If this blog entry reads as angry, frustrated, or desperate–it’s because it is. I am. I feel as though I have been screaming my entire life and my screams have been silenced or quantified as a direct result of being an adoptee.
People don’t understand what it is like, and I suppose I don’t expect them to because I’ve never come flat out and said some of these things, but I am going to now. I am going to now so there is no question, and in the hopes that anyone who reads this will reflect and can no longer feign ignorance.
Just kidding! Sorry, but you all are going to need to wait until the little one makes her appearance earthside to find out what her name is.
But in all seriousness, I knew that the business of naming your child was probably not something to be taken lightly. However, I didn’t know how many feelings and emotions it would bring up as a transracial adoptee parent.
But why did I, an Asian-American Korean adoptee, not find out that there was a month designated to represent my people until I was 30 years old? And even moreso, why could I not remember learning about one single influential Asian-American in school?
Seeing myself wearing this fabric mask makes it impossible for me to maintain that distance and has created a complex, complicated inner-conversation. On the one had, I am still assimilating by wearing a mask just like everyone else in America. On the other, by doing so, I embody a stereotype of Asians that so many in the world despise.
At this time in my life, kids were also cruel and my eyes became the butt of a lot of jokes. They’d often tell me to “open my eyes” or ask if I could see the same amount as everyone else. Sometimes I would beat them to the punch and say things like, “Oh, I didn’t see that. It must be because my eyes don’t open haha.” Other times, I would be annoyed and snootily respond, “I don’t know if I see less. Why don’t I pop your eyeballs out of their sockets so we can trade and find out?”