Saturday, July 12, 2008

White Girl Goes to Camp.

Sometimes it’s a lonely existence for me in my family. Yes, I’m the mom and I get to keep my finger on everything from the laundry to lovelife to long division. But in my family I’m the only girl. My dog is a lovely old lady but she doesn’t really count.

I’m also the only white one. My husband is Korean and my kids are “Hapa”—a Hawaiian word that literally means “half” that the Asian community has claimed the way the GLBTQ community has claimed “queer”.

So, today is the Celebration Day at Korean Identity Development Society (KIDS) Camp; class presentations, big Korean food lunch and a drumming presentation. It’s funny, we moved to Seattle to be with families that look like us, and while we often see them or know them on swim teams or at school; here we’re the freaks of nature again. Almost all the parents are white, and seem to be quite a bit older than we are. If there are other KADs (Korean Adult Adoptees) they are usually married to Korean folks from Korea.

People always flinch when I tell them that my "adoptee" is 41. Not my child, my love.

And then they want to tell me their story about how they’re doing things right; they’re raising their adoptee just perfectly so that there will never be pain around race or an identity crisis.

Well, good. I hope they’re right, I hope that their child never has to experience the pain of questioning what it means to be Asian in a white society and I hope that they never have to stand by as the white one; part of the oppressive crushing majority that has caused so much pain to the person that they would give their life for.

I hope for them a happy life with rainbows and cotton candy. I hope these camps help. I hope knowing my dear husband and hearing his story helps these kids grow up and not have to live it.

And I hope that these parents never have to feel the pain of being the other that hurts their child.

My fingers are crossed.

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