an adoptee pain point

Ah yes, the ol’ joke about how the person must be adopted because they’re so different from the rest of the family… so different, in fact, that they couldn’t possibly belong with the rest of them.

You’re not one of us. Cue laugh track!


So funny that it makes me want to literally punch the person who wrote the line in the face. And then punch anyone else involved who allowed it to make to air.

Listen, I’m adopted. It’s really complicated… the experience, the feelings, the thoughts… it all has so many layers that it’s really hard to understand them all. Even more so, it’s harder to feel comfortable with it all; to feel comfortable with yourself and who you are.

I have a great family, and an overall good adoption experience but, adoption – and being an adoptee – is not a “thing” that can be summed up with a binary “good” or “bad”. Like I said, it’s really complicated.

I don’t (publicly) write about it because I still struggle to understand a lot of things around it. Every adoptee has a different experience, a different story, and a different set of feelings that they need to work to understand. Each adoptee will react differently to things like this. Some might even find that joke funny.

That is 100% valid and acceptable.

It. Is. Complex.

I have my own pain points. I have my own triggers.

That ol’ joke? Yeah, that’s a trigger. Yes, it’s a pain point.

Wrap party

Homemade Vietnamese dinner

One of our favorite things is when a friend hosts a “wrap party”. This is where she prepares all of the ingredients to make one of the best home cooked dinners we ever have. She prepares the meat filling for egg rolls, lays out egg roll wraps and rice paper and then puts us to work. Usually there are at least five pairs of hands busy filling and wrapping egg rolls, stacking them high on a baking sheet so that she can take them into the kitchen to fry them.

Prior to us even arriving, she has prepped the vegetables, a beautiful plate of varying shades of green. There’s lettuce, cucumbers, green apple, cilantro, and other herbs. While the guests are wrapping egg rolls, she is preparing beef, pork, and shrimp for our rice paper rolls. Each person gets their own dish of fish sauce and sweet chili sauce for dipping. Then there are bowls of pickled radishes.

All of a sudden, plates of grilled pork, beef, and shrimp arrive. Then come the rice noodles. Then the golden brown egg rolls. And then the rice paper which we get to get ever so slightly damp, so that we can wrap the veggies and the meat into an opaque roll.

It’s all just so damn good. And the only thing better than the food is the conversations, and just being with friends.

Her mom stopped by for a few minutes (to pick something up) and I witnessed this exchange:

Friend’s mom (in Vietnamese): is he Japanese?

Friend (in Vietnamese): No, he’s Korean.

Friend’s mom, with disappointing tone: Oh.

I was sitting right next to her (friend’s mom). She was so disappointed that I wasn’t Japanese. It was funny and adorable and funny. Really, she was “disappointed” that she hadn’t guessed correctly.

Being the conversation was in Vietnamese, I only heard/understood: Japan? No, Korea. Oh.

Still makes me laugh. It was so funny.

Avoiding empathy shortcuts

Sasha Dichter’s post, “The Empath Challenge” has me thinking about the way I describe and interact with others. I know I use these shortcuts more often when dealing with coworkers (and other work related colleagues) because it’s “quicker” and “easier” to justify my understanding of them rather than to take the time I should be.

That’s not to say that I don’t use these shortcuts outside of my work environment. Sometimes my initial reaction, after hearing someone’s plight, anecdote, story, etc., is to express one of these shortcuts. I would like to think that I do, after that initial reaction, take more time to understand more but I cannot say that I do that with confidence.

It’s definitely food for thought and, something to be much more aware of when interacting with people.

Five things for the week

Front porch coffee
  1. It’s getting warmer out. I think I need to start the “sipping scotch while sitting on my front porch at sunset” tradition. At the very least, I need to begin the “sipping coffee in the mornings on my front porch” tradition.
  2. Unintentionally, I seem to have built my walls a lot higher, and thicker, than I ever intended to. All this time I have been blaming “introversion” but, I think there’s something more. Something darker.
  3. I’m happiest when I cook, when I write, and when I photograph. So, why don’t I do these things more often? I know this intellectually. It’s on repeat in my head. What is my block on this?
  4. We visited friends (on Saturday). While there, I watched one of our friends’ two kids play, and saw the difference in how they acted when they played with their tablets/electronics versus when they played with toys. I saw distinct personalities come out from the same child, depending on what they were interacting with. It was fascinating.
  5. Tree pollen and allergies were strong, this week. I think I sneezed more this past week than I ever have in my entire life, combined.

Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

//I’m trying something different, combining this post into my normal “Five things…” post. I use both to wrap up the end of a week and it kind of makes sense to just have them be one blog post… we’ll see.


‘Animal Crossing’ Reminds Me to Look After Myself—Not Just My Avatar This is my most played game on my phone. I open it maybe 4-6 times a day. At first I thought it was boring but, I just kept playing it. I kept opening it. I kept collecting fruit and fishing. This article is good insight into why I might be doing this.

The weird and wonderful world of neighborhood Facebook groups Pre-social media, how did all of these conversations and rants and whatsits occur? During HOA and community meetings? Were people sitting on their porches shouting their neighborhood thoughts to passerbys? If that’s the case, I want in on that. I have a nice cushioned bench on my front porch now.


Hannah Gadsby: NanetteThis comedy special has been in my Netflix queue for a while. I had no idea what to expect; I had only added it because I overheard someone raving about it while waiting to board an airplane (a while ago). It’s powerful. Her voice, her story… it’s important to hear.

Our Planet, episodes 3-8 – Yeah, this was just as good as the Planet Earth and Blue Planet series. I finished the rest of the episodes and was left in awe. I can’t get the imagery of the walrus-cliff scenes out of my head. And the Kingfisher footage at the beginning of episode 7? I need that as my screensaver on ALL THE SCREENS! It was stunning.

Game of Thrones, season 8, episodes 1-2 – Of course.

Star Trek Discovery, Season 2 – This season was even better than the first, and cemented my fandom and appreciation for this series. I had my doubts but those were squashed with each progressing episode as we watched.


Rilo KileyI always knew of them but really didn’t familiarize myself with any of their work. Their album “The Execution of All Things” was on repeat a few times this week. I love the songwriting.