Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The APA Parenting Meme

Coming from Daddy in a Strange Land, I felt like this was more of an interview than a meme. It's pretty clever, actually - think of a bunch of questions you would like to ask another blogger and call it a meme. (You sneaky bastard, you.) I feel like a lot of my answers aren't APA-specific, because while being Asian is a big part of my appearance, it's not a large part of my culture.

So here goes.

1. I am:
A Korean adoptee. My parents are Dutch, and I was raised in a very Dutch community.

2. My kids are is:
Half Korean, half White Western European Mutt (mostly Polish and English, I think). Also Half White Trash. Ironically, the Half White Trash part is from the same parental source as the Half Korean.

Although I'm 100% certain the second one will have the same genetic makeup, s/he just isn't out yet. I don't want to jinx anything.

3. I first realized I was APA when:
I looked in the mirror. (I didn't exactly blend with the other blond, blue-eyed kids in town.)

Instead of stories about the day I was born, I heard stories about the day my parents came to get me at the airport. I came to them in a big bird (a 747 widebody). The stork myth held a lot of significance to me.

4. People think my name is:
Jennifer. I have no idea why, but if someone calls me by the wrong name, it's invariably Jennifer.

5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is:
Farts are funny.

6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is:
The Dutch Reformed Church. [shudder]

7. My child's first word in English was:
Then "cake" and "carrot." Also "book."

8. My child's first non-English word was:
All the other ones. I don't know what language he's speaking, but it doesn't seem to be English, and it often cracks him up.

9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
"hopi maka" - which is a bastardization of the Dutch "to make a pile."

10. One thing I love about being an APA parent is:
How cute my kid is.

It's a very odd thing to have someone else on the planet look so much like you. I never really experienced that before - other than in the moronic "all Asians look alike" way. Lumpyhead looks very much like a combination of his father and me.

11. One thing I hate about being an APA parent is:
The question - asked in a disparaging tone - from other Asians, "Is his father White?"

12. The best thing about being part of an APA family is:
I don't have to put my son in a race box. He can check "other" like the rest of America.

13. The worst thing about being part of an APA family is:
I worry that he won't "belong" to any group, that he won't be "Asian enough" to be instantly accepted by Asians and won't be "White enough" to be considered White.

14. To me, being Asian Pacific American means:
Being beautiful.

I was going to tag CityMama, which I thought was sort of like tagging Dooce, but she's already been tagged. Can I get half-credit for it, though?

I'm tagging Daddy L from the Jasper Chronicles. He's Canadian, so he'll have to replace the corresponding "A"s with "C"s, but I'm sure he'll figure it out. I'm really interested to see how or if his answers are different from those coming from the south of the border.

I'm also tagging Bump - Yes, you'll have to read the answers to the same questions, again, on the same blog. Deal. I'm not sure if that's kosher or not in the grand scheme of meme-ing - I guess I'll take the blame if the world comes crashing down on itself or disappears into a vortex because I broke the meme rules. I'm tagging him because I'm pretty sure his answer to most/all of these questions is, "I never really thought about it." I could, I suppose, just ask him this at dinner, but this way he's more likely to give it more careful consideration.


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Ian would be totally down with your family tradition.

Is it messed up that I think of you as being of Dutch descent?

Jill said...

I just finished reading Anne Tyler's Digging to America. It is (sort of) about international adoption and blending families. It is more about what it means to belong and how we sometimes find reasons not to belong. Anyway, I thought of it when I read your post. Pick it up if you feel like a warm and absorbing read on a topic that is (perhaps) close to you.

nonlineargirl said...

Ah, the international language of farts.

Your midwestern experience reminds me of a Korean/Anglo friend who lived in North Dakota for a while. Dances with Wolves was being filmed near her town, and all the NA kids got to be extras. She was young enough at the time that she could not understand why she wasn't allowed to join them.

daddy in a strange land said...

Hey! As I'm never actually been tagged for a meme (sniff, sniff), if this wasn't actually like a meme, oh well! How should I know? ;)

Interesting that I'm seeing a lot of answers prefaced by things like "these might not be APA-specific" or "this might not the typical or expected response," when this is exactly what I was hoping for--the diversity of our experiences, from hapas and quapas to KADs and TRAs to white intermarrieds, etc., and yes, the "expected" 3rd-gen Chinese-American or 1st-gen immigrant Pinoy, but all of this is part of who we are. No apologies or qualifiers neeeded. :)

weigook saram said...

Love the shirt. I've enjoyed reading all of the different responses to this meme. (Or interview, or whatever it is.)

Daddy L said...

Okay, I'm up for the challenge. Once I lift my head out of the paintcan I'll dive in.

Dutch said...

I loved your answers to this meme the best.