Guest post written by Cara Lang, Age 25
My name is Cara Lang and I was adopted from Bolivia. It is something I never really talk about. Not because I want to hide it, but it’s just sort of something that I’ve never really come to terms with. It feels like a huge part of my identity even though sometimes I feel like I don’t really know who I am.
I spend a majority of my time trying to fit in, more than I’d care to admit. Not even quite fit in, just not stick out. Being average is the perfect exposure. Growing up, I did things quite clinically. I did enjoy doing random sports and other little hobbies. I liked meeting new people. I was (and still am) kind of an awkward person and for sure was mainly observant with others.
One thing I do regret growing up is how I was as a kid. I had been really envious of others. I’ll never really know how bad of a kid or sibling I was, or am now honestly. I don’t know what it’s like being a parent, but add having adopted kids on top of that, it must be a lot. I often wonder how my mom raised my siblings, and me. I also wonder how she did it especially considering a divorce can add a lot of stress to that too. Sometimes I wonder what an average upbringing is like, or if it even exists. I hope my mom knows how much she does for our family and that it’s appreciated. Same for my dad as well.
I love my family more than anyone will ever know. It’s the same family style as anyone else though: part of the divorced parents crew, hardworking and competitive siblings, you know, the usual. Both of my parents are white and I have two siblings who are also adopted. My brother is also from Bolivia and my sister is from Guatemala. A unique family for sure. My brother is one year older than me and my sister is four years younger than me. We all look sort of alike, just when we are out with my parents, sometimes I feel like there is a spotlight on us, walking around with white adults and all that.
My upbringing actually helped me to meet and even learn to understand new people. Even though 90% of my hometown was white, I still got to see different backgrounds, cliques, and personalities. I could kind of relate to them. I would kind of compare and contrast how I was compared to friends, this made me want to better myself growing up. But then again, who knows if that’s an adoption thing or just a normal kid thing.
Something I love about being adopted is finally being able to understand how much time and effort goes into everything, from the familial side to just the average day-to-day. It really showed how much my parents care about me and my siblings, how they just want the best for us. It was definitely a unique upbringing, but it definitely gives me a different perspective on other people with reserving judgment and being empathetic. I’m still trying to better myself. I’m not trying as hard to fit in. Instead, I’m just trying to find myself. One day I’ll be more accepting of myself. I’m learning and optimistic of that.