Posts Tagged ‘transrical adoptees’

I opened my eyes and I remembered I was in USA. I felt anxious and alone in the new enviroment. I wanted to cry but I was a big girl so I have chosen not to cry. The cloths on my bed showed me the yellow-haired woman had been in my room while I was sleeping. The yellow-haired woman came in, showed me the cloths and without saying a word, left the room. I got dressed quickly by fear of being seen by her, then I felt alone again.

The yellow-haired woman came back and brought me in front of the mirror. Unlike the previous day, she was silent. She wanted to brush my hair but I stiffened. I didn’t want my hair be brushed by this stranger. She had many items and trinkets to give me. I only remember few of them. It happened in silence: she would show me an item and I would nod or shake my head. The silence was embarrasing; I thought the American woman was shy as I was.

She showed me a ring; I nodded, she put it on my finger. She showed me a trinket, I nodded, and she gave it to me. She showed me earrings; I realized with horror that her ears were pierced. I shook my head and I thought the Americans were barbaric. I felt anxious, I missed home and I wanted to go back fast but the woman showed me a watch. I nodded and she put it on my wrist. I thought, “Americans are so rich that they can offer a watch to kids.” I never thought I could have a watch as a child. I felt I could like this American. I wasn’t interested by any other item that she showed me but I continued to nod without paying attention to her…

After giving me the last object, the American woman showed herself and said, “Mommy”. She repeated again, “Mommy? hm?” I understood by her body language that I had to call her Mommy. I nodded. She seemed very happy. She called me Kim-Kimmi. At the end of the day, when her fat husband came back, she showed him and said, “Daddy”. I nodded again.

That’s how I began to call two strangers mommy and daddy.

I would talk to them in Korean after I became less shy with them. I never called them “eomma” and “appa” which respectively mean mom and dad in Korean. I would call them by the Korean terms equivalent to Mrs and Mr. I don’t remember how to say the Korean words as my eomma’s and appa’s culture became a foreign culture and my mother tongue became a foreign language.

While I was being emptied of everything Korean and filled with everything American/Canadian unbeknown to me, I continued to call them mommy and daddy, until they brought me to Canada, their homeland, where they asked me to call them “maman” and “papa”.

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