People are strange when you’re a stranger,
Faces look ugly when you’re alone.
There are many complications when you take an adopted child from Guatemala to a foreign land and to a foreign culture. One complication could be that he or she will be marked as strange because of her Mayan traits and the dark color of the skin.
Streets are uneven when you’re down.
When you’re strange
Hispanic and Indigenous children might be walking on uneven streets if they are taken to mostly white neighborhoods where racism and discrimination could part of their daily bread.
When you’re strange
No one remembers your name
How much can the love of the adopting parents shelter the adopted Guatemalan child from discrimination, racism, abusive comments and evil teasing from other children and adults in the community. Racial catcalling, sneers, violence and exclusion could be part of the daily encounters. It is not ease to live under such circumstances.
Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange.
(lyrics from the song People are Strange from The Doors.
It was not even easy for the King Kong fictional character to adapt to a foreign land, away from his natural surroundings and peers. So it does come as a surprise to learn about Rosie who lives as a stranger in England (Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire). Rosie has managed to cope with, so her mother says, her daily encounters with racism, discrimination, physical violence, racial catcalling, sneers, abusive comments, evil teasing and a King Kong chant.
There could be complications and contradictions when you take an adopted child away from his birth country, culture and society. Guatemalan adoptions are not as easy as you might have been inclined to believe.
Mayan children could suffer all of the above even here in Guatemala, but they are protected and sheltered, in part, by their parents, community and friends which are not strange to them. Guatemalan children do not look strange in Guatemala; at least I hope not.
I want to thank Kyle from Immigration Orange for bringing Rosie’s case to light in his entry The Contradictions of a Parent Who Adopted a Guatemalan based on the Guardian news article Mixed blessings. Like Kyle, I want to extend the invitation to Rosa where she can have a place to stay in La Antigua Guatemala.
Other entries related to Guatemalan Adoptions: