My story growing up as a Lao American. I was adopted at the age of 2!
This is my story of growing up as a Lao American. I came to the USA with my sister. Everyone always asks us where we are from because we get so many questions. Not many people are familiar with our country and where it is located. We are from the country Laos. Laos is a small landlocked country located in South East Asia between Thailand and Vietnam.
We are not Chinese! Lol. According to our adoption paperwork, we were brought to the USA in the summer month of May 1992. My sister was 6 years old, and I came when I was about 2 or 3 years old. We were born in Ban Nathom, Laos.However, we grew up mostly in the United States.
I do not remember very much of Laos. I think my sister recalls memories of when we were still living in Laos. My sister would tell me stories of our time. She told me that she was the one that always looked after me when I was a baby.
We did not have diapers but the cloth diapers lol. Every day she would wash and clean my cloth diaper. She would tell me stories of how we had to steal food from people to survive lol. I also heard stories of how she went out on the boat with her father in the mornings, and the time when we got lost in the jungle searching for food.
I do not recall any of these but since we came to the USA together, she had more memory of Laos as she was older. We do not remember much of our culture but growing up as young adopted children in the USA, we held on to the great memories of the 90’s!
As adopted children, we got to experience growing up in the 90’s! Those were the good ole’ days when neon was the color, BONGO shorts, Lisa Frank, skating rink birthday parties, watching Disney Movies on VHS before movies came out on DVD!
Listening to Back Street Boys, Alanis Morsette, NYSYNC, Darude. We grew up with the other American kids experiencing the 90’s era. Lol. As kids, we always played outside, rode our bikes, painted outside, read books, draw, color, etc. We used our imagination back in the day!
The only down side we had, since we grew up in the United States. I didn’t speak the language, and didn’t cook the food.We had no native relatives, so we lost touch with our primary roots.
We are unfamiliar with our root language because we did not have any relatives who could speak to us, so we lost our native tongue. Growing up as Lao Americans, we were raised in a Jewish house hold. Our mother was Jewish, our Father was Catholic. I also remember attending a Catholic church and I will never forget we had a wonderful priest who loved children!
I do not remember the priest’s name but I remember during service, he would allow all the children to go to the front of the church during service.
Instead of being taught the Lao traditions, we were taught the Jewish faith. I attended the Jewish temple on Fridays, and our Mother celebrated all of the Jewish holidays every year. We learned how to cook at a young age since we had to help prepare for the holidays every year.
I had a very interesting childhood! Or I guess you can say we grew up multi culturally. Now that we are older, we have sparked interest in our Native roots. My sister remembers how to make some of the Lao dishes. From her, I was able to learn how to make only a few dishes!
From time to time, I do make a few Lao dishes. I am not a pro however. I am sure that if we still had Lao relatives around, we would’ve been able to remember a lot more. Every now and then, I visit the Thai temple. Where I live now, we have one here.
We grew up in a small county where there were barely any Asian people so we did not have the opportunity to explore our roots. We lived on a 10 acre ranch, that had a circle driveway in the middle of nowhere! I remember! Lol. (The days of growing up)
Since now that we are adults living in a more urban area, more diverse area with more Asian people, we have explored a lot of our roots and feels a little more like home. Just like that saying even if you don’t remember, ” you can take the child out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the child”. Some of the things are just naturally in our blood.
Even though we do not remember much of our roots, and hopefully one day soon, we will get to visit our Motherland. That is on our bucket list as my Husband and I want to also visit Thailand also! We hopes to visit my motherland first!
This story was to give you a little sneak peak of what it was like growing up as Lao American. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below! Thank you for reading!