Saturday, August 22, 2009

Being the wife of a trans-racially adopted man

OK, pray with me people, Breathe in peace, breathe out love. Peace--Love. Peace--Love.




It's been really hard having my whole immediate family in Asia. It scares me. I worry that they will all decide that having a white wife and a white mother does not support their identity as Asian and Hapa men.

Yes, this is garbage thinking. Excuse me while I slam it into the trash can.

But it's not totally unfounded. Lots of us, the spouses of trans-racially adopted (TRA) folks, get some of the blow back of the identity trauma that hits our beloved partners. We hear awful things that may even be directed at us that are really just the consequence that comes from being raised in a family that is a different race.

And at least when my beloved husband was learning about who he was as a powerful Asian man the systems in place to support the coming to self were horrible in supporting an existing family. Meetings in bars, long weekends for "mini gatherings" at far away hotels with late nights and lots and lots of drinking. I know that many marriages didn't survive that gauntlet. Mine did, but just barely and just because my husband is simply amazing. I'm deeply grateful.

But what about all those other spouses. Those people who married a person who then went through a radical transformation as they came to a new and much more real truth about who they really were? Where are they, those spouses? Who are they? Are their stories like mine? Am I crazy or are there people out there who would nod and smile a sad smile and understand because they, too, had been through this?

If you are a terribly astute "chalice spark" reader you may have noticed that there is a site revision in process, new template, new gadgets, and a few new "good read" links along the side of the current post. One of those new links is to "Harlow's Monkey" This is a blog that I stumbled across a few months ago. I was very impressed with the warm and wicked-sharp writing. I liked that she was not willing to wear any mask that anyone tried to put on her, but instead fiercly stood by her beliefs and views, even though they didn't easliy fall into pre-set "pro" or "con" and "angry" or "happy" camps.

Yesterday I realized that I know who this person is, from my brief contact with the KAD (Korean Adoptee) community in Minnesota. Yes, in six years a person can earn a degree and enroll in a PhD program. Yes, time does not stand still. That connection was an interesting thing to figure out, but more intersting was the round about way things happen and the email to email (almost face to face) contact I have had today with another person who does that nod of the head, who has experienced almost exaclty what I have. Another wife of a trans-racially adopted man. A KAD.

I am not the only one. And even though the shell shock is a half a decade old, it feels very, very fresh having those I love best in Asia right now. And someone to say "I know, it's hard, you're not alone, you're not crazy" well, it's meant the world to me.

Never doubt the power of another person, a flesh and blood human being, saying "yes, I hear you; yes, I understand; yes, it was like that for me, too" it is bigger than just about anything else that can happen to a person.

Peace and love

Amen and blessings, big blessings


boston unitarian said...

Big blessings to you, Kari, and my prayers are with you and your family. BU

Paul Oakley said...

You are in my thoughts this morning, Kari. I send this traditional blessing across this continent to you this morning:

Deep Peace of the Gentle Earth to You.
Deep Peace of the Rising Star.
Deep Peace of the Rolling Wave to You.
Deep Peace of the Gentle Breeze.
May Peace, May Peace, May Peace Fill Your Soul.
May Peace, May Peace, May Peace Make You Whole.