Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Spot the Caucasian!

This week my daughter attends 'culture camp'. Culture camp is a week long cultural immersion program for kids who joined their families through adoption from Asia. She has 'camp' friends-girls and boys she sees once a year-and they pick up from where they left off the year before.

Believe me, this is not a very glamorous camp. It takes place the third week of July-which is inevitably the hottest week of the year. The camp takes place in a church which is not air-conditioned and is a bit smelly. The kids go through seven or eight 'periods' each day. They cook, take language and dance classes, Tae Kwon Do, Arts and Crafts and music.

It is one of the few places that my daughter blends into the crowd. Frankly, I think the environment where all the kids have dark hair, almond-shaped eyes and joined their families throught adoption that is the appeal-and what keeps the kids coming year after year.

I have thought about how she must feel being one of the 'onlies'-only child, only Asian, only adopted kid etc, but since I have not lived those feelings, I can only experience it intellectually.

Today, I was looking for her in the music class and got a more viceral experience.

The kids were sitting in the chapel with their backs to me and were all wearing yellow t-shirts (it was picture day). I had a moment of panic when I could not pick her out of the crowd. I couldn't believe it. She is my child. I know what she looks like. But the pony-tailed, yellow shirted girls all looked alike.

I had to walk to the front of the room, to spot my daughter.

This experience made me wonder what my daughter sees when she is looking for me in a sea of Caucasians. It also reminded me what it feels like to be a minority-if only for a week.

Are you in situations where your kids are in the majority most of the time, or do they struggle to 'fit in' to our Caucasian standards.

It makes you think.

With Respect,

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