Myth No. 2 (about International Adoption)

2. Our child is just American. It’s true that children who are raised in America will be American. But in America, at this present time, any person of color isn’t just an American.

A family member recently posed that question to me when I said it’s nice to have a president who is a person of color. He said, “Why can’t we just be Americans? Why do we have to be African Americans and Asian Americans?” My response was that as long as there are people in America who treat people of color differently, there will be a need for people of color to define themselves in a postive light. (At least it’s my view that our current labels for various ethnic groups came about because others chose to use derogatory terms to describe them.)

And that’s one reason our transnationally adopted kids aren’t just Americans. While they live our communities, maybe they can just be Jim and Jane. But once they leave that insulated community, they’ll first be seen as Asian Americans or Latino Americans. Certain stereotypes will be assigned to them. I’ve heard so many adult adoptees talk about how many times they’re told they have such good English.

Another reason that aren’t just Americans is that biologically they are 100 percent something else. I know this gets into the whole nature v. nurture discussion, but I believe there are somethings that are going to be inherent in our son just because he’s biologically Korean (his height, for example). And if our kids return to their birth countries, people there will have certain expectations too. They look Korean, so why can’t they speak the language?

That’s why our kids need to know about race in America, need mentors who can help them understand what it means to be Asian/Latino/Black in America, need to have some knowledge of their birth countries, speak their birth language. Yes, they are American, but they’re so much more.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

Favorite Korean Movies-TV Shows

Be Strong, Geum-Soon
Please Teach Me English
Spy Girl
Tae Gu Ki
2009 Lost Memories

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2worlds1familyblog at gmail dot com

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