A clip of this new documentary, Adopted, was in the last Asian American Survey on YouTube, but I didn’t pay that much attention to the fact that the stereotypes directed towards adopted Asian kids are what many of us who weren’t adopted also face. I suppose in some sense we can all relate very closely to them. Check out the trailer and click on the link above for resources and information on the documentary.
I have a few friends who were adopted, but we’ve never spoken deeply about the experience. I know that they identify heavily with Asians and are attracted to it, much as I am. And much like myself, it is an intentional and uphill battle. My cultural identity seems to work on some sort of Sisyphean gradient, and I suppose I need to wrestle now with how I pass this on with my mixed marriage and soon-to-be mixed child.
In my experience, there was a point in my adolescence when the thought occurred to me that my whole family didn’t belong here. That even though we called this place home, it didn’t feel like it enough. And it dawned on me that my parents were just as lonely and as displaced as I was.
I understand now that I am trying to do a balancing act of reaching back and looking forward at the same time, trying to recover as much of my identity as possible so that I can move forward with some confidence–a theology inspired by Jason Bourne, if you will. We can walk this road together, we are siblings…adopted or not.