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 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.