A few blog entries ago I laid out all of the funny things people have asked over the years about being adopted. My responses to them were that of sarcasm and a bit of ‘are you an idiot?’. But, in reality there are perfectly mature and logical answers to each of those questions. My reasoning behind answering in sarcasm probably has to do with the fact that it runs in my blood, my mother is the most sarcastic person I know 😉 And if you are now questioning whether I intended that ‘blood-related’ analogy, I did and you can take it anyway you choose. Anyways, for years I attempted to answer each question that a person asked about adoption in the most diplomatic way but by Junior High I simply said the first thing that popped into my mind. Don’t all tweenagers do that anyways?
Today I am tackling “What is it like living with white-parents?”
Well, to be honest, I have not really known anything different. Living with them I am sure is like you living with your parents, I could not really give a comparison.Perhaps the question should be redirected, “What is it like not being the same race as your parents?”
This question can apply to many more people not just adoptees. What is it like wondering around a mall and having people (in their heads) attempt to decipher if you are related or not? When I was younger and I am talking much younger, I seldom thought about the fact that I was obviously Asian while my parents were not and that it would affect how people viewed us. It did not strike me as an issue. From a very early age I was perfectly aware that I was not their race. Pictures drawn of our family when I was younger made it very apparent, I would draw myself with jet-black hair, my mother with flaming red/orange hair and my father with chocolate brown. Myself with dark skin, my father with peach-coloured skin (it was the closest I could find to his skin colour) and my mother, well, I never had to colour anything in, I could keep the page blank! But as I got older, upper elementary and Junior High I became very self-conscious about it, sometimes walking on the opposite side of the field or side-walks from my parents. For some reason, it was easier to walk with my father than my mother. Perhaps it was because the flaming red hair would ultimately give it away as opposed to brown hair being a bit more understandable. When my parents discussed my adoption with others, I would/will shy away in a corner pretending that I do not hear anything. The effect that adoption would have on my life would play a big role of who I was and who I was about to become. I did not desire extra attention, or to have my ‘story’ repeated to strangers in stores. I wished that people were not curious and could just leave me alone. But as I am older, I have come to realize that this is not possible. I will be faced with the fact that people will become interested and ask questions. Some people will be more discrete about it while others will be up-front. I am now ready to face these people, the purpose of my blog is to face the hard questions without worry of being judged. The whole internet world will know my story, but it will be the truth. I do not wish to glorify adoption or to down-play it. I wish to give to those interested, information and thoughts from an adolescent perspective on what it is like living in a world where an identity can be hard to find.
My whole life has been about secrecy and developing trust with people. My story used to only be shared with those who I could trust with my life. Because, it was my life. I now realize that a person, whether adopted or not, should be proud of who they were brought up to be, be thankful for the people who taught them to live, and understand that:
Blood may be thicker than water, but LOVE is thicker than anything.
And I love the life I live, the people in it helped me become who I am today. It is full of challenges, battles and choices but I would not have it any other way.