Monday, September 21, 2009

So Surprised (and other ramblings)...

that no one wants to try to win the poster in the give a way (post below). At this point only one comment would be needed to win it. I suspect everyone is so busy they haven't any time to pop around? I am reading everyone through google reader and though I haven't commented on many I still read the blogs. My computer is so s-l-o-w that if I have more than one or two windows open I will get shut down fairly quickly so it makes reading slow going as well as commenting practically non-existent.

So this weekend was an interesting one. I attended a conference with Terra Trevor spoke. There was also a panel made up of 4 adult Korean adoptees. We heard their stories and were able to ask questions.

If anyone has ever stopped by this blog and read about some of the conversations G and I have had they will see that G is interested in her adoption story, her race vs. my race, her first family/foster family/third(and final) family etc. She has also asked about returning to China as a visit being concerned with stuff like what they will call her, since she knows she had one name and I gave her another name. She is very interested and talks about it. Now somethings were put into her head because we read all the "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes" and "A Mother for Choco" and other such kids adoption story books. Not to mention I have told her how I came to get her and we have looked at photo albums, video etc. All that to say this, G has already as a 4 year old asked about finding her bio mom/China mom/tummy mom (call her what you will) and yes to a 4 year old wanting to find her has different meanings and emotions packed into it than for me hearing it.

So out of the 4 panelists I believe two have successfully made contact with their bio families or maybe one made successful contact and two unsuccessfully while the 4th didn't try nor has interest. 3/4 made the homeland tour, one had passing interest and let it pass. But I asked the panel what their extended family said about finding the bio family because (I prefaced the ?? with G's unique line of questioning) and they basically said there must be something wrong for her to be thinking along those lines at that age?!?!?!?

Then I think back to the kids we hang out with and according to their parents, they aren't asking the same questions either. Of course they may be but not talking to me about it. Who knows. But I can't believe G is the ONLY child who wants to know who her first family was, or if I knew she was going to be honey tan rather than peach like me.

Now when I asked the question to the panel maybe they assumed that G always talks about this stuff? To which I will say, "No, no she doesn't." But when I am given an opportunity to ask an adult adoptee questions (cuz they opened themselves up to the questions) along the line of adoption etc I am not going to talk about the normal everyday conversations we have with G just being a kid; I am going to ask and mention the adoption/race related stuff we talk about. I also no longer bring it up in casual conversation to G. She leads all conversations about it now.

I mentioned this to Terra (I can call her Terra now cuz we are like BFF now), Ms. Trevor I mean, after the meeting she re-affirmed me, and said basically she supports the panel but that I have laid the ground work for G to think and talk about her questions and concerns without it being forced on her and without me being closed too her concerns/questions. This panel said out right that adopted kids won't talk to their parents about race or adoption stuff and that if they aren't talking about it they aren't thinking about it. This is totally not NOT what I am reading/hearing from other adult adoptees in the blogging community or by some China a-parents in the blogging community.

I appreciated the panel for the different perspective. One of the panelists as an 18 year old was able to do the Motherland Tour from Holt and then escort a child back for adoption (his was a 3 month old boy). I asked him about that and he said that it really brought the vulnerability of that particular child and of his own self as an escorted child to reality (he was adopted at age 4). Only one panelist claimed to have needed therapy to work out her stuff, which I appreciated the honesty (and who of us hasn't needed therapy not even being adopted?).

Three panelists have travelled back to Korea at least once or more. One said he was glad he didn't go after hearing the horrible conditions as described by the three. It was interesting to hear these panelists talk about how glad they are to be Americans even having being adopted. They didn't really feel regret for the loss of the culture that seems to be prevalent in some of the adult adoptees I read. I was glad I went.


Stephanie Boaz said...

I know several younger children who have expressed interested in their biological families, so it doesn't seem unusual to me that your daughter is interested as well. :-)

Ohilda said...

Kai has asked a couple of times about "his story". We haven't delved too much into it, but the bits I've given him, he's satisfied with.

I would LOVE to someday find their birthparents.

Off to go comment for the poster! :)

Sharon said...

Sign me up...I'll win a poster!! You are so cute bev. I came by to say hi and tell you to come to my giveaway too!! miss in you since i have been so off computer lately. Think of you often though and lurked a few times.

Jennifer said...

Hi Beverly,
G is not the only one talking about it. Maddie went through a very, very long stage about her birth mother. She hasn't brought it up in a while, but every now and then she will mention it. We used the term "special mommy" because she was special enough to carry her in her tummy. She even asked me when I was going to get Sophie if I would stop and get her special mommy and bring her back. Maddie was 3.5 at the time. Both girls have also started really talking about the color of their skin. It's funny because they take a Chinese dance class and there is an "English" girl in there. It's a little white girl and I think their dance teacher probably referred to her as an English girl because they would have never thought of it. They didn't say anything about the color of her skin, they just mentioned her being English. I don't think it's unusual at all. Children are naturally curious about everything and that would be something huge to be curious about.
The poster idea is cool. I'm sorry I missed the post. Maddie's birthday was the 17th, their birthday sleepover was the 18th and then we slept over at my aunt's house the 19th and I'm just now catching up on my facebook page and all my blogs. I would love a poster. I think they are cool. I would actually give it to my parents for a Christmas present if I won one :).
Thanks again for the contest and the great post from your conference. Sorry so long. Any more thoughts about Orlando? That's a quick flight and I would love to be able to get together one day.

Jennifer said...

One last birth parent thing that ironically I just found out about. Sophie and her daddy went out to dinner tonight because Maddie is sick. Apparently at dinner they got into a discussion about birth parents. Sophie apparently hates her birth mom and hopes she doesn't believe in God so that she will go live with the devil. Wow.... I don't know how to handle that one.

Vivian M said...

Kerri constantly asks about her bio family and wants to try to find them in China someday. I don't think it is unusual at all, since we are very open with our daughters about their history.

Marla said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing. Adalyn has never asked about her family in China. I'm not sure she understands just yet. She knows daddy came and got her and I cried at the airport. I think all kids are different no matter where they started out. Thats what makes the world go round. :o)

bajones said...

Ellie is a bit older than G (7), but she started thinking about this at around 5. She started asking when we were going to visit China, and then it came out that she was expecting to see her birth family when we go there. Although I've told her repeatedly that we don't know who they are and may never find them, she is serenely confident that we will be visiting her birth family in China. She asked to take Chinese lessons this year, and in passing "because I have to be able to talk to my parents when we go to China". I've told her that we will try to hire a detective to find her birth parents. We'll give it a shot.

Super Mommy said...

I would've loved to attend an event like this - even if the perspective is different - it is worth while to hear!

Terra said...

Hi, Terra here.

I enjoyed meeting and talking with you after the panel presented. I feel perhaps the audience and the panel did not understand one another fully. There was a disconnect at times, which didn't need to be there. I believe what the panel might have been trying to convey is that our kids are a bit less secure than we realize, and while they do want to talk about birth parents, foremost our kids need us to just be their 'parents' first. Sometimes in our effort to be wholly accepting of what it is to be adopted, parents of today go a bit overboard and put too much focus on the adoption part. Whereas in past eras adoption talk was avoided.

Twenty years ago we (meaning me and the panel) met parents who avoided adoption talk, and today we meet parents who focus on it greatly, even blog about it, and it is sometimes center stage in a parents live, so that could be a driver in the child's life. I believe the panel was simply attempting to talk about achieving a balance, and perhaps it was misunderstood. But of course you are leading balanced lives, but within a ten minute conversation this was not realized.

Terra said...
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Terra said...
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