The other day, Zoe and my mom were having a conversation about what the world was like over 50 years ago, and Zoe asked my mom if it was true about Rosa Parks, and other African-Americans, having to sit at the back of the bus. My mom told her it was true, and Zoe asked where she would have to sit. Now, I've had the same conversation with Zoe many times, and I've blogged about the application of Jim Crow laws to Asian Americans, but it's a subject Zoe obviously needs to revisit.
My mom said she wasn't sure where Asian Americans had to sit on the bus, and Zoe asked, "Well, if I had to sit in the back, would you sit with me?"
Of course my mom assured her that she would sit with Zoe, that she wouldn't let her sit by herself on the bus.
But the question seems like such a cry for belonging, it hurts to hear it. Zoe needed reassurance that, even in the midst of racial division, she still belongs with her family. She was seeing herself as a little girl sent to sit by herself, alone and abandoned, at the back of the bus. Amazing how adoption issues arise when the conversation is about SOMETHING ELSE altogether.
3 months ago