I’m optimistic today

With permission from the author and the blogger, I am linking to a paper written by an adoptee. This teen is remarkably smart and perceptive and I was really impressed with her work. I also was filled with a sense of optimism, that a young person such as this writer is able to investigate the complexity of international adoption. At 14, I was deep in denial and isolation as a tra. I could never have written about my experiences with the ability of this young woman. She writes:

My experience as a transracial adoptee can be best described in a
metaphor of gardening terms. I imagine myself as a pear sprout. I
started to grow near the spout of a rain gutter on the shady side of
the farmhouse. Seeing the difficult conditions I would be growing in, a
gardener decided to clip me from my roots and transplant me onto an
apple tree in an orchard. Despite being a pear, I grew up as an apple.
Today, everything about me is apple except my looks, for which I am
constantly reminded by the stares of passersby that inaudibly but
obviously ask, “Why is there a pear in the apple tree?”

For every anthropomorphized pear in an apple tree, there will
inevitably be questions. “What were my roots like that made me look
this way?” “How would it feel if I were an apple?” “What would it have
been like to grow up with all pears, even if there was no sun and the
ground was soggy?”

You can read the rest of the paper here.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

4 thoughts

  1. That would be amazing work at any age.
    So concise and so far as I understand it accurate. Could be directly taught to APs and prospective APs. Incredible that it isn’t.

  2. I don’t think I ever actually got around to commenting over at Gang Shik’s blog about this, but I was so impressed and blown away by his sister’s essay and the clarity in her writing. If only I had possessed just half — or even a quarter — of the understanding of the complexity surrounding transracial adoption at her age …
    It is truly encouraging to read this.

  3. This is amazing. As a middle school teacher, I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with this young woman’s abilities. Such great work.

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