Friday, June 26, 2020

Fishing is racist

For those of you who have never adopted via the "open adoption" process, one part of the process involves becoming foster parents so you can legally have possession of your child while the court process grinds its fine dust.

Part of becoming a foster parent involves a home study.

Home studies are conducted by Social Workers. Many of the Social Workers who perform home studies for foster care are, themselves, foster parents.

Our first Social Worker was named Mike.

Mike had adopted a child who came to America as a Vietnamese Boat Person. In the chaos of escaping communist Vietnam, his parents had either died, been captured or somehow separated from their child in a permanent kind of way.

The child ended up in Grand Ledge, Michigan.

Mike's point in sharing this was to give us (the couples who were paying for the home study) a concrete example of how deeply hard-wired some behaviors were.

Mike's adopted child was incapable of passing a puddle of water without checking to see if there were fish in it.

If there were fish in the puddle (or pond or creek or lake...), he could not walk away from it without trying to catch them.

To Mike's child, fishing was no more optional than breathing.

Mike had never fished in his life.

To the best of his knowledge, none of Mike's neighbors fished.

Mike may have had a relative or two had gone bass fishing, once.

The passion, the need to fish was somehow embedded in his boy's DNA.

The boy had come from a coastal village in Vietnam where people fished for a living. Mike never told son that fact. He did not need to.

There will always be some things that are beyond our understanding.


  1. True that. And one of the reasons the Vietnamese who immigrated gravitated to the water and boats, continuing what they knew and were SUCCESSFUL at!

  2. Around here they gravitated to owning liquor stores.

  3. How long ago was that ERJ? If it's been some years, it would be interesting to see what the child's career turned towards. Is there a viable fishing economy on the great Lakes?

    1. That was just a bit more than thirty years ago. If memory serves, the young man would now be in his mid-forties.

      There are many charter fishing boats on the Great Lakes.

      A lot more bars and liquor stores than charter boats.

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