It is not uncommon for transnational adoption to double as transracial adoption, and in those instances families must strive to reconcile a new set of cultural, ethnic, and geographic concerns. A persisting race-conscious and race-critical American society inadvertently forces some adoptees to confront not only why they look different from their parents, but also why they are subsequently treated differently. Nonetheless, the American tendency to adopt from abroad is higher than ever, and our already diverse nation is witnessing the addition of many newly diverse households. The arduous process of upholding an adoptees’ multicultural identity relies on the proactivity of the parents, the community, and of course the adoptee him or herself.
It wasn’t until I found myself in Le Marais over spring break, engrossed in a three-hour heart-to-heart over strong Parisian coffee, that I realized how fulfilled I was. There were no meetings to run to, no career plans to lose sleep over, and no seemingly endless to-do list to check off. Being a spontaneous tourist was a refreshing change from stretching myself thin with overcommitments and my own unrealistic expectations.