Holy Moly! It has been YEARS, since I have posted to this site. It looks like I was telling you my Korean reunion story and just vanished into thin air. I even see where I have a draft of Part IV and never finished it. I’ll have to dig through some boxes to find my notes to finish that up. Anyway…
If I could title this post with a big eye roll emoji, I would. Not because of the movie, it was great, but because of what happened prior to the show. But first, let me back up a bit. A few years ago I created a private Korean Adoptees of East Tennessee (KAET) Facebook group. We all connected online and chatted here and there, but I definitely dropped the ball and we never actually met face-to-face. Fast forward to four years later. With the increasing ease to connect with others through social media outlets, Whitney from We The Lees, found and joined the KAET group I had created. We realized we had been following each other for a while on Instagram and were both in the same state. Well, Whitney and her husband Lee, also a Korean adoptee, are a lot more involved in the Korean adoptee community and started a private TN Korean Adult Adoptees (TNKADs) Facebook group…and it’s a thousand times better than the KAET group I started.
Whitney and Lee are in Nashville and – from what I’m gathering – the majority of the #TNKADs group members are there as well. They’ve had several meet-ups already and I think a few of us #EastTNKADs were having some FOMO (fear of missing out) issues. So the east TN side got our butts in gear. We decided to meet-up and support the Asian community by going to see the new film, Crazy Rich Asians. I had all the feels about this…Nervous. Excited. Awkwardness. Hesitant. Uncomfortable. Excited – oh wait, I already said this.
Even though I knew half of the adoptees going, I was still really nervous. It felt like your first day of school. All those nervous but exciting jitters that everyone experiences. Who’s going to be in your class? Are any of your friends going to be in your class? Are you going to make friends? What if someone doesn’t like me? What are they going to think about the way I look? Well, probably a good majority of you have no idea about this feel. Also, I can be INCREDIBLY awkward in new situations. For instance, I was introducing some of the adoptees to other adoptees and I totally forgot significant others’ names. I felt really bad and just spat out, “I just know the Facebook adoptee people! I think maybe a Kevin is here.” haha<Awkward face palm now, and thanks to Molly for saving the day knowing Jennifer, Cade’s wife’s name and re-introducing your husband, Kevin, and brother-in-law, Ben.> You might be thinking, “Wait a second. Why did she put hesitant and uncomfortable earlier?? Those are some bizarre words to mix in there.” Hesitant and uncomfortable didn’t really come to mind as words to describe my feelings until an interaction our group had at the theatre and the main reason for this post…
Once we all arrived at the theatre, we got our introductions and chit-chatted in the lobby. I told (noticed I said told, not asked) the group we needed to get a photo or Whitney would kill us. I wanted to get it before we went in because I knew I’d have to get home pretty soon after. Here comes another awkward moment. I was thinking that the significant others would also be in the photo so I didn’t ask one of them to take it. I stopped a daughter and mother and asked if they would please take our photo. Having just met, all of us adoptees lined up side-by-side, not touching in the least. It was like being back in middle school at the end-of-year dance, ha ha. The significant others backed away and the daughter took our photo. When giving my phone back, the mother said while laughing, “I bet I can guess what movie you all are going to go see!” I gave a chuckle and I think someone else in the group said something about Crazy Rich Asians.
I wish I had Daniel’s ability to think quicker on my feet. I wish I had known another movie out (since my last post, Daniel and I have had a baby boy so I don’t know much about the entertainment world these days). I wish I could reverse time and say to that woman, “Oh, you’re going to go see ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ too?!”
As we were walking to our movie, another adoptee and I were talking about that woman’s comment. This is why I am hesitant to do things with groups of other Asians. This is why I was a little bit uncomfortable. Thoughts in my head before that day: “I bet people are going to be staring at us and judging us because it’s a group of Asians going to see an Asian movie. Do I think like this because I was adopted and grew up in a caucasian community? I wonder if Asians that aren’t adopted even think about this or even care.” Not that I care about that woman’s comment…buuuut I do care.
So the moral of this post: really think about what you are going to say to a stranger that doesn’t look like you. You don’t know their history. It’s one thing to think it, but another to say it out loud. #BeKind y’all! As I get older and with the increasing Korean adoptee connections I make through social media, I have started to pay more attention to the growing network and the issues we go through. So, join me in becoming a better person.