Adopted at an Older age
I was adopted at three and a half years old and lived in a foster family in the Philippines. I do recall vague memories from that period of my life. Not like dreams but just small clips of it. Old pictures help complete the sequence while the black and white print outlined on my Adoption papers tell half of my story since my birth. Unfinished but still being searched, the missing pieces to my life’s puzzle will be pursuit upon my journey.
Growing up in a Caucasian white family was not really different from any other family, besides having to always tell people that I am adopted if they wondered why my parents were white.
It was until I reached my preadolescence and adolescence that when I tried to make friends with other Asians, I was somewhat shunned for not being Asian enough. I dealt with the same discrimination that other Asians dealt with but did not fully understand because I was very unfamiliar with the culture.
“Oh you’re adopted? Your parents don’t love you then”
“You must be a problem child because you’re adopted” (The reasoning behind this stereotype is because some adopted children float from foster family to foster family due to clashing and emotional/psychological instability.)
“You must be good at math/science since you’re Asian.”
“Wow you speak very good English.”
“Oh you’re Filipino? You aren’t Asian!” (Don’t argue with me on this one. I teach Filipino American and Philippine History and Identity)
“All Asians look the same”
“Wetback of Asia”
“Don’t you eat dogs?”
Ultimately, trust played a role. Whenever my parents would leave, I was afraid they wouldn’t come back. I would wake up in the middle of the night and check up to see if they were still breathing; I was scared to lose them. It is probably from always being left that I have attachment issues. From the time I was born, to when I lacked the attention when living in the orphanage for two years, and then brought into the foster family and later had to adjust to moving into a different family. Psychological trauma that even though I may not remember, it still affects me in subconscious manner as a young adult.