White! All I see is white!!

November 28, 2006 at 8:14 pm 7 comments

This world I am in is so white. I have forgotten that I have chinky eyes and straight black hair (what is left of it). I forgot about my stout frame, my deep brown eyes, my wide face. All day I see white. White on TV, the nurses that flow in and out, the food I am given to eat, the smell of this room, and the writing on the walls…. all white. All signs that I am in a white country, a white city, a white building, a white room.

A few days ago they removed my femoral picc line, wires and tubes and bags and I was once again vertical. Into the bathroom for a shower and I caught a glimpse. Is that a Holocaust survivor I am looking at? Victim of Darfur? Nope… just a sick Asian chick. But wait… Asian?? Oh yeah! There are those chinky eyes, the straight black hair, the wide face.  I had forgotten. More shocking than my hip bone protruding from my frame, my ribs clearly visible… was this face… this Asian face that I had forgotten about… again.

Talking to another KAD friend of mine yesterday I vented to her (thanks Laura!) about all the white. I said, “How come this world is so white?” She said, “It’s not. We’re just on the wrong side of it!” True that, Laura! True that!

I want to not forget that I am Asian. I want to stop being shocked at the face that looks back at me in the mirror. I don’t want to be a minority anymore. (Minority? I am the ONLY one!!) I don’t want to have to be prepared for what the next new medical professional is going to say. The silly look on their face when they are expecting to meet “Julia Mendelson” (it says so in the chart!) and instead they walk in and see Goo, Ji Hye. Smile and walk out. Two seconds later they return, confused look and slightly flush in the face, “Julia??”

I’m tired of being exotic, being “unique” and rare. I don’t want to hear “we’re all humans” from another person who is trying to get past our vast differences that make them uncomfortable. If one more person takes a glance at my Korean face and speaks louder and slower to me I am going to scream!


Entry filed under: Adoption, Korean.

Things they say… Things they say… the II

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Susan  |  November 28, 2006 at 9:30 pm


  • 2. kahlan  |  November 29, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    Oh, Julia, I am so sorry. 😦 This makes me so sad.

  • 3. Sue  |  November 30, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    Rage on girlfriend. It sucks and there is nothing to do but feel the rage. But hey, congrats on dumping the pic line. That is a major hurdle!

  • 4. thevoyage  |  November 30, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    Would you consider moving at some point to give yourself a break from all the whiteness? It may be the only way.

    I’ve decided for myself that I am going to live in a neighborhood where I will be comfortable and where my daughter will be comfortable. It took some sacrifices, but I’m glad we are here.

  • 5. Enlightenment  |  December 12, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    I agree, many many people in this country are shockingly ignorant. Very few could find South Korea on a map I’m sure. Speaking of ignorant…

  • 6. Petunia  |  December 16, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    I can’t imagine how you feel because i am not a “minority” but I will tell you from my side that it is easy to forget we are any different from eachother. I know it must be strange everyday to feel you are the only one who is Korean in a group of nothing but white faces. But from their point of view I wonder how strange it is? My friend is Chinese and I do forget all the time.
    When I first met my husband he was very cute -that’s the first thing I noticed…, lots of hair , great legs and thin. I looked at him and thought “oohh he’s so handsome”. After a while I didn’t look at him any more like that. I see him for who he is instead of what he looks like. He no longer has as much hair or is that thin. I don’t even look at his legs anymore – even though I’m sure they are still in great shape (gonna have to take a peek again). I say all this because it doesn’t matter what he looks like or my friend looks like, I don’t even see our differences any more – not that I cared anyway. People love you/like you for you and don’t pay much attention to the outside. I know it sounds corney and cliché but it’s true.

  • 7. Sandra Mae Molyneaux Wood aka. Kim Mee Sun  |  January 7, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Ah….Julia Mendelson, I love reading your blog…..and this particular post made me laugh…I too, am shock everytime I see my face in a mirror and the puzzled looks to my French name while growing up….LOL! I laugh because I am no longer surprised….a sad state to be in, I know. But I love reading your thoughts, you are so clear and eloquent in conveying the truths in your mind.


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Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

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