The Top 4 Misconceptions About Adoption
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The Top 4 Misconceptions About Adoption

From an adopted, Asian-American-Jewish girl herself!

The Top 4 Misconceptions About Adoption
Amber Raiken

My home has always been a place where my heart is, ever since I was adopted at eight months from China. My parents have given me nothing but admiration and happiness in Queens, and sure, we don't have the same DNA, but what does that matter? I've seen multiple misconceptions being made about those who are adopted, and some are highly typical.

Children shouldn't find out they're adopted at such a young age.

I remember my dad telling me a story about something I did when I was in Pre-K. Some boy in my class started looking at me and asked: “why don't you look like your mommy and daddy?" And of course, I responded, “Because I'm adopted, you idiot!" (Okay I know the idiot thing may be a bit much, but I was an expressive child). I've always known that I was adopted, and no it did not scar me to know at such a young age. A factor of this misconception is that some kids need to "be more mature before they learn that they're adopted," like come on, really? It's not like the child is being told about the birds and the bees. The child is simply learning more about who they are. And yes, they may have questions, but discovering they're adopted doesn't cause the emotional trauma and distraught that everyone assumes. It hurts more to live your life, say eight years, and then discover that your parents lied to you about who you are. That's the real pain.

Adopted Kids Are Confused.

During high school, I posted a photo with my parents and adopted-older sister on Facebook for the holidays. A girl from my school commented “wait your parents are white? I'm so confused." I just thought, “what's there to be confused about?" One of the biggest misconceptions is that kids get confused about their adoption, like they don't understand how the concept works, or they are confused about who they are or where they belong. As an adopted kid myself, I'm not one bit confused about that. It doesn't confuse me that I'm the reason my parents came to China. It doesn't confuse me that my biological mother couldn't be my mom, so she gave me the chance to have one; at least that's how I see it. That's the perspective I have, and I'm not at all skeptical about this being the way I was made to live.

I Speak Chinese.

Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but no I'm not that cool adopted bilingual child, but that doesn't mean I'm not Chinese. I've been asked, “So if you're from China, shouldn't you speak Mandarin? Well, you're adopted so you're not really Chinese, right?" These questions couldn't be any more annoying. How do you think people feel when they get interrogated about who they are? Not good, right? Even though I grew up here, I still consider myself Chinese. I was literally born in China and was there at some point in my life. And I would like to visit someday. "Yes, I am still Chinese" and people once again respond with “But shouldn't know Mandarin." So sorry to surprise everyone with the fact that I don't, but the assumption that I do know it is just another disappointing and typical misconception.

Adopted Kids Get Depressed.

This one especially gets me angry. Once I told my friend I was adopted and she said “Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. Are you okay?" Like really? It's not like I got hit with a baseball bat, so what makes people think being adopted hurt me? My parents knew before they even came to China that they would see me and know that I was going to be their daughter. This does not depress me or make me feel “broken," it just proves such a beautiful way that a family can be built. The same girl asked me, “aren't you upset you don't know who your real mother is?" And I responded, “I do know, and she is at home waiting for me." I'm not upset because I don't know who my biological mother is, maybe one day I will, maybe I won't. Don't be the person that asks an adopted kid if they're upset, asks if they have a bad life, or say that you're sorry it happened. It's just insulting, take my word for it.

Whenever I get that look of pity after telling someone I'm adopted, I just feel sorry for the person giving it to me. I feel sorry that they don't understand the lovingness that comes in adoption, and I'm grateful that I do. Adoption helps builds up kids, but the misconceptions don't. And I couldn't be happier to have this hysterically wonderful family build me up every day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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