From now on, when people ask what being adopted is like, I’ll just smile and tell them to read this book. It’s all in here. The simultaneous emotions of feeling special because you were chosen by a family and worthless because your parents didn’t want you. The confusion of not knowing who exactly you are, or whether you should feel thankful that you were taken in or annoyed that human right was even in question. Who are your “real” parents, if there is such a thing? Is learning about your heritage a weird form of cultural appropriation or is it necessary to fully realize identity. Should you locate and/or form a relationship with your biological family? How do you tell your parents?
I’m so thankful to Nicole Chung for writing this book and exposing the public at large to these issues, which for most adoptees are largely internalized and never discussed. I’m also thankful to Cannonballer J, who recommended this book to me in my review of Verrier’s The Primal Wound. In this charming memoir, Chung publicly shares her own adoption story. She shares what it’s like to be a multiracial child growing up in a white family, how that toyed with her identity, and how her world changed forever when she started having kids of her own and searched for her biological family. I had the same experience when my wife and I started having kids. What could I tell them about their lineage? I suppose extending the family tree makes you look up in addition to down.
Anyway, if you want to know more about adoption, especially what it’s like on the adoptee side of the triad, please do read this book. It’s all in here.