Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What will she be???

I was thinking about this and brought it up to David and he doesn't agree with me, so I thought I would ask my blogger buddies what they think. What will our children be when they get older? This is what I mean. Obviously our daughter was born in China, but she will be raised in a middle class white household. David says that she will still be Asian because she will be physically Asian. He compares it to adopting an African American child and then saying they aren't black because they are our child. I don't see it that way (maybe I am just being colorblind because it is my child, wouldn't matter if she is black, purple, or any other color). I just think she will be our daughter which to me means that she isn't Chinese. Last week I had a discussion with one of my students about the whole "which box do you check" thing. His family is African American, Hispanic, Native American, and white. He has chosen to check the Black/African American box because that is where he is most comfortable. What will our daughters do? They are physically Asian, but they are not raised Asian. Does anyone else think about this? Am I overthinking things? We are planning on introducing her to Chinese culture (we have already suffered for this, see Moon Festival), but the depth of that will depend on what she wants in the future. I know that other's will see her as Asian because of the color of her skin and hair and the shape of her eyes, but how will she see herself. I guess that is really my main concern. I just want her to feel that this is where she belongs. I think I just figured out the answer to my questions. It is "Whatever makes them comfortable". Guess I should have listened closer to my student.


Just thought of this: Usually when I have multiracial students in my class they associate themselves with one nationality over another(ie Dominican, Jamaican, Mexican, etc). When I asked my student which nationality he considered himself to be he said American. Too bad they don't have that one on the checklist.


M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

I think she'll gravitate toward whatever feels best to her at the time someone's asking. I'm half Spanish, for example, but the box I check depends on my mood or what I've gone through that week. Sometimes I check Hispanic, sometimes white, sometimes nothing (while thinking "it's none of your bloody business!"). If some government agency ever puts all of my responses together they're going to be mighty confused. But to me it all makes sense and feels just fine. Hopefully the same will be true for your daughter.

Johnny said...

Well, I think you'll be having to make those decisions sometime this year. When you fill out forms for daycare or the doctor's office, you'll have to decide how you feel. Maybe like M3 says, it's your mood that day. Maybe "other" is the best.

Or maybe "None of your biz" is better.

Linda said...

Most often, checking the box for race is completely optional. I like Mary-Mia's answer that she checks what feels right at the moment. I think it's important for you and your future daughter to realize that race is not a definition of who you are ... it's just a genetic and cultural distinction that people make to define differences ... it's not necessarily right, but it is what it is.