News and Features

Legitimacy Issues

Adopting across borders, searching for home
Written by
Jordan Alam

In New York City, men on the subway always stare at me a bit too long. On an afternoon last year, a white-haired Bengali man stared long enough to start up a conversation. It began predictably:

“Where are you from?”

“Seattle,” I said, though I knew what he wanted. “But my family is from Bangladesh.”

He nodded, affirmed. He tried to speak to me in Bengali then but I cut him off quickly.

“I only know a little. I grew up here and we spoke in English at home.”


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