There’s always a strange moment that comes up whenever my family meets someone new. “This is my wife,” I’ll tell them, pointing my white hand to my white wife. Then I’ll rest a hand on our half-Chinese child and proudly say, “And this is our son.”
Most people are too polite to ask how we created a Chinese child. They just go wide-eyed, say “Oh.” out loud, and try to hide that they’re thinking: Does he know? Should we say something? Just what has his wife been up to?
There was a time when I’d explain that I was a stepparent, but I rarely do it anymore. I just can’t bring myself to say the word. My family has never viewed me as a second-rate parent a step-removed.
I am his father, and he is my son.