To some, Seoul, South Korea is just another large Asian metropolis. To me, it is the birthplace of my American Dream. It’s an American Dream that begins halfway across the globe, but it ends with a pride in America that is indistinguishable from the pride of those born here. I was born in Seoul to a Korean mother and a Saudi Arabian father. Troubled by the inability to solely care for a child and the social disapproval of having of a mixed daughter, my biological mother placed me into an adoption program. I was adopted by American parents and thus began my journey as an American. Soon after, our family welcomed my younger brother, also adopted from South Korea.
We led a fairly normal suburban life in Ohio; the only difference was how we looked. My brother and I were constantly questioned about why our parents were white and why we were not. For two children who saw nothing unusual about the difference in our skin tone and our parents’, we were confused by others’ lack of acceptance of our family. Were we not Americans too? Eventually, our friends and classmates learned to accept the diversity of our family.
As evidenced by my family and many other families like mine, the American Dream really has outgrown the classic imagery of a suburban family with two children, one pet, and a white picket fence. Today there could be two mothers or two fathers. They might be African American, Hispanic, or Asian American. The children may be adopted. The family could practice any number of religions. Living the American Dream is about belonging and acceptance. This is why I am a Democrat. I want a party that accepts me as an American, despite my race, place of birth, sexuality, religion, or economic standing. I learned at an early age that the Democratic Party does this and more. My brother and I both can identify with President Obama and Democrats, because the President and this party are open to and work toward diverse interpretations of the American Dream.
As a first-time voter, I am faced with the choice of progress, into an America that celebrates my American Dream, or the choice of regress, into an America that isn’t quite ready for it. This election, I will vote for many American Dreams. I will vote for a way forward that doesn’t leave anyone behind. This election, I will vote for President Obama and the Democratic Party.