gallery Dear Adoption, I Am So Much More


Dear Adoption, I Am So Much More

I am
so much more
the color
of my skin

I am-
a nurse
a caregiver
striving every day
to heal the sick
being with you
when you’re most vulnerable
when I walk into a room
why must you see
only the color of my skin?
I want you to see
the color of my scrubs
and know that you
are in good hands.

I am
so much more
the sound
of my voice

don’t be amazed
by my lack of accent
don’t you think
I already know
I don’t sound
‘Indian enough’?

I am-
a musician
creating sweet sounds
by blowing air
through an instrument
at least let me
introduce myself
before you
jump to the question
where are you from
you wouldn’t ask
that question
of a white person
within 5 seconds
of them entering
your room,
so why do you choose
to ask me
where I am from
before I can even
finish telling you
my name?

I am
so much more
the shape
of my body

I am-
a runner
feet hitting the ground
blood pumping
breath heavy
instead of asking
why I’m not a doctor
ask what I do
to stay healthy
just because
I’m Indian
doesn’t mean
I have to fulfill
the stereotypes
placed on me
by society
my career
is equally as valid
as any other career

I am
so much more
the texture
of my hair

my hair
does not
define me
Indian women
don’t have to have
long hair
I can wear it
and still be
instead of
questioning my identity
why not
ask questions
about me
as a person


I am-
a cook
a baker
who loves my kitchen
I could spend all day in it
creating, tasting, perfecting.

thank you
to the patient
who told me,
“I’ll always remember you
as the Betty Crocker cookbook girl”

I wanted to hug you
for that simple statement

thank you for seeing me
as another person
with interests and hobbies
rather than seeing me
for only the color of my skin


I am
so much more
the color
of my skin

so much more
my physical

so much more
meets the eye

when will
the standard
of society
be changed
so that people
that I am
so much more
what they see

I am-


Mara Smith works as a Registered Nurse (RN) both at an acute care hospital and at a public health/community clinic setting. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, playing her flute, and being outdoors. She was adopted by a single mother in 1995 at the age of 7 months from IMH-International Mission of Hope in Calcutta, India. She has resided in Minnesota since and has yet to return to her birth country but is looking forward to the day she can make the journey back “home”.

Mara is actively exploring her identity as an international transracial adoptee and is passionate in supporting other adoptees, especially children, grow in their identity. This summer she will serve as a camp counselor at the Indian-Nepalese Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families in Denver, CO. She is always seeking new opportunities for growth and support. She hopes that her writing can help support other adoptees too.

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