No, He's Not Adopted!
My husband is Japanese and I'm your standard run of the mill white American. As soon as we got pregnant, everyone was all "You are gonna have the cutest baby EVER!!!" which was fun to hear (a million times!) but how do you respond to that? "Thanks"? "I hope so"?
We were riddled with a mixture of curiosity and anxiety over what our lil' munchkin would look like. Would he get my husband's teeny tiny eyes and my huge nose? Would he look albino with my pasty complexion and my husband's Asian features? Other than the obvious fears of the child being born with a major physical or mental disability, my biggest 100% superficial and selfish worry was that our baby would look 100% Asian and people would think he was adopted.
Well, I definitely think he looks mixed, a perfect mix if you ask me, but my previous fear came to fruition a couple of days ago for the first time. I was with Kenzo at the local bagel shop and a lady (she was Asian, not sure from where) is looking between him and me quizzically, then says to me out of the blue and all matter of factly "He looks Asian". So many creative and fun ways I could have responded. But she caught me completely off guard!! I replied, "Ah, haha, yes, well his father is Japanese". OK, not so unusual... I've had several strangers ask me if his daddy was Asian - mostly people who have a child or grandchild who is half white half Asian - I guess there is a certain happa / haafu / half / mixed / whatever you wanna call it "look". But the kicker is how she responded... "Oh, I thought you adopted him from China". Agh. There it is. Why this offended me so much I do not know. I see nothing wrong with adopting, and nothing wrong with Chinese people, and nothing wrong with adopting a child from China... but the fact is I did NOT adopt a child from China, nor does my child have anything to do with China. He is half JAPANESE and half ME and didn't yo mama teach you if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all??? Telling someone their child looks adopted is not especially nice. Grrrr...
On a lighter note, have you ever taken the All Looks Same exam? They show you various Asian faces and you guess if they're Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. You will fail. I promise! It's crazy when you don't have fashion or accent to take into account... even Asians fail this exam!
My daughter is 1/2 Japanese & 1/2 English, and I also had a mom from my daughter's school tell me she thought my girl was from China! Truth of the matter is, even though I was born here and both my parents were born here over 80 years ago, my husband is considered more Canadian than I am, even though he immigrated here from England 20 years ago. l always get people asking me if my husband is Canadian (meaning, is he caucasian) while I will always be viewed as being Japanese Canadian, never just a Canadian.
Hi Lorna, thank you for sharing!! It's amazing how ignorant people can be. Have you seen the video "What Kind of Asian are You"? It's hilarious, kinda sad, but hilarious ^_^
1/4/2014 02:08:45 am
I just discovered your blog and I am in love. I am mixed race (half Japanese half Portuguese) born and raised in Brazil. My husband is Dominican american. Our son arrived last March. We live in NYC as well and guess my son's name??!! Kenzo.
8/11/2014 07:31:09 am
Aww. I think you do have the cutest baby! People are rude asking you if he is adopted - I think you look like a super cute family xxx :) Lovely blog!
5/26/2015 02:55:32 am
My son is half Korean and half white. We cut his light brown hair recently, and I have had soo many people ask me if I adopted him Koreans and other people. My son looks a lot like his appa (daddy) but I still feel bothered by the question. Before people just stated "his father's Asian" now they don't think he is even part of me. I love my sons Korean side, but he is also partially me.
Leave a Reply.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)