A Grateful Outlook
My parents were foster parents for years when they decided to have a family of their own. They knew that because so many children needed homes, that adoption was the right choice for them. I am one of five adopted sisters in my family. My sister Leanna was adopted first from Puerto Rico. I was adopted second from Vietnam. When I was adopted I was 6 months old, underweight, and very sick with asthma. My sister Jana was adopted third from Cambodia. Similar to myself, she was also very sick. Next, my sister Maya was adopted from Vietnam. Lastly, my sister Belle was adopted. We grew up in a small town in New York. We were the only people who made the town diverse. I honestly didn’t notice that I was different until 5th grade. I never personally felt discriminated against. But that didn’t mean I didn’t have my own struggles. There were times that I hated being Asian. I thought that I was ugly and different. With that being said, I’m so thankful I had my sisters there with me and that we had the same shared troubles growing up. As I got older I had a lot of friends and was welcomed. But there were definitely instances I remember some insensitive comments being made like, “you’re pretty for an Asian.”
It didn’t happen often but having a great support system definitely helped. Looking back on my experiences today I realize that things were much different then as they are now. Nowadays, subtle racist comments do not fly and a part of me wishes that there was the same kind of awareness back then as there is now. I had tough skin and was able to ignore those micro aggressions. I was thankful I got to experience those things when I was young. I spent the majority of the time during childhood doing gymnastics. I went on to be a college gymnast and no one would have thought that from my initial doctors appointments in the U.S. It is so amazing that I had that opportunity here because if I had never been adopted I never would have been able to reach my full potential. “ -Kendra B.