Oh how I am in love with this writter’s work. Megan is an adult transracial adoptee and her words are powerful. Her story is emotional, vulnerable , loving and hopeful.
You can follow her on Facebook @findinghope33 and IG @mhope33.
When I think about the intricacies of being adopted, I get taken back to moments in my life where I didn’t know where I fit in, where I belonged. It’s so easy to know your family, your loved ones, and not realize or even think that you’re different. When you enter into this world, you don’t know what prejudice, judgment, or disapproval mean, let alone have insights to examples of what they are and what you could experience in the future.
When I first came to the U.S., I had no idea that I was going from one country to another. Geography was not on my radar since I was only three and a half. In fact, if we take it a step further, I had no idea that I went from one orphanage to another when I was in Korea, until later in life. So to my dismay, and even though my mother made it a point to always expose me and my sister (also adopted from Korea but with a different beginning) to things culturally relevant to our Asian heritage (mostly Korean food), I was a bit flabbergasted during my early years in high school (upon looking at my friends) to learn that I was NOT white! And if I wasn’t white, and I was Korean, how could I identify with the one race that didn’t make me feel welcomed. Granted this was mostly if not all from Korean males at my high school but being ridiculed for not speaking the language, and other obnoxious behavior, did not make me have open arms towards my own race and culture. Instinctually, I didn’t identify with Korean’s and then I learned that I wasn’t the race of my family either. So, where did I belong?
My brother, who is significantly older, was also adopted but came from people that were not far off racially from what he was adopted into. So there I saw no identity crisis for me to related too. Oddly enough, you would think that my sister and I would have shared emotions in this regard but when we were younger, I can’t recall whether or not we shared much of the same sentiment about not fitting in. Although we can and still both laugh off or roll our eyes when people say that we look like identical twins, which by the way I have received from others who believe that almost every Asian out there is a sister or twin sister of mine. No joke!
Then there’s the fact that my surname is actually Scottish and first name is the Welsh form of Margaret. Obviously, I’m not a redheaded freckled girl so this also created a lot of laughs, sometimes awkward at that, throughout my childhood. Again, another example of identity confusion.
So now fast forward to the delight I had when someone gave me a DNA test (23andME) so I could see what my genetic background is and if there was the slight chance that I shared even one ounce of my DNA with anyone else out there. To my surprise, it turns out I’m actually only half Korean and I have over 400 people in the world that share my DNA. Although they share only a minuscule amount, I was never the less awe-inspired to realize that I wasn’t the only one. But to what do I do with this knowledge? Well, I realized as I blurted out one day to my sister, “of course I’m having a bit of an identity crisis! I thought I was okay with being adopted, which I am but as an adult, I’m just now learning to understand that I can grieve the loss of a mother I never knew. I’m someone who was adopted from Korea, raised by an Italian and Scottish father and French Canadian, Irish and English mother who just recently found out that I’m actually only half Korean and the other half if mostly Japanese with a little bit of Chinese, Mongolian and everything else Asian in the book. How could I not have a little bit of an identity crisis?!?” So with all that being said, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t know quite where I fit in, where I belong. But what I do know is that the old adage, home is where the heart is actually holds some meaning and isn’t just for embroidered pillows or bumper stickers. The intricacies that I’ve learned to deal with in regards to my adoption are really quite simple. Home, belonging is what I feel when I’m with the people I love most and I am, exactly where I’m meant to be. Belonging to the most beautiful sisters I could have asked for in a most unconventional, sometimes dysfunctional family, with a most amazing son, who is also surrounded by 5 racially mixed cousins. At the end of the day, I couldn’t have asked for a better place to “fit in.”