- Family and Parenting
Thoughts from an Adopted Korean-American
There are a lot of things I've noticed about myself, a Korean-American adoptee, so I'd love to put these thoughts into a Hub that makes a lot of generalizations, but it's how I look at life and it makes me smile :)
I don't fit in! For one, my friends are mostly Caucasian, as my adoptive parents and family are. It's what I know because I'm used to the culture. My bridesmaids were all white. I'm accepted mostly by white people.
I'm too loud for most Asians; I raise my voice and they think I'm trying to pick a fight when I'm really just getting into a story I'm telling. I don't really take off my shoes when I'm inside the house, and that certainly gets me in trouble. I don't know if they're joking or not.
The food is a whole 'nother story. What is durian? What does stinky tofu smell like? How can I tell them that I don't eat meat because I'm a vegetarian? I dare not tell them I'm really pescatarian because most people don't know what that is ("Is that a religion?").
I'm too scared to visit Asia because I feel it's too different from America or Europe. I feel like I would get lost and never figure out how to get back. The languages, the gestures... it's all foreign to me.
On one hand... it's good that I'm not like anyone else. From what I've seen from my experience, and those of other adoptees I know, I feel that I have had a positive experience as an adoptee because I grew up without knowing any other Koreans, or Asians for that matter. In my hometown, my brother and I were the only Asians, and so while we were treated with respect like everyone else, we were also special. I love being different in that way; it was interesting to other people to learn that I was adopted and they wanted to ask me about it, which I enjoyed.
Also, because there were no other Asians in the area, I didn't realize how much of my biological culture and heritage I didn't know and understand. I didn't feel inadequate in that I didn't know anything about being Korean, including the language, cooking, or dancing. I know of other Asian adoptees who grew up in areas where there were people of their ethnicity who enjoyed the fellowship of their friends and family in the customs that they shared. They had an understanding, close ties, that the adoptees didn't have. I didn't realize that I didn't have that until I was older, and by that time I was comfortable enough with myself and my identity was developed enough to the point where it didn't really bother me.
Who's my (birth) mama? I would be lying if I said I didn't want to meet my birth mother. However, it's a different thing to go out and find her - that's too much work for me. I wouldn't say no if she just appeared like some birth mothers do... unless she wanted to be a part of my life.
The only reasons I would want to meet my birth parents would be so I could see what they look like. I've always been fascinated by the fact that most kids look like their parents. What sum did it take to get me as the good-looking combination? (Ha.)
I would also like to see what they think of me. Am I what they thought I would be? Yep, I'm always trying to seek approval.
It seems strange to think that I may never know who my biological parents are, when it is typically such a huge and undeniable part of most people's lives. And yet, it's not something that bothers me. I'm lucky to be happy with my life today, and I won't take that for granted.
If you have adopted or are adopted yourself, did you have a positive experience?
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