Guest Columnist

From Jane’s Blog – a "guest" columnist’s experience of being adopted internationally.

When I was a baby, I was adopted internationally by a family that is
of a different culture than where I come from, and that is of a
different race than I am. But my adoptive parents help me keep in touch
with my roots.

For example, about once every couple of weeks we eat together at a
restaurant where they serve ethnic foods like bread and steak. When we
go to the restaurant, I can see Caucasian people who look like me. My
parents try to speak English to them so they can understand what we
want to eat. They cook food for us and bring it to our table.  I like
Caucasian people because they make good food. Bread is yummy. It is my
favorite food.

On weekends I go to culture school. There I learn various culture
like how to make bread. I can shake hands and eat with a fork and knife
and other traditional customs. I also learn about traditional holidays
of my birth country, like Halloween. I think Halloween is fun because
you can pretend to be someone you’re not.

We also learn to write the alphabet of our birth country, like A B C
D G P. I can say some phrases in my native language. For instance:

“It’s nice meet you.”

“What country do you come?”

“I am student.”


I think my language skills will come in really handy if I visit my birth country someday.

My favorite part of cultural classes is the dancing. Dancing is fun
and it is traditional in my birth culture. We are learning the Square
Dance. I hope that if someday I go back to my birth country, I will be
accepted more because I can Square Dance.

I am a little worried, though, about going back to my birth country.
That’s because secretly, Caucasian grown-ups scare me. I think that is
bad to say and my parents would be sad if they knew I felt like that
because they want me to be bicultural. But I have never been alone with
Caucasian adults, and when I meet them in the restaurant, they talk to
me in a way I can’t understand. They talk really fast and they make all
these gestures. What is that.

I have some adopted friends who are Caucasian. I like hanging out
with them because they know how I feel. I have this one friend whose
dad says things like “cracker” in front of her, like if he gets mad at
the TV or they get bad service in the restaurant, and that makes her
sad. I’m sure glad I don’t have parents like that.

For the Halloween celebration at my culture school I’m going to
dress up in native Caucasian dress. I will probably wear my beautiful
Square Dance costume. I will probably get lots of traditional candy
that Caucasian people eat.

Next week we are having a big celebration to greet a new Caucasian
baby that is coming home to her adoptive family. I am sure glad that
she will have a forever family to love her now. All my friends who are
Caucasian have parents of the majority race. So when I meet real
Caucasian people or Caucasian kids who were raised by real Caucasian
people, I feel like, wow, I hope you’re not going to invite me to your
house because if you serve anything but bread and steak, I don’t know
what I’ll eat!!  (That’s because really, I only like bread and steak.
Most of the other food kind of grosses me out.)

I am interested in boys, but not Caucasian boys. I know some but
they are kind of wimpy and nerdy. I suppose not all of them are like
that, but when I get married, I think I’ll probably marry someone who’s
more like my dad, not a wimpy nerdy Caucasian guy. Maybe someday I will
also adopt a Caucasian baby from its country so it can have the
opportunity to grow up with a real family with a mom and dad. I think
every baby deserves that opportunity. I could give a baby a lot of love
and opportunities. I am proud to be part of my adoptive country! I am
happy to have a family who loves me!

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

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