I Know What He Doesn't

In an exercise, he encouraged us, if adopted, to first imagine a meeting with our biological parents even if we had never met them. "There might be some special connection," he said, "then, you can use [in this exercise] your adoptive parents." His mother gave birth to him and raised him, and he has no credentials on the subject of adoption. In shock, my best friend and I eyed each other from a few yards away. We've talked about being Chinese adoptees--about how anger has boiled to the point where we want to yell, "You're not my mother!" But, here is some friendly advice: the daughter/son may criticize the parent, but the friend should not.

The man crossed the line, he did. While he had not criticized adoptive parents, his approach lacked respect for the love that fills my relationship with my "adoptive" mother. Of course I've tried to construct my birth mother's appearance in my imagination! Of course I've struggled with my identity! --of how my life could've been with my Chinese family. 

In the academic world, sometimes they teach us to use scholarly vocabulary. Other times, they suggest that we simplify our words. When he used the words "biological" and "adoptive," I felt uncomfortable. But my emotions began to stir when the parents arrived a few hours later for the ceremony. Upbeat music filled the room while we danced and welcomed them in. Most of them had given birth to one of us 13-18 years ago. I saw my mom, such a wonderful mom who gave me an almost-perfect childhood, who still gives me support in everything I do, who gladly supports my Chinese heritage. Yet, I felt embarassed. My discomfort spiraled into silence once we sat across from each other. I finally spoke honestly. (I can barely keep secrets from her.) I expressed that I felt upset because we don't share the same blood, how the man had spoken out of his expertise. He could speak about medicine, art, music, physical fitness, agriculture, and so on even if they aren't his subjects, but adoption is a sensitive subject. I cried.

My mom and I don't let that emotional junk pile up. We work through it. My mother knows that I've struggled with the fact that I am a petite Chinese girl while she is Caucasian and overweight (once almost obese). My mother understands my former desire to be the miniature of my mother, that we'd walk side by side in a sophisticated, cute, pretty, hip fashion... that people would look at my mother and comment on her beautiful appearance--one that I had inherited. Yet, like I said, we've worked through these feelings.

Today, biology doesn't affect the love my mother and I share with each other. The man who defined my family with such specific but naive vocabulary doesn't know it, but...in my eyes, I won the parent-lottery.
TangibleDragon TangibleDragon
18-21, F
Jan 10, 2013