It has been far too long, my friends, since that last time I wrote anything clever, crappy, thoughtful, really anything period. I guess with all the political animosity that makes the Hatfields and McCoys look like BFF’s, I haven’t really felt motivated to rant, opine or discuss anything. But every November, I do take the time to observe a month that means something special to me, National Adoption Month. So for all my fellow adoptees out there, and I’m fortunate to finally know a few, here are some of my random thoughts, words of wisdom and little bits of sarcastic humor in the day and the life of adoptee (domestic or like me, all the way imported from South Korea).
People say the dardest things, and I don’t just mean kids (ie: being a Korean with Caucasian Iowan parents, you get some really classic lines). To name a few…
- How did you end up looking Asian when your parents are white?
- Who is that blond white lady? (you mean the one I just called mom)
- That’s your dad? (I do believe I just referred to him as such)
- Your English is so perfect. How did you learn to speak English so well?
Then there is the annoying and mildly ridiculous comments…
- Are you sad you aren’t in Korea anymore? (yes, because I am sure living in an orphanage is a such a dandy life to live. Let’s ask Annie)
- Why did your parents want an Asian baby? (why did you decide to wear a stupid outfit today?)
- Do you ever want to find your real parents? (hmmm, last I checked I was beyond the age of playing make believe. You mean my biological parents?)
Some final words of wisdom on being adopted and specifically for me, being in a multiracial family…
- There are times when I feel very caught in between two cultures, being a Korean raised in a Caucasian world. Sometimes, I can relate to both and other times, I don’t feel like I fit in either way. You find yourself trying very hard to be one or the other and in reality, you are both. Eventually, you have to be okay with who you are and embrace all those sides of you.
- Sometimes people don’t always acknowledgement the elephant in the room. Part of the dilemma of being in both worlds is people thinking they can say anything to you and it’s okay to say. Other minorities saying derogatory things about Caucasian people, thinking it’s okay because I’m not white. Or Caucasian folks saying prejudiced comments about other minorities and thinking it’s okay because of who my parents are. You can’t be mad at people because they don’t understand, all you can do is help people see what’s it’s like for you to live in both worlds.
- Being adopted and in my case, being adopted by parents of a different ethnicity, shows that family is not all about blood or birth, it is about who raised and loved you. Being adopted doesn’t make you less of someone’s child or something extra special. For me, it is who I am, and I can embrace both and be grateful to live a life not in an orphanage but to have a family just as real as any other family.