Whoever said curiosity killed the cat?

Alyssa Conner

“Why don’t you look like your parents?”

“Do you know who your real parents are?”

“Do you ever think about your real parents? Are you mad at them because they didn’t want you?”

Those are common questions I faced growing up and still do. I was adopted from South Korea when I was only a baby, and I have a younger brother who was adopted from Vietnam. In other words, our family is quite the melting pot.

I wouldn’t say I had a totally different lifestyle growing up because I was adopted, but I did go through situations that most kids didn’t.

For instance, the type of questions my friends would ask me. I absolutely hated when they would ask about my biological parents and how I felt about being adopted. It made me feel so uncomfortable and out of place. I hated the feeling of being in the spotlight in those types of situations.

Sometimes I would forget I was even adopted because I never saw my parents as my “adoptive parents.” They are the ones who have raised me since I was 6 months old, so in my eyes they were my parents.

When I was 17 my mother and I went to Korea for a homeland tour with about 100 other families with adopted children. There are no words to describe the experience I had on the trip. It was life changing, emotional, exciting… I could go on for days, but there was one incident that sticks out the most.

We visited an unwed mothers’ care center for pregnant women who were going to give a child up for adoption. We were guided into a church where we saw ten women sitting in the front. They sat there in complete silence with tissues in their hands.

The translator explained to us that some of the women had already given a child up for adoption or were pregnant and planning to.

Basically it was an open forum to exchange thoughts and feelings. The interpreter stood in the front with a microphone and translated back and forth. It was a very emotional experience for everyone. To hear these women crying and asking questions like, “Do you hate your biological mother for giving you away?” or “Do you ever think of your biological parents and miss them?”

I couldn’t believe some of the questions these women were asking us. It made me feel that same awkwardness I had when my friends asked me questions about being adopted. I left that day feeling proud to be able to answer questions that probably would have never been answered for those women. It was like giving. We were able to give them closure about how their children will feel toward them.

I remember that day the most because I learned the importance of asking questions, and how answered questions can lead to happiness and fulfillment. I learned I would rather see someone walk away with an answer than with doubt.

People need to ask questions in order to learn and grow. Now when people confront me with their questions about how I feel about being adopted, I don’t put up a front and avoid answering them. I know they are just curious, and I don’t blame them.

Alyssa Conner is a junior public relations major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].