Young Writers Project: 'The Struggles Of Growing Up White As A Chinese Adoptee'

Aug 9, 2017

Every comment echoes and rings in my head.
I know I don't look like them.
I know that my blood doesn't belong to them.
But I love them as my family more than I could for anyone else.

"What is your parents' country of origin?"

You tried so hard to be polite.
But salt is still salt
no matter how you present it
and you rubbed it
right
into
wounds
of days past,
and it stung.

"I'm adopted,"
melts off my tongue
like ice in the summer,
every
single
time.

"Have you ever wanted to meet your real parents?"
I already know them.
They gave me a home
and all that a child could ever need.
They love me
more than the people who left me
at an orphanage when I didn't even know my name.

“My biological parents?
Not really."
My god, it stings.
I thought I had this worked out in my head ages ago.
But my mom and dad are realer parents than any
strangers
who gave me life could ever be.

Wait.

Part of me wants to go back and see
all that would have been had my "mom"
not abandoned me.

I always wonder if I have a sister or a brother
or someone that looks like me that would love me.

I know it's futile trying to find out
and these people would be strangers regardless,
but with the emphasis
on this idea of real,
it feels more and more like a necessity
that bores itself deeper in my chest
and leaves gaps in the world I built.

I can't blend in
and I'm stuck with a hand caught between gates
of yellow vs. white
and real vs. fake
and family vs. family.

I feel guilty for rejecting the culture that I have been ostracized from for so long.
I feel guilty for consuming the culture that I have been ostracized from for so long.

It's suffocating me.

Perhaps I let go of the part of me that loved myself and my ancestry
when classmates made a point by writing Asian across my math homework
in the seventh grade.
Everyone said I was overreacting, but my throat still tightens thinking of it.

I threw away a part of me with that project that day.

The Young Writers Project provides VPR's audience another avenue to hear and read selections from Vermont's young writers, as well as their expressions through photography and other visual arts. The project is a collaboration organized by Geoff Gevalt at the Young Writers Project. The thoughts and ideas expressed here are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Vermont Public Radio.