I've been home only a week and The Question has already been asked several times. I knew it was coming, I just wasn't expecting an onslaught.
Um... I was just wondering...what do you call him?
We call him Sam.
No, I mean, like... Is Sam Asian... or what?
No, Sam is not Asian. You could call him a Pacific Islander, I guess, but he's not from an Asian country, so it wouldn't make sense to call him Asian, would it?
But is he, like... I mean, Biracial or Hispanic, or something?
He is definitely something.
So, is your baby Samoan, then?
Ummm, no. If he had been born in Samoa, with Samoan geneology, he would be Samoan. He was born in the Marshall Islands (RMI), and is of Marshallese descent, which makes him Marshallese. The Samoan Islands are actually closer to Fiji than to the Marshalls.
Is that, like, some kind of Hawaiian?
(Oh, Precious Lord, help me please.) I'm not familiar enough with Hawaii and its culture to know how many kinds of Hawaiian there are, but... No. Sam is not "some kind of Hawaiian." He is some kind of Marshallese. There are similarities in appearance, I guess, to Hawaiians, Samoans, and other Pacific Islanders, and they are all located in the Pacific, but Sam is (flippin') Marshallese. It's really not that hard, it's just unfamiliar to you. Let's attack it from this direction... If you were born in Japan, and your parents were of Japanese ancestry, you would be called Japanese... Yes? So, it's the same thing.
Wait, I don't want to cause any confusion... Sam is not Japanese.
The Marshall Islands are in/a part of Guam, right?
No. Guam is a separate place... In anticipation of your next question, I'd like to add that the Philippines are also a separate place. And, as previously established (I hope), Samoa is a separate place. The RMI is actually closer to being part of Micronesia than it is to being part of Guam, but it is its own country.
I'm really not irritated, and I hope I'm not coming off as offensive- I'm just having a little fun with you. I know lots of people have never heard of the Marshall Islands, and have no idea where they are, so I expect questions and I honestly don't mind (as long as you don't get all obnoxious on me).
So, here's the deal:
Sam was born in the Marshall Islands. His birth family is Marshallese. He is Marshallese (specifically, he is from Majuro, the capital atoll (island) in the Ratak chain of the Marshall Islands. The pop. in Majuro is approx. 25,000 and the island is less than 5 square miles).
To recap: He is from the Marshall Islands and he is Marshallese. He is a Pacific Islander. He is not Samoan, Hawaiian, Filipino, or Guamanian.
And yes, by the way, he is an American.
He is also gorgeous. He is loved. He is my precious, gift from God. My sweetie-pie. My beautiful little lamb.
Not to be a total smart*$$, but this... is a map. I'm told these are widely available on that World Wide Web thing, and they show you the locations of places. They are amazingly helpful little things. Sometimes they are flat, and sometimes they can even be round. The round ones are called Orbs, I believe. Or maybe Globs... Something like that.