehow found me, I wouldn’t be against meeting them. Obviously, the language barrier wouldn’t make the meeting quite meaningful.”

“I think I’ve always been pretty neutral on telling people about my origins. If it ever came up, of course I’ll tell anyone, but it’s not some groundbreaking thing which I’d expect would affect any aspect of how someone views me. I’d always liked to think it was just as normal as having a family who you’re biologically related to, because they are my true family after all. When my parents went to China to adopt me, they went with a whole group of parents to the orphanage. Nowadays, we all keep in touch over social media and texting. But once a year, most of our families gather at a reunion at the end of August to see each other, except not this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the ones I remember were at this Vacation Village— with two pools and an arcade. A fire pit out front and a huge staircase from the condo buildings up to the hotel. Year after year, although being spaced so far apart, nothing seems to change. Looking back, the events that pass between these reunions feels like a lifetime— but that specific weekend in the Berkshires, time disappears. I get to see the first friends I’ve had— and considering I have always wanted a sister, it reminds me that I kind of have a bunch out there.”