Many of you know that I’m adopted from China. 17 years ago, my parents flew overseas to get me and 17 years later I would be going to college.
My life as an adoptee has been extremely eye opening, especially as I’ve been getting older. I write this series to help open the minds of others and to connect with my fellow adoptees through stories and such.
To begin with, here are answers to some common questions: yes, I always knew I was adopted. Yes, the parents that I live with are my REAL parents. No, I do not know my birth parents, and I don’t know if I ever want to meet them. (I’m sure the adoptees reading this have encountered at least one of these questions.)
I am also sure that every adoptee has encountered this situation [Cue Story Number One]: the Family Tree Project.
In grade school we had to create our family tree to track our genetics – where we got our eye color, hair color, face shape, etc. from. I always had to go up to the teacher and say, "No I cannot create my family tree because I don’t know my biological family."
BAM! Just like that, optional assignment.
It’s different growing up where people make assumptions that one or both of my parents are Asian. Like, no, my mom and dad are white – does it matter? No, it doesn’t matter what ethnicity my parents are. They’re my parents and I love them and that’s all that I care about. People also make assumptions that my sisters and I are biologically related, which we are not (*cough**cough* NOT ALL ASIANS LOOK ALIKE!).
I can see how people think this. I mean, if I wasn’t adopted, I may have made those assumptions too. But I am, so my mind doesn’t always go to the obvious explanation. Here I will share some of my personal, influential experiences of being an adoptee in America from being asked personal questions to being treated differently because some people don’t quite grasp the concept of adoption.