Being the Korean side of the family

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Posted with permission of the author, this was a profound expression of the complexities of race as a KAD parent.  It can be difficult to feel like an “authentic” korean, and then it becomes even more challenging because parents often want to pass on their heritage to their kids.  (The heritage of one’s adoptive parents can feel even more foreign.)  It is left up to the KAD to bear that burden which they may be hard-pressed to handle. (Not to mention that a person’s Asian features are frequently overlooked in favor or white- or blackness in America.)

I was adopted into a white family in a white city. Fast forward through all the jokes and stereotypes and KAD issues (stories and convos for other posts!).

Now I’m married with two teenagers who are half Korean and half African American. Since my family is white and my husband’s fam is black, I’m afraid my kids don’t identify as Korean or Asian and it makes me sad. They don’t have a Korean side of the family to learn from and “be” Asian with.

Sometimes I feel like a fake Korean myself because I didn’t grow up “Korean”, I basically grew up white. I saw mostly white people. Seeing myself in pictures or certain situations sometimes jolted me into remembering how different I was. I feel that I don’t truly have the culture to even pass on.

There are so many thoughts and half-formed questions regarding this for me. Can anyone else relate?

EDIT: We do lots of Asian things: Korean shows, music, eat nori, sushi, rice, shop at asian supermarket. I just don’t know if it is translating into them feeling like they are Korean without actual family and legit cultural influences.

EDIT: My kids are happy and we don’t distinguish them as black or Korean. It has only come up with them when only ONE ethnicity can be selected on a form. This is what’s on MY mind. They have never said anything and don’t have issues (that I know about!) regarding race. I want to expose them to Korean culture so when they start figuring out who they are, they have experiences and familiarity with Korean culture.

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