02 November 2013

The Woman in the Mirror

When I was small, my mother would often be presented with this question:

“Will you tell her she’s adopted?”

My mother’s response was always, “Oh, she has only to look in the mirror!” I talk about this in my first blog post in 2007. When I began this blog, it was to honor my mother and father and to record my history for my children.

The last year has brought many revelations. I’ve met more adoptees, watched adoption movies, written for the Lost Daughters … and I have looked in the mirror more closely. 

Today, as a transracial adoptee, I am often presented with this question:

“When did you know you were racially different?”

Initially, my simplistic answer was, “When I saw myself in the mirror.” But that answer is really a reflection of my mother’s story and her answer. I have repeated that answer for close to 40 years.

Now, the mirror reveals so much more. She’s Korean, yes, but she also still sees the white Tennessean, the Puerto Rican, the wife of the white Brit, and the mother of mixed race children. Unfortunately, the rest of the world only sees what the mirror reflects.

Perhaps that is my biggest frustration. I am so much more than Korean. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ok, I'm not adopted and I'm a white lady. But still, sometimes I look in the mirror, or I look at my hands closely and I think, "Who is this person?" We are all so much more. You are so much more than being Korean. Perhaps the difference comes in the idea that people think they've got you figured out because you're "Korean." For white ladies like me they don't need to question anything. They think they know me without even labeling me.