"You've Got Black Hair Like Your Grandmother"

Growing up as an adoptee, I never really participated in any of the family trait conversations. They were based around a physical characteristic, like hair or eye colour, passed down through generations of blood relatives. These conversations usually involved comments like being tall like my dad, eyes like your mother or you’re going to be broad like your grandfather.


As an adoptee from Viet-Nam, I did not inherit any physical traits from my family as technically we are not blood relatives.


Once those conversations began, I usually just nodded my head and smiled. They always came with mixed emotions.


Growing up it’s not that these conversations made me sad, rather they overwhelmed me, because it was a reminder that my biological ancestry is still unknown. As a child, I found it difficult at times to have these questions about my ancestry unanswered, but there was one answer my grandmother used to say to comfort me that I will always remember.


At family gatherings she used to always say to me, “Don’t worry Miguel, you've got black hair like your grandmother” then she would give me a warm hug. Afterward, I would think to myself “Maybe I do get my black hair from my grandmother?”, but even as a boy I knew this was not plausible.


Looking back on it now, I know why my grandmother’s statement had such a profound impact on me.


It was because for a brief peaceful moment I believed her and one of my questions was answered. My grandmother’s statement is a memory I will cherish forever, and I am grateful to share this with her.


The main message I would like people to take away from this is that a few words might seem small and minor to you, can have a lasting positive impact on someone else.


Don’t forget to subscribe if you like the content, and I encourage everyone to share to help spread my message.


Your friend Miguel.