Kitty experienced international adoption as a child. Now an adult, she shares her feelings on being raised in a transracial family in America.
I looked different from my adoptive family
I'm not afraid to talk about being adopted. It is who I am, and I am proud of it. Growing up in a home that is not of the ethnicity background I am from, I was always a happy-go-lucky kid. I was oblivious to the fact that I was not of the same culture as my adoptive family. I know that might sound weird, but it just didn't really dawn on me as a small child. I did notice some things about myself that were different from the rest of my family. They had characteristics that were the same, so why did I look different? My face, nose, eyes, mouth, hands looked unlike my mother, father, brother and cousins.
Honoring an adopted child’s birth culture
My mom got her master's degree in Latin studies. She told me she always wanted to adopt a Latin baby, and that's what she and my father did. We were always in Mexico up until about age 6. We spent Christmases down there sometimes. We visited all the Mayan ruins and other areas of Mexico, and I felt well-introduced to my culture. Since my mom focused on her Latin studies, she did try to teach me Spanish, but during that timeframe, my culture was not really recognized fondly. In school I was teased for my skin color, so I was not interested in learning my birth country’s language, sadly.
However, my adoptive parents loved the Latin culture, which is awesome. They really tried hard to influence me and immerse me in my birth country’s culture. Before my parents ever adopted me or had my brother, they were always in Mexico. After my father passed, I got some photos of them when they were young and spending time down there. I believe Mexico is where my dad proposed to my mom, so that is a special story for me.
Reflection on transracial adoption as an adult adopted person
My mom and dad are wonderful people. Nothing in life is perfect. I could not be happier to have been raised in the home I was. Even though there were a lot of difficult moments, my parents did their best to give me a good home.