gallery Dear Adoption, You Prepared Me For a Diverse, Yet Misunderstanding World

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Dear Adoption, You Prepared Me For a Diverse, Yet Misunderstanding World

I finally realized that when people misunderstand me, they’re really misunderstanding you. I admit I’m not always ready to defend you. So much will always remain unknown but so much is readily available. You taught me to be proud of who I am and what my values are. You taught me to explain things patiently to ignorant people. You taught me not to label others according to stereotypes. I love people who are so different than I am. I often feel so misjudged. I am not like other Americans and I am not like other Indians. I am like many adoptees and unlike others. There are things that some do not understand.

You are familiar and mysterious at the same time. You are not always what is depicted in the media and you are not a one-situation-fits-all experience. This makes things tricky because some people like to put people into neat little categories, but real people don’t fit into boxes. You are so hard to explain; we are alike in this way. You made me an educator but not by my choice. Still, I doubt what I know about myself and about where I come from. I belong to a heritage that is ancient, beautiful and intricate – but foreign. It’s like a perforated edge that remains after a page has been torn away. I must learn, but how? I did not grow up with the food, languages, nuances, music, or anything else I am so curious about now. Technology has brought some of these things to me, but they still feel distant.

You let me learn for myself. Out of a place of alienation, my confidence is flowering over time. There are things that I know for sure. Love makes a family. Masala chai is way better than a pumpkin spice latte. I love a good hockey game or a spelling bee. These are gifts from you.

Chandra Coats is an East Indian adoptee residing in Southern California with her husband Dan. Her former hobbies include acting and working as a middle school pastor. She currently enjoys tabletop gaming, cooking, hiking, cheering on the Los Angeles Kings and the quest of obtaining the perfect pair of eyebrows.

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