Yes, I Was Born Here .. and other answers you won’t believe

I am an American. I was born on American soil, just like both of my parents were. One parent is Black. One parent is Mexican. Both sides of my family have lived in America for at least 3 generations so why do people continually ask me where I’m from and then stare in amazement when I say, “California”? Why must they almost always pause and then follow up with, “No, um … I mean .. where are your parents from”? *sigh*

Sometimes when I read stuff about adoption people try to make it seem as though the issues they are dealing with are unique to adoption when really the issues are just people asking dumb questions. For example, I just read this dumb question:

One afternoon I picked up Isabel from the toddler room and took her with me to pick up Noah from the infant room. As we were saying goodbye to the daycare teachers, I said to my children: “Vamos que Daddy nos espera.” (Let’s go, Daddy is waiting for us).

Clearly understanding the request, Isabel got ready to leave.

 

Upon witnessing this, one of the afternoon helpers said to me in amazement, “I didn’t know they spoke three languages!”

 

Three languages? I quickly did the math in my head and it did not add up. Confused, I asked her, “Three languages? What do you mean?”

 

She replied without skipping a beat, “Well, they speak English, Mexican…” (Insert wide-eye, appalled look on my face here.) “…Er…I mean Spanish, and African!

 

African? Really?

 

This question brought to light two assumptions people make about transracially adopted children. One is frustrating for its implications and the other one is actually funny in its absurdity.

 

The first assumption this lady was making is that a non-black couple adopting black children had to have adopted them from Africa. Often the first question we are asked by strangers about our children is: What country are they from? Our response, “The U.S.,” is usually followed by an indirect inquiry as to why we chose to adopt black children domestically. Nobody would dare ask this directly, but we have come to discern that the underlying question is: If we are not out to save the poor children of third-world countries, why would we purposefully choose to adopt African-American children rather than children who look more like one or both of us?

and this little exchange is why people make videos like these.

I can’t ….. SMH

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