Tuesday, May 26th - Sunday, June 7th this blog is hosting a book discussion surrounding Taiwanese-American adoptee Mei-Ling Hopgood's memoir "Lucky Girl."
In Lucky Girl, Mei-Ling details the difficulties she experienced growing up as one of the few Asian-Americans in her Michigan community. She describes being the target of racism, her own feelings of incongruity, and her routine attempts to submerge indications of her Asian identity.
She writes, "I wanted to be anything but Asian. I used to curse being different in my journals and in my dreams at night. I overcompensated and went out of my way to prove how American I was, making sure people heard me speak my perfect English. I was Little Miss Everything in high school, class president for three years, captain of the pom-pom team, and a member of almost every club that existed. I excelled at a lot of things: school, socializing, public speaking, organizing. I had a healthy life and lots of friends. Yet I was a tormented hypocrite."
Mei-Ling's struggle is a common one among Asian-American youth. Is it idealistic to think this conflict is avoidable? What additional challenges might being adopted add to a child's potential struggle for "cultural comfort?" Finally, how can parents of children adopted from Asia help their kids navigate the difficulty of coming to terms with their cultural identity?