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August 11, 2010



Thanks for your perspective. As a Korean raised by white parents who considers herself a twinkie, I often take for granted that I grew up in a racially diverse geographical area. I did not struggle with my Korean identity in the same ways you did. I was never made fun of for my race and I knew plenty of other Asians...even a couple adopted ones. I consider myself pretty white. I didn't wish I had paid more attention in Korean school until adopting a Korean toddler. I feel a lot more pressure to keep up with Korean culture for him because he lived with it for so long. Not sure if how I would feel if we had brought home an infant.
That being said, I love the Korean culture and seem much more Korean (than I think even I realize) to truly white people around me. I guess perspective is everything.


I am so glad I came across your blog a few months ago. I am a white woman with a white husband and 2 white children who will be traveling within the month to adopt a son from Korea. We are continually trying to learn about Korean culture and connect with other adoptive families and Korean-Americans, but it is really powerful for me to recognize the responsibility I have to our son to do more than try. This post is challenging to me as an adoptive parent, and I am glad that - through resources like this - I am not oblivious to the unique challenges that my son will face, even if I can't relate to them personally. It makes me so thankful for the amazing adoptive group in our area and the Korean-American community that partners with it to provide education, encouragement and context for our children. Thank you for your honesty. I truly desire to provide all of my children with the best childhood and adolescence I can - one that prepares them for what they will face as adults. I am thankful that I have hard truth to remind me that that preparation will not be the same for all 3 of my children.


"Or maybe their mom or dad will stumble upon this and find something here that propels them to learn more about being a parent to an adopted child of color." Consider the job (well) done. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Laura, AP to now 2 year old from Viet Nam.

Mei Ling

"What does that mean exactly and why am I so uncomfortable around people who look like me?"

I remember a few years ago I tried to attend my first official *Chinese*-Canadian New Year's festivity. All of them spoke their own dialects.

I couldn't figure out why it was so damn hard for me to try and connect. I couldn't figure out why I was so uncomfortable, or why I couldn't seem to get past that bridge. I couldn't figure out my own fear or why I felt like disappearing into a wall about an hour into the celebration.

Now I know.


This is so eloquent and wise, Paula, as is everything you write.

It shouldn't have to be your job to teach white parents about the importance of their children's racial identities. It's incredibly frustrating to me that agencies continue to give APs the notion that "color-blind love is enough" when transracial adoptess as telling a very different truth. It should be Job #1 of any adoption agency practicing transracial adoption to educate prospective adoptive parents on the realities of race in this country.

But even that's not right. Ultimately, if transracial adoption is continue, it's MY responsibility and that of every adoptive parent of children of color to wake up, learn what's real, and make the lifelong commitment to support our children and fight racism.


Beautifully written, Paula. As an AP, I always value your word and efforts to help us, help our children.


Paula, as always, you give us so much.
Thank you for taking upon you to teach us to be better parents. It might be more than exhausting and frustrating. Sometimes it might be scaring and thank you!


I, as a PAP, appreciate your perspective. I am taking in all I can to better help our child live their life and learn who they are. For me, understanding that we will need to seek help from others such as adult adoptees and other people who look like our kid, to engage with our child (or opportunities like Pact) and help them (and us) learn what it is to be a transracial adoptee. Thanks so much for your thoughts (pissed off or otherwise, all are great).


Hey Paula interesting post especially about the naivete of many white people who were hoping for a post racial America or view their adoptive children as their own flesh and blood. While I've said in the past that I do not agree with the viewpoint but being a white man in an IR relationship I feel that I should seek out viewpoints such yours to better understand the world around me.

That being said I was raised in a very diverse city in the south and the experience have left me very skeptical of the idea of a more diverse America is somehow a less discriminant one, not just because of how I was treated as a white person by poc but how my wife who is asian was also treated by white people and POC who weren't asian.

But in the end I always hope and pray for a kinder gentler culture in America that will teach respect and understanding of everyone white and POC

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