My parents are both US Citizens. I was adopted when I was around 3 years old and was raised “the American way.”
We had the casseroles, the family reunions, we traveled across the USA, we hit Disney world at some point.
We did it all, as Americans.
But I was not one. I was not an American and even today in 2016, I am not an American.
But I follow politics pretty closely. I watched all the debates this year and thought to myself “damn, neither candidate is one I would want running my country at this moment” yet I never considered there being a “lesser of two evils.” To me, it was a no-brainier.
Trump is an openly hateful racist person while Hillary hides her hatred and hate. I don’t know what is better…to have someone who hates us to our face or someone who dislikes us in their hearts?
I grew up in a country where people said how they felt. If they thought you were ugly, they didn’t hide how they felt about you. They told you to your face. There seemed to be no shame. I knew immediately who to stay away from. I knew who didn’t like me based on my appearance. I knew who didn’t like me because of the way my mind worked.
And sometimes, I dreaded hearing and feeling what their heart-felt. I wanted them to keep it to themselves.
Though I grew up with Americans, I was never made an American. “You were not a priority” my adoptive father told me back in January 2016 as I was trying to piece together the complexities of my adoption. I learned many things but what hurt more than anything else was knowing that “you were not a priority.”
But I’m blessed anyway.
I have a green card. But I can’t vote with a green card.
I MUST pay taxes….but I am not allowed to choose my leader.
We must follow the law, but we are not allowed to choose our leaders.
We have to behave in order to not be “deported” but we are not allowed to choose our leader.
It saddens me to think that I can do just about everything except choose the leader who will either give or take away.
I live my life with grace and peace but this does not mean I’m not sad sometimes. This does not mean I’m not angry sometimes. This does not mean I don’t hate sometimes. This does not mean that I feel helpless and hopeless sometimes.
To live with the feeling that “you were not the priority” carries with it a heavy burden. It begs the question “what should I have done to be a priority” and yet we are left with the realization that there was NOTHING we could have done to change their mind.
For the first 19 years of living with my adoptive parents, I was the “good” adoptee. And even being the good adoptee meant I was not a priority. It was not worth it to make sure I was secure, and make sure I was protected, and make sure I had all the rights they had.
I learn from this and make sure I do not pass on this attitude to my children. I learn from this and make sure it does not consume me. I learn from this and make sure I don’t stay bitter or feel entitled.
At the end of the day, I know I am a priority to my kids, my wife, and my friends. I am a priority to that stronger power that I can’t see, touch or feel-but I just know it exists.
That should be enough right? That should be what I need to survive.
But I’d like to show the world who I am through who I elect as well. And at this point, I could not vote for Hillary because legally, though I should be American, I am not. I did not have the right.
For the amount of people who chose not to vote….what a shame. It is shameful to know that you have a luxury, you have a right, you are blessed to be able to choose a leader….and yet, some of you chose not to exercise your privilege of being an American.
You had a chance to make a difference in the world…and you did.
Unfortunately, making sure the world was safe was not a priority for you.
I envy those who have the option of representing their nation.
I hope that one day I can vote with the hope of making a huge difference in this world.
But I didn’t vote for Hillary because my hands were legally tied. I would have, but I couldn’t.
Voting is a privilege!
Think about this privilege…use it to do good!