Why am I Brown?
When I was a child, I was told that I was adopted. I don’t remember there ever being a point in my life where I didn’t know I was adopted. My parents had this pact that I would always know and it would never be a secret. However, it was inevitable that one day I’d wake up and ask, “why am I brown? And you guys are white?” As a parent, I can only imagine how difficult that conversation would be, so I think they tried their best to prepare me for a difficult topic to digest.
People always ask me in a curious but weirdly excited way, “If you don’t mind me asking, how old were you when you found out you were adopted?” I always chuckle, as it once was the most personal and terrifying question, but now I counter with, “Around 5 or so.” The response varies but deep down its something so intimate and an experience that’s far more than saying an age. It was once a moment in my life when I found out that I wasn’t from my Mom’s stomach- I was from another mom’s stomach, that wasn’t here to watch me grow and to feed me and to hug me and to good morning and good night. Why wasn’t she here? A question that was permanently stamped on my forehead wherever I went. It was like a bad flu that drained my energy- like a mountain with no trails, like a pond without water, and like a road with no ground.
As I child, it’s difficult to go back and draw from the emotions I felt because I hid my feelings deep within the core of me. The identity of Jordan was a mystery because I couldn’t fully admit the truth of who I was. I felt guilt but I also felt hopeless in finding my identity and if I did, would I even like that person?
I think as people we may face these feelings of admitting our truth and our story. I continue to unravel my truth and believe this will be a thing I work on the rest of my life, but I understand I am not alone. In order to heal, we must admit and accept who were are and through that painful and loving process – we need to love ourselves more than we ever had before.