When Your Family Doesn’t Fit in a Box


I saw this post today and thought I would share it. Being mixed heritage Chinese/Japanese raised in a mixed race/mixed family, I remember getting all kinds of strange comments from people. My mom was Chinese, my stepmom was white, my dad was mixed Chinese/Japanese, my siblings were mixed and we called ourselves a family.

Screenshot 2014-02-26 10.57.07

I think what I appreciate most about what this single mom is doing is that she isn’t letting her adopted daughters quietly internalize these comments. She decided to rally with her daughters and figure out how to use this situations as a ‘teachable moment.’ Many times I’ve been so stunned I haven’t known how to respond when targeted by ignorance and racial comments. My ‘be polite and agreeable’ upbringing didn’t teach me how to confront or strike back when someone cast an ignorant comment and so many issues would be left unchallenged. Often as a young one I would be left silent and alone with these experiences thinking that it was somehow my fault these experiences were happening to me. ‘If I wasn’t Chinese this wouldn’t happen to me …  If I didn’t look the way I do … If I wasn’t a girl … If I wasn’t big-boned, … If, … If,… If …’

Ignorant comments and targeting happens all the time.  It’s always ugly but I think the hardest and most damaging part is being left alone. Congrats to this mom and her daughters for figuring out how to talk about these experiences and not go silent.

— Karen



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