Thursday, May 26, 2016

We were never meant to survive.

My heart ripped apart at the news of a young, Black, transracial adoptee sexually assaulted by white boys after enduring previous incidents of abuse in school.

The ranks of our sisterhood took life. The brunt of this hit all of us, but my sisters of color … we were triggered and floored again.

In recent months, I have been coming to terms with a sexual assault some 30 years ago. I was silent and scared. Someday, I hope to write more fully on what I remember. But this recent incident has jarred me. I have torn that wound open again so that the puss can finally flow, and I bleed.

I stare at this bloody mess from afar … as though it isn’t me. “It doesn’t hurt anymore,” I have told myself. I can handle it. I brought it all on myself.

But reading the news story, the adoptee’s initial hope that he would get some form of acceptance … a hug … the puss of our racist society enflames the wound. Anger wells up inside me. Anger at myself for never sharing. Anger at myself for not speaking louder as white voices shush me and ask me to calm down. I can no longer “be resilient” as a young boy becomes a victim of the violence from white hands. Why should we be “survivors”?

Who am I protecting? The adoption industry that places adoptees in white communities? Parents’ delicate egos? White fragility?

Parents are moving their transracial adoptees further from those who could help them form their identity. Our biological heritage should not be denied or whitened. Our bodies are not toys for racists to do as they choose. Nor should our black and brown bodies be trivialized by one woman who chose to use our term, “transracial,” to secure her fame and book deal.

Will Rachel Dolezal now address the pain of this transracial boy? Was her life filled with this abuse?

Transracial adoptees have lived in silence for too long. We kept appearances … for our parents, for our adoptive families, for ourselves. It was a matter of self preservation. I have blamed my face, my body, my unknown culture for my “resilience.”

No. More.

Feminist columnist, Rosita Gonz├ílez is a transracial, Korean-American adoptee. She is married to a Brit and is a mother to two multiracial children. Rosita was adopted in 1968 at the age of one through Holt International. Her road has been speckled with Puerto Rican and Appalachian relatives and her multiracial sister, the natural child of her adoptive parents. While quite content with her role as a “Tennerican,” her curiosity has grown recently as her children explore their own ethnic identities. She considers herself a lost daughter, not only because of the loss of her first family, but also because of the loss of her adoptive parents. After her adoptive father’s death, she discovered that he had fathered a Korean son two years before her birth; she is searching for him. Rosita recently returned to the United States after a five-month stint in Seoul, South Korea with her family and their three cats. Follow her adventures as an adoptee on her blog, mothermade.