#Asiangirls, I am an Asian American Woman A.D. Herzel 2021

Local Colors Festival 2021, Roanoke, VA.

When I first came to Roanoke seven years ago, I reached out the Local Colors organization to network. Not much came from my introductions, but I happened to run into Pearl Fu, the founder, at the Opera during an intermission. We did as many new acquaintances do, promised to connect, and then never followed up.

As a Chinese American, Pearl Fu came to the Roanoke Valley and created a cultural organization for a community with bits and spots of ethnic communities. Every year she would plan the Local Colors festival with vendors and representation…


Growing things , Pseudo Pompous

If I close my eyes, I can see myself. I am sitting in the car. “Maam? Can you hear me?” It is a man’s voice. I do not open my eyes I do not try to see him. “We are going to have to remove the door. Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am fine.” I answer. I am awake. I stay still. I do not pay attention to the sounds. I can see myself in the car waiting. I am not in pain. I can feel them, hands taking me out of my seat. I know in my mind they…


Dragon night shade

It would be funny my older siblings would say.

There were six of us. Three Korean adoptees and three White children. Three boys and three girls. The first born my oldest sister was babysitting all of us as she did sometimes. She is six years my senior, so the pecking order went girl 12, girl,11, boy 9, boy 7, girl 6, boy 5. My youngest brother was five? And perhaps not a year since his re-homing as he came to us from a family in Texas. They had adopted him and decided they could not keep him. My adoptive mother…


how Cinderella lost her other slipper

Today is World Adoptee day or Adoption day. How you phrase it matters. Is it a day for Adoptees to celebrate? Yeah you lost your family, but you got a new one. Be honored? You were an orphan, but now you aren’t. Or perhaps you weren’t really an orphan as some who do birth searches find out. Be remembered? Yes, in the United States as Adoptees you are killing yourselves 4 times more than others. But wait that was Suicide Awareness month, are we not supposed to mention that now? Or is it World Adoption day? Yes, you can be…


Mary from the Bamberg Cathedral in Germany

I stand here folding laundry and the quiet of the house fills the space around me like fresh water in a fish tank. The water is not fresh though. It is a return to the familiar silence of myself, expanding into the room and the adjustment of my body once more becoming the house.

I can hear my son S. laughing in his room with his friend on the computer. He is 15 today and the expletives coming from his deep voice check the time. My other son is down in his cave. His cave, the man cave is where…


As a Korean Adoptee I never thought about my birth father. I imagined my birth mother was dead and did not think to imagine the who or why around my birth father’s life. In Korea it is the fathers that carry the name, the generation, the ancestry. Children without fathers who claim them did not belong in the country and were efficiently exiled from citizenship. Some pose this was an easy way to export these babies. I don’t imagine such a policy would have become acceptable practice without a coerced consent. …


Damaged, not broken, co AD Herzel

“I am tired of holding up the sky.”

“It will be blue without you.” Pseudo Pompous

22 days the Martian was home, aka my husband, the man of mystery, my rocket man. It has been 22 days since he left. It was a good visit. That is what they are, these intermissions with marked beginnings and ends, breaks from the general movie of my life. The clock stops when he comes home, like we are not living in real time. It has its own measure like the hourglass in the Wizard of Oz. …


Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

A great love story

In 1997 we were 29 and 34, living paycheck to paycheck. Neither of us had health benefits. In the previous 10 years I had only ever needed to go to Planned Parenthood for Pap smears. We were recently graduated Art students, at least I was. He had dropped out of an MFA to join the Police Department. We had enough credit card debt to be noticeable. We were engaged, because we were living together, and really because my mother wanted it that way, not because we loved each other, though we did. …


I have not taken the tree down yet. It is January 11, 2021 and my tree and all the trimmings still stand all lit. On the first of the year, my hubby via fb chat admonished me, hurling accusations of being low class, of being lazy. It is not time, yet I think. I am enjoying looking at the ornaments that stay hidden locked away all year. Each one is a memory box for which I hold all the keys from the earliest hand painted ornaments on our first tree 21 years ago to the most recent pink reindeer.

On…


Two days and Chance

Picture me, an awkward Adopted Korean girl, dyed, permed, and overly made up. It was the eighties and I wore off color foundation with too much eye shadow, always insecure about sprinklings of acne and the Asiatic smallness of my eyes. At the time I had very few illusions about American and even Korean standards of beauty. I was by American suburban social standards average, neither distinguishingly beautiful like my best friend with her almost Polynesian bone structure, large eyes, and full lips, or “stereotypically” unattractive like the non-descript, overly full faced Asians with thick prescription black rimmed glasses. …

A.D. Herzel

Artist, teacher,mother and wife, adoptee; writer about all of the above. https://www.instagram.com/pseudopompous/

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