I drink Alone
I am reading a book titled, "Are these kids yours?" About a woman who adopted two girls from Korea, and her research on other families and some culture background. My mom gave it to me and I wouldn't even look at it at first. I've never been comfortable with anything that suggests I was adopted. Of course I'm not a moron and know I am. But why bring it up? I'd immediately start to challenge anyone's motive. Was it because you think I should be more interested? Are you trying to point out that I don't belong here?
My sister used to cry and throw fits. Use the fact as a manipulative tool. I remember being little and listening to one conversation she had with my mom. How disgusted I felt with her for making our parents feel bad. How I hated her for pointing out in the worse cry baby way how we didn't fit in. When my Mom came to me to see if I felt the same way I'd always say it was stupid. How could I miss or care about people who I'd never met? I felt like being part of this family was enough.
One of my favorite ways to tease my sister was to say how our parents wanted a girl so bad they adopted her. Then she wasn't just right so I came a long.
Now that we're older my sister married (something shed never thought she'd do) is financially secure and has a great life. And today she'll tell you she never had a problem with being adopted, she never cared about why her birth mother would of given her up. And that I was the one, always had been the one who had been upset about it. She has projected her memories of crying and writing for hours on end alone, totally to me. And I know I'm not crazy. Because my family remembers. My mom tells me I never seem affected and never talked about it. I was adjusted.
The truth that hurts is I was so worried about my parents feelings that I never said anything. I would read every paper I could find from the adoption. I was excited when I found something on how I behaved as an infant in Korea. I had been taken care of by someone over there. Her picture showed a tired, straight face. But she'd changed and fed me. This foster mother had talked to me in Korean. It meant a lot to me. I looked and kept these things with me so often as a kid I lost a few of them. Something that really pisses me off today. But I remember what they said.
My birth mother was 19 years old. She lived somewhere around the kyonggi-do district, had 4 brothers. I knew her name by scraping at the white glue on my birth certificate. Her name meant flower. There was nothing on my father.
I would not search for her today. I do not want to risk the high possibility as a unwed mother in a different time and culture that she'd be horrified if her skeleton came out of the closet.
I don't think I care enough either. I am grateful she gave me life and a chance to live. But I don't feel she owes me anything and I don't owe her anything.
I don't talk about what bothers me because I don't want people to think I'm being a spoiled brat. My family here gave me everything. And like all families, mistakes were made. I don't want to try and point fingers.
I know my Dad loves me. So does it matter that it wasn't his choice to adopt me? I asked him recently as a joke if he'd wanted to adopt and he did not answer. In a speech he made at his anniversary party my sister and I threw for them he gave glowing reports on his older boys and how well they were doing, who they were married to now, etc. then he said, "Carol and I became convinced the world was over populated..so we adopted. We quickly got out of that way of thinking and had..." and he went on with the younger two biological kids. I just laughed about it then. I was sitting there almost 9 months preggo with my daughter and tired from the hours we'd spent getting ready. My older sister had been sick all day. But we cared and wanted to show them that. And we were skimmed over like a couple of charities. In front of all the family friends and family.
My mom tells us she insisted on adopting because she was tired of all the boys and wanted girls. And she tries. But she blamed a lot of my issues growing up on my biological mother. Even going so far once to say I'd inherited demons from her.
I was ashamed of my birth parents. I was ashamed of being a slant eyed, dark headed person in a white family. Being homeschooled and religious I wasn't out Around people often. So I wasn't made fun of but I wasn't liked either. My moms friends would talk like I wasn't standing in front of them. About how I was such a pretty little "china doll" I hate that expression. And I hated how they were making a difference in my looks. The few people that would make fun of me I'd say who cares? I AM a slant eyed Asian. I am different. You must be a world class idiot to think I don't know that by pointing it out and laughing at me. Of course I did care. I look at myself in the mirror and am surprised. I forget I am Asian.
My brother said to someone once, "if you weren't born here you should go back to your own damn country" it's pointless to point out how he's a damn mutt, and how America is. It's a personal point of view.
My sister-in-law refuses to call me her husband's sister. She has to stress "adopted sister"
My first husbands grandmother was racist against Asians and wouldn't stop referring to me as the vietnamese girl. And his mother told me her son had only married me because he liked Asian things.
When I remarried my next in-laws were not very happy he hadn't picked out a nice blond girl. And while they try there has never been a picture of me anywhere in their house. While every weekend boy friend or girl friend their other kids pick up pictures are hung up or put on display on their work desks.
I didn't like to smile because I thought it drew more attention to the fact. I didn't make eye contact because I was embarrassed by having such small eyes. I didn't have the one Asian trait I really liked which was perfect, straight hair. It was kinky and..poofy. People started making jokes that my dad must of been black with my hair and big ass. I get offended. Not that I'd have a problem if I was half black. But I'm sure as hell not white and they werent going to take away from me even in jokes the one thing I did have to claim. Being Korean.
Today I don't like other Asians. I dont like seeing them. I feel ashamed and angry when I see a group of them laughing or cutting up, I don't want them to draw attention to themselves. I don't want to be associated with them. Today when a Asian person goes by friends love to joke, "do you know her?" or, "that's your mom"
I understand it's ignorant and suppose to be funny. But it still bothers me.
Dating went badly for me. I hated who I was. I hated anyone who embraced who I was. Couldn't they see I was not what I was suppose to be? Growing up the little boys would make fun of me. I got called the ugliest girl in the world by one boy I had a crush on. And another I overheard telling his friends he'd dreamed I'd snuck into his room and tried making out with him and he killed me. Others would just make jokes when id go by. Or act like i was contagious. It didn't help that years later I understood they had said those things because they were afraid of what their friends would say. It didn't help that I was asked out by those boys after we got out of high school, because it had damaged who i was so badly it stuck.
Nowadays I run into the adult version of racism and its of course worse. But it doesn't bother me as much because I've accepted it.
I wouldn't want to of been raised anywhere else, but I do think what it would of been like to be in Korea. Where I wasn't different. Where I don't go into little bars in hick towns and get startled looks or old men who mutter under their breath then start talking loudly about the damn Vietnamese. The people who have voiced their judgments over my half caucasian kids. The world is different. I know people don't see race like they used to anymore. And I am not trying to yell about being treated differently because I am a minority. In a whole the people I meet are just people. I cannot stand when races think they deserve more because of what they are. I'm trying to write down my personal experience. I am trying to say that the number one problem is I am ashamed of my heritage. I will never be good enough because I don't feel equal. When people look at me I destroy myself with thoughts on what they must be thinking. I need to get over myself. They are probably not thinking anything! Im making it seem like a bigger deal because of ranting about it. But in truth I don't care if it's selfish to be so self conscious. It's not like it changes how much i care for the people in my life today.
I just wish I didn't feel this desire to find that one person who I honestly felt saw through the nonsense. That I wasn't in a preference category or a fetish. That I didn't feel I was with in the first place for another piece of self validation. That I could genuinely feel something! It will not happen and it's not the most important thing. It used to be a driving force in my lifestyle to prove to myself that I could be something to someone.
Having kids of my own has at least helped in a huge way. When they look at me they see Mom. They don't wonder anything else. I am not second rate to them.
Had no idea I'd rant on and on like this...crazy.
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