Many of us have painful memories of our first day of school. We recall the tears we shed watching Mommy wave good-bye or hearing the taunts of classmates ridiculing us about a pair of thick glasses or a funny haircut. But for me, the first day of kindergarten was the day I realized I was not white.
When I was a few days old, my Asian birth mother abandoned me on the steps of a government building in Seoul, South Korea. Like thousands of other Korean children, I was adopted by an American family and brought to the United States before I was 6 months old. I spent most of my childhood in California, then moved, at age 11, to a small town in Indiana.