Yesterday, I read this article on the blog “Lost Daughters”.
It hit home in many ways as it relates to being caught between worlds and struggling to not only find my place, but to be accepted for the place that I have found.
There is one place in the world where I felt totally ‘normal’ and as if I belonged – Hawaii. Why? Because Hawaii has a mix of races and many mixed couples, it is normal to see people just as “Hawaiian” rather than caring where their origins are or who their families are. No one assumes that an older white man with an Asian woman is taking advantage of her or that there is something else seedy going on. It’s a piece of America, but with its own mixed culture. This is the kind of place I would like to eventually settle in – too bad the economy is still not great there….
In any case, the point is that no white man or woman and no Asian man or woman can fully understand the experience of an adopted Asian woman who grew up ‘white’ unaware that her outer appearance would never be accepted in the ‘white’ world. My family never treated me differently and I believe that they mean well when they say they just thought of me as ‘white’.
Sadly, this didn’t help to prepare me for the fact that everywhere I have traveled, I must explain myself as an American and that no my parents aren’t Asian. Or, that the less developed worlds would assume that I am a prostitute or in some kind of service industry because I am Asian on the outside. Some might say this isn’t about being adopted, but that’s a simplistic response.
Being adopted has caused me to be displaced inside and out. I’ve mostly come to terms with it, but it doesn’t change the struggling reality. The difference these days is that more adoptees are sharing and talking about the experiences without feelings of guilt for how we feel….
Maybe I’ve finally found a cause…. ;D