I was in a contemplative mood when I woke up this morning. After doing two loads of dishes and four loads of laundry, I'm just in a mood. I talked to my friend "Su" the other day and was telling her about my blogging adventures. Su is Korean. I met her a few years back when I lived in Florida and we became fast friends. It didn't hit me till later that Su was Asian. Don't ask me why. I just woke up one day and realized OMG Su is Asian. Maybe it's because I had resigned myself to the fact that I would forever be a useless piece of lint left to drift upon wind.
Finding Su re-opened that old desire and since then I've been tentatively searching for a nearby Vietnamese community. I don't know why but Vietnamese have always seemed like a rare bird that I've had to hunt down and then approach with extreme care. Previous attempts have always failed for one reason or another which makes me even more skittish when it comes to the "approach" part.
Lately, distance is proving an obstacle. I've hunted through organizations like VAN, but they're on the other side of the country as are most of their meetups. I have four young children at home and am pretty much stuck at home base. I started googling for Vietnamese organizations in my area and found a students organization. Hmmmm…I'm too old. I found a business organization…I don't own one. I found a Vietnamese Catholic organization…well….nah.
Perhaps I should take out an ad in the paper: Severely culturally challenged, MVF looking for Vietnamese with which to interact, extremely shy with a slight twinkie problem but is working on it.
Nahhh…sounds too desperate and knowing my luck, I'd only get calls from dudes suffering from yellow fever. I know, I know, stop moaning and just get out there. That, however is easier said than done. There is the Vietnamese policeman that sometimes directs traffic for my kids' elementary school. Maybe I should just holler at him one day and ask, "Hey, where are all the other Vietnamese?" I really was tempted to but the last time I saw him, he took one look at me and didn't seem to know whether to wave at me or arrest me. That darn hijab does it every time.
There's a woman who's son attends the same elementary school. She has a daughter that she adopted from China. I approached her last year during the school olympics and spoke to her but only briefly. She always seems a little uncomfortable around me. I don't know if it's the hijab or what. I worry about her daughter. The fatalistic part of me sees her future but the hopeful part of me thinks she might fare better than I. The small town I live in is friendly and much more diverse than the one where I grew up. There's an active Chinese community in the city nearby.
However, adoptee support groups seem almost non-existent here though there seems to be plenty for adoptive parents. They're not the same things. I think transracial adoptees need separate, supportive space just for themselves, away from their parents because just as we can't fit into all their nooks and crannies, aparents can't fit into all of ours. Just as there will always be a gap between myself and other Vietnamese, there is also a gap between my parents and I. It's an inner thing where there really aren't any tangible lines. There are just some realms that I can neither follow or lead them into. Our meeting place must always be somewhere in the middle. Just as I am stuck inbetween, in a way, so are they.
Then again, maybe I'm just overcomplicating things. Maybe it's like that between all parents and all children. These days, I'm sorely short on answers. And the hunt continues…