Sound familiar?

"It doesn't matter where we live":

Nisha, now a petite 26-year-old with a quick smile, was adopted from
Goa by an all-white family at the age of six months and raised in “the
white part of America”, as her father Randy puts it. The couple never
taught Nisha anything about her birth country or culture, though they
did retain her name and abided by one request the birth mother had
made: never to cut Nisha’s hair. She didn’t cut it until she went to

"Because love is all you need":

Stephanie says she figured “everyone would love each other”
and that would be enough for Nisha to adjust to her adopted life in the

"It's awkward approaching people from my child's culture. Besides, s/he's American now"

“I didn’t know any Indian people,” her father says. “And I guess I
probably wouldn’t have known how to approach them even if I did. Would
I say, ‘You know, my daughter’s Indian. Would you mind if she hangs out
with you?’”

Though she didn’t realize it as a child, it bothered Nisha when she
grew up and realized she had never been exposed to her own culture.

"My child will let me know if s/he wants to learn more about his/her culture" :

resented her parents for never trying to teach her about where she came
from. The resentment bore down on her and when it was time to pick a
college four years ago, she moved miles away from her family in
Sacramento to San Diego. When she finally told her parents how she felt
two years ago, they were shocked, unaware of how much pain the adoption
had caused her.

Her parents never thought her looking different
mattered. To them she was simply a part of the family they had waited
years to get.

"My child and I are close, s/he can tell me anything!" :

Nisha loves her family, but admits she feels closer to her friends.
She feels she can never be really open about her feelings to her family
and that sometimes it’s more simple not to say anything to them at all.

"My child has the best of both worlds, culturally. She is a bridge between American and [insert ethnicity] cultures":

For Nisha, it is just easier to talk about herself to people who
understand what it is like to have a white person question her American
citizenship, or to people who can make a joke when she feels dumb that
an Indian family walks up to her and speaks in Hindi and she can’t

Skin Deep: Adopted
by an American family 25 years ago, Goa-born Nisha Grayson is coming
back ‘home’ in search of her birth mother and herself.

From Live (Wall Street Journal)

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

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