I was speaking to someone new who I had recently met, and found myself explaining a bit about my adoption and my family. I also found myself explaining how I have never truly felt like I really fit in anywhere.
There is has always been a disconnect with me and other asian friends I’ve come to know. I feel as though when people meet me, maybe they expect me to come from a traditional, or strict asian family, possibly Catholic and maybe was very good at math, or at school in general. Or maybe I’m super submissive and polite, quiet, and yadda yadda yadda. I guess with that being said, I’ve loved to surprise people that I am not really any of those things.
I have grown up not really feeling like I fit with any group. I was raised by caucasian parents, but I’m not white. I’m asian, but I’m not really.. I think that’s a part of the movie ‘Adopted’ that really struck something within me about being something ‘but’. I’m Asian, but… Does that make sense? I’ve never felt fully accepted by asian people. Even when I went to get my nails done the other day at the salon, one of the ladies asked me where I was from, and I explained, and briefly said I was born in the Philippines, and adopted and moved here when I was young, etc. And it was like as soon as she understood I was adopted, and especially by a caucasian family, it was like I was automatically almost lower than her or something. I’m not even sure what it was. But it was a strange vibe that I got from her.
I have been waiting quite some time before making my first post to this blog. I have been collecting thoughts, and feelings over the past little while, promising myself that I will soon put them into words that can articulate something that people can get something out of. Then time went on, procrastination took over; scratch that, fear took over.
I think my hesitations to post something were about finding the right things to say. ‘How’ am I going to have anything valuable to say, what can people take out of my feelings on the subject of adoption. What about my own story will strike a chord in theirs? I finally came to the realization that it would be better to quit being so precious about everything. Get something out there, even if it’s quick and dirty, just get something out there to discuss and watch it evolve from there.
So with that, here is my first post. All I wanted to say that it is only over the past year, or even more recently, that I have truly found an honest interest in learning more about my adoption. Growing up, I was very fortunate that my family was always so open about the topic. Somehow I told myself and others that I was really interested in learning more, and that I was interested in one day going back to seek out my birth mother. At the time I’m not sure what that truly meant. I’m still not even sure what it means.. but I am a lot more aware of the emotions that are throwing me on a roller coaster. Now that I am older I’m better able to understand these questions, and fears surrounding my adoption.
I’m looking forward to sharing more of my thoughts and discoveries in this space, and hope you will find it helpful to you or those around you.
I invite you to also follow me on Twitter – @adoption_leah
I know that this will be a long journey. There are so many emotions I have yet to let myself feel for fear of becoming overwhelmed by the whole thing. I think it’s time I grit my teeth and bear it, because I am at a point in my life where I feel there are many missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle, and I’m not even sure where to begin, and hopefully this is a good place to start.
Leah was adopted from the Philippines 23 years ago. It’s been 23 years of love and joy matched by anger, depression and fear. This is her story, but it’s her parents’ story too. It’s also her brother’s story and his family’s story–because adoption affects everyone.