I checked the photo again, just to be sure of my position. One of my closest friends (we’ll call her April) had posted pictures from a Halloween party. In them, April’s husband (we’ll call him Mark) wore my husband’s old Army uniform, with my married name embroidered above the left breast pocket. April wore a silky kimono, a black wig, and her face painted chalky white (she is not Asian). The photo was captioned “Geisha? Or mail order bride?”
For context: I am a Korean adoptee, my husband is white, and we both graduated from West Point and served in the US Army. I had recently come out of the fog – like many adoptees I had an awakening that opened my eyes to the reality of many uncomfortable things. I harbored a deep, wrenching pain. I was still surviving trauma. And I could no longer pretend to feel white on the inside. My awakening had happened over a series of years, probably from 2008 through 2010, and I was finally on the other side.