Having lived over half my life abroad now and having done a fair bit of traveling, I have constantly been forced to deal with the question of “Where are you from?”.
From the perspective of my physical appearance, the confusion that sets in when I respond with “I’m from the States” is somewhat understandable. The most common response to my answer is, “But, you look Chinese.” In the past, I would get angry or spat back some smart-ass comment, but it is true, I look ‘Chinese’ if one deems all Asians as being Chinese. Not many people even know what a Korean looks like let alone be able to distinguish between the different Asian features. Nowadays, I just simply smile and say, “Yes, I do.” This is because I know any other response will require further conversation which ends up with me explaining that “No, my parents are white. I am adopted.” And, for some reason, having to say that to every person who dares ask me this question, just pisses me off! 😛
From a more emotional or psychological perspective, I am also faced with the reality of “Where am I from?”. I mean, I know I am from Korea. I know I am from the union of my birth mother and birth father’s DNA. However, as an adoptee I constantly am faced with this reality – I don’t know where I am from, not really.
So, I inquire to other adoptees out there – how does this question make you feel?