I was adopted as a cute little Colombian baby into an Italian/Irish family. You may being saying “that’s pretty cool,” but you have to understand how awesome it is for me to eat authentic food from each different culture. It’s really fun being Colombian because I get tan af in the summer, and I have a major attitude problem that people just chalk up to being Latina. There’s obviously a dozen other reasons why I love being able to identify with being from South America, but hundreds of reasons why I love the family that adopted me.
Let me just start off as saying, the people that adopted me are my mom and dad, they changed my diapers, sent me to school, and do everything they can to make my life amazing (shout out to John and Sue). My father is the Italian one, the smartest guy i’ve ever met with killer cooking skills. My mom is the most caring woman in the world who literally can make anything out of our basically empty fridge. So yeah, family dinners are lit because we eat giant steaks with like five side dishes.
Everyone, I mean everyone, asks “Don’t you want to meet your real parents?” No. You are so ignorant because John and Sue Veech are my real parents, not the woman who gave me up in Colombia. This doesn’t mean I’m upset about the situation, I totally get that she couldn’t keep me, and I’m thankful that she gave me to the amazing family I’m a part of now. However, I do wish that I was fluent in Spanish and that I could cook classic Colombian dishes. I’m fortunate enough to have friends that are Hispanic that have opened their homes to me and taught me about my heritage. Pretty much every Colombian you meet tells you that you have to come over, and that you’re always welcome. That’s what I love about being Colombian, I’m always accepted and I feel empowered by the people that I surround myself with.
I do also love being an Italian princess. I’m the only granddaughter in the entire family, which as you can imagine, is awesome. My grandma tells everyone she meets that I’m ~beautiful~ and my cousins tell me that I don’t eat enough (even though I have two plates of pasta and half a mozzarella ball at Christmas dinner). I totally say “Oh my Gawd,” every time bite into something delicious. I know how to make my own pasta sauce, and making cookies is my favorite activity. I have to explain the different types of pasta to some of my friends when we go out, and I’m always down to try new food. I credit all of this to my carb loving Italian side of the family, you wouldn’t even guess that I’m adopted when I’m with them.
Then there’s my mom’s side of the family. I don’t get to see them as much because they live farther away than my dad’s side, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t eat just as much as the Italians. My mom is super sentimental, so she saves all the family recipes and breaks them out around the holidays. There’s this one soup that I used to love as a child called Bean Soup, my mom takes the ham bone leftover from Christmas dinner and puts it in the giant pot of soup. She also makes the best scalloped potatoes I have ever had, I used to sneak downstairs at night and make myself a plate of leftovers. Easy to say we never had leftovers for long. She taught me everything I know about food, and I’m so grateful for that.
If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that being adopted is totally awesome. My parents raised me to be proud of who I am, and to not take sh*t from anyone. I might get annoyed with my family sometimes (all the time), but it doesn’t mean I love them any less. They were always very open with me about any questions I had, and always supported me with anything that I wanted to be (aka a foodie). I get the best of all three worlds, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.