Today, I took my daughter to a friend’s home for a music demo. The neighborhood is a very eclectic mix of people. Many different races were represented there. Couples with babies and toddlers, and mothers with school-aged children, all sat together listening.
One Asian mother sat criss-cross applesauce with her Asian toddler comfortably sitting in her donut-hole lap. My daughter kept focused on this mother and her daughter.
I’ve grown increasingly worried that my daughter feels as though she has no roots. Being of mixed race seems to be a curse, rather than a blessing to her. She is neither fully Asian nor fully Caucasian. I secretly envy her. She got the best features of each.
During the recent Winter Olympics, we watched intently as Kim Yu Na won her gold medal. I said to my children that she was Korean and told them that this brought a great honor to the people of South Korea. My daughter asked why I had told them this. I said, “Well, you are Korean.”
Her response? A quizzical “I am?!?!?”
In the following days, she asked me to wear my hair in a bun and act like Kim Yu Na. “Learn more Korean and teach me,” she would say. One day, I put my hair in a bun and suggested that I could do the same for her. She said, “I don’t want a bun because I’m not really Korean.”
It seemed she was struggling as much as I had with her ethnic identity.
So today after taking in this group of diverse ethnicity, my daughter, who resembles her English father more, leaned over and whispered in an excited voice, “I look like I’m the one adopted!”
And now, the word takes on a life of its own.