Guest blog: an adoptee’s letter to India
35 years ago, I became your child. I was born with your eyes, your hands, your skin and your beautiful black hair. You gave me a name and a home. I was yours. And I was willing to become everything you wanted me to be.
But then you gave up on me.
I received a new name and was moved to a new home. Somewhere far away from you, where everything felt different, smelled different, looked different, sounded different.
Yet it was me who was different.
I have been different for 34 years now. In these years, people have thought that I looked exotic, or weird. Ugly, or dirty. People have assumed I would not have good table manners, or that I would speak Hindi. They have thought my adoptive parents were not as important to me, or that I was related to my adoptive brother, just because we have the same skin color. People have mistaken me for someone else, because of that same reason. People have blamed me for marrying a white man, and not someone from my own culture. They have addressed me in English because they assumed I would not speak the language. People have asked me if I wouldn’t rather go back home, to you, dear India.
But there is no such thing as home. Neither here, nor there. I don’t belong. Neither here nor there.
You have two grandchildren. They are wonderful, cheerful, beautiful people. I carried them, like you carried me. They were born with my eyes, hands and hair, just like I was born with yours.
But unlike you, dear India, I will never give up on them. They will always feel at home and connected. They will carry their names proudly and feel loved. They will not spend their lives repairing something they never broke in the first place.
I’ll come visit you in a little while, dear India.
I hope you will be more welcoming, caring and loving to me than you were the first time around.
I hope I will get an apology.
Let me come home.
Let me feel at home.
It’s the least you can do.