We went out for dinner last night to our favorite Chinese restaurant, and Zoe asked me, "Do you ever look at Chinese people and wonder if they're my birth parents?"
I wasn't completely surprised by the question. We hear often from adult adoptees about their scanning faces and wondering. But this is the first time Zoe had said anything that suggested she did that. I guess I would have thought of it more as something she'd do in China, but not here. Clearly, I was wrong about that.
So I responded, "It sounds like maybe you do that, look at Chinese people and wonder. . . ."
Zoe nodded, and said, "Especially if they're really Chinese. You know, like they don't really speak English."
Hmm, so she's thinking her birth family might have emigrated to America. She's said something like that before.
Well, another conversation peppered with many "I don't knows" from me. We talked a little about emigration, and why people might leave their country to go to another one, and the things that might prevent someone from doing that even if they really want to. And we talked about how hard it is for her to want to know her birth parents and to be wondering about them. And I told her that other adoptees wonder, just like she does, if people they see might be their birth parents (I wanted her to know she was normal!).
And then Zoe changed the subject: "Let's talk about ME!" she says (What have we been doing?!).
Me: "What about you?"
Zoe: "You know! How you MET me!"
Ah, yes, center-of-the-universe girl! That's what we're supposed to be talking about at our Chinese dinner -- the moment 2,920 days ago that we met each other for the first time!