Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Dad Is From Mysore, India. And I'm Adopted.

that fact is true - my dad is indian.  he was born and raised in mysore, india, which is outside of bangalore.  (like naperville is to chicago.  bangalore is officially known as bengaluru, which is the capital of the state of karnataka.  which is southern india.)  this information seems to blow people's minds, and i suppose i know why.  not that he's an indian doctor.  that's not at all uncommon.  no, it's probably because of my blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin.

i personally love my dog's 'the shit is this?' face

and yes, i'm adopted, in case you didn't know.  which makes me awesome.  because, ya know, my parents were all 'yes we really want that one' enough to take me home on the spot and still be paying my cell phone bill 30 years later.  #familyplan #thanksdad #nevergrowup  you can read all about that here.

i don't doubt there will be lots and lots of father's day posts this week, talking about their wonderful dads and thanking them.  which is awesome, i'm pumped to see little kid photos of you all, and trust me i have all the same sentiments towards my bad ass dad, but my dad doesn't read my blog.  so instead, i'm writing a post about india.  and a brief history on my dad.  and then opening it up for questions, because there's always so many questions.  so here we go, linking up with helene for 'you probably didn't know...'

my dad was born in mysore in 1939.  the second youngest of 9, 2 brothers, 6 sisters.  sadly, he's got just 1 sister left and 2 sisters-in-law.  lots of nieces, cousins, etc. though, still there.  he's the only one here in the states.  the british still ruled at that time so his whole family was christian; samuel is a common christian last name in southern india.  he went to a christian british school taught by nuns, which is why he speaks english so well but also pronounces onion like on-yun and first like fust.  damn british.  his family was incredibly poor and i saw the dirt floor tiny 3 room house (3 rooms.  total.  not 3 bedrooms.) he grew up in.  crazy to think how much has changed.

he's kind of a genius and was super book smart (and is fluent in urdu, telugu, hindi, english, and spanish.  i can say 'i'm going to knock your molars out' in urdu.  that's about all he passed on to me in the smarts.) so he was always studying, while taking care of his family and being awesome in soccer and track.  he eventually went to medical school in mysore.

from when we went back to visit.  2005.

he finished med school at 23 (22?), becoming a pediatrician, and moved straight here.  well not chicago, here; he actually worked in philadelphia for awhile first.  then moved here.  so he accomplished more in 23 years than i will in my whole life.  #nopressure

he met my mom when they worked in the same hospital; she was a radiologist.  they dated for a few years, moved in together, finally got married in 1982 and got wonderful little me in 1984.  (i know you're looking at those dates and thinking that's a lot of years before getting married - he was married before and has 3 kids but i hate them and since that has nothing to do with my life story, i completely ignore it like the true only child i was born to be.)

i've been to india twice.  once as a baby, it's where i learned to walk.  i had to meet my grandma before she died (which happened just months after our visit.)  international travel wasn't quite so huge in 1985 so this little blue eyed blonde american baby almost got stolen a few times.  my mom wasn't pleased but i was a big hit.

the second time we went back, i was in college and freshly 21.  i was very excited to order endless tequila sunrises (there's no drinking age in india, joke's on you stephanie) and even more excited to find a channel, in english, that regularly streamed the american 90s version of legends of the hidden temple.  gold mine.  they also had pizza hut, but it was irrelevant because i actually love indian food, and that you're supposed to eat it with your hands there.  we visited all the family, my dad's best friend who's still there, went to the street shops and the super fancy mall, pretty much whatever we could pack into 2 weeks.

i'll say this now, because you're going to ask - did i like it?  no.  there were good parts, and it was cool to see where my dad grew up, but he and i both agree we do not like it there and won't be back.  my mom loves it.  strange.  for me it was mostly about the flights, but also just never feeling totally comfortable.  it's not very safe, which is no secret.  i did like the bomb dogs at our hotel, and i did get stopped by another american from iowa (because i was wearing a hawkeyes hoodie, of course) so that was cool.  cows roamed everywhere, as did wild dogs.  and monkeys, so many mean, mean monkeys.  i guess if you're a world traveler i'd say go for it - it's pretty wild.  but if you're a once every 10 years we go overseas person, i'd say your time is better spent elsewhere.  it is not a vacation destination that everyone will appreciate.  i hate to be negative to my dad's home country, but even he 100% agrees with me.

my cousins there are awesome though

so what do you want to know about india?  ever think about traveling there and want to ask me any questions?  or do you want to ask me any questions about my dad's life there, his transition coming here, his family there, his adopting me?  adoption in general? (people who want to adopt always worry how the kid will turn out - awesome, obviously.  and no, i don't know anything about my birth parents and i won't ever meet them.  my parents do have 'papers' on me, like a dog pedigree, with all their info.  i've never looked.)  there's always a ton of questions, and i'm an open book.  ask away!

thanks for hosting, helene.  (i'm early, the link up goes live thursday so get your posts together!)

Helene in Between
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