Call us mommy and daddy
The day after my Arrival Day, I woke up late. When I opened my eyes, I remembered I was in USA.
I felt anxious and loneliess in the new enviroment. I wanted to cry but I was a big girl so I have chosen not to cry. The cloths on my bed showed me the yellow-haired lady had been in my room while I was sleeping. The yellow-haired lady came in, showed me the cloths and without saying a word, left the room. I got dressed quickly before she came back, then I felt alone again.
The yellow-haired lady brought me in front of my mirror. She wanted to brush my hair but I stiffened. I didn't want my hair be brushed by this stranger.
She had many items and trinket to give me. I only remember few of them. It happened in silence, she showed me an item, I nodded or I shook my head. The silence was embarrasing. I thought maybe the American lady was shy as I was because she said nothing.
She showed me a ring, I nodded, she put it on my finger. She showed me a trinket, I nodded, and she gave it to me.
She showed me earrings, I realized with horror that this American lady's ears were pierced. I shook ma head and I thought the Americans were barbaric. I felt anxious, I missed home and I wanted to go back fast but the lady showed a watch. I nodded and she put it around my wrist. It made me think that Americans are so rich that they can offer a watch to kids. I never thought I could possess a watch as a child. I felt I could like the lady. I wasn't interested by any other items that she showed me but I continued to nod without paying attention to her...
After giving me the last object, the American lady showed herself and said: "Mommy". She repeated again interringly: "Mommy? hm?" I understood by her body language that I had to call her "Mommy". I nodded. She seemed very happy. She called me "Kimmi". At the end of the day, when her husband came back, she showed him and said "Daddy". I nodded again.
That's how I began to call two strangers mommy and daddy.
They didn't know I thought mommy and daddy meant Mrs and Mr. When I became less shy, I talked to them in Korean. I never called them "eomma" and "appa" which mean mom and dad in Korean. I called them Mrs and Mr in Korean but I don't remember how to say these words; I lost my eomma and appa's language and culture that were also mine . People call it "assimilation".
Even after learning it's real meaning, I continued to call them mommy and daddy, until they brought me to Quebec, where they asked me to call them "maman" and "papa".