I’m tired of being asked where I’m from. There is a widespread understanding that being adopted equates to coming from a country halfway across the world. I was adopted in the same state I grew up in and the same country I was born in. There are children everywhere; every state, every country and every region that are in need of a family, not only from places deemed to be in the developing or overpopulated world.
I’m tired of being told I don’t look adopted. I look like my adoptive parents. We share the same skin tone, same hair color, and I mesh well into the aesthetic of the extended family. I’ve been accused of lying; teachers and friends refusing to believe I am adopted until my parents confronted them with truth. The words, but you’re not black or you’re not from China, have been said, uttered in ignorance, as if adoption means I need to be of a different race than my friends and family.
I’m tired of being pitied. When someone finds out I am adopted, it doesn’t need to be met with an apology as if it was something so horrible. Adoption has had its ups and many downs throughout my journey, but I’m strong and independent. I would rather be given empowerment than be given condolences. I would rather be treated as a human being with a story than as a psychology project.
I don’t want to be tired anymore. It’s why I write and have conversations. It’s why I hope to bring awareness about adoption to those who are not. One post at a time. One conversation at a time. Maybe someday the questions adoptees are asked will look different. Maybe the questions will be posed with genuine interest for the person behind the adoption rather than with intrusive comments and ignorant assumptions. Maybe adoptees will feel more freedom to speak of their stories in absence of judgment and pity.
Until then, I will keep pushing, pursuing a change, and waiting for the maybe.