A lot of times when I explain my family, I feel the need to issue a disclaimer: “Oh, by the way, I’m adopted”. And as I get older, I feel myself getting a little more frustrated every time I have to say it. My dad is half Irish, and very proud of his roots. Whenever I mention St. Patrick’s Day as an important holiday in my house or talk about his big Irish family, a lot of people look at me for a moment as if I have three heads and then, “Oh, are you mixed?” This is one of my favorite comments, because if you look at me you can clearly tell that I am not mixed whatsoever. Rarely do I ever get asked if I am adopted.
Other times, when I explain that one of my other siblings has a different family without said disclaimer, the people I am talking to stop what they are doing and slowly turn their heads to make eye contact with me. It is almost as if they want to confirm that I really meant what I said.
My favorite instance that happened to me lately was at my grandfather’s funeral a couple weeks back. My mom wanted my siblings and me sitting up in the front of the church, but every time we kept trying to walk down the aisle, a guy from the funeral home stopped us and tried to make us sign the guestbook. He didn’t want to let us pass. I didn’t know what to do, because making a scene in church for such an occasion was out of the question. After a good 10 minutes of awkward silence and an exchange of looks between my siblings, I finally had to slip by him and find my mom to ask her what to do.
I find myself becoming tired of having to verify my presence within my family just because I don’t look like my parents. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like explaining myself, and I want to leave people confused, but I try to understand that many people really don’t know about the world that I come from. I find myself wondering if I should start attaching a disclaimer to myself in some manner so that I don’t have to waste my breath. Maybe if I got it tattooed to my forehead everything would be understood and I would never have to utter those words again.
On another note, it has been a very long week. Midterm season is touching down and between school, interning and trying to find an apartment for the summer, I am really trying to figure out how I am going to accomplish everything in such a short period of time.