Friday, January 8, 2010

Just my 2 Cents on adoption, try to be nice....

Let's see how many people I can tick off with this post ;0)
or we can all just play nice.

Please remember, this is my corner of cyber space, my thoughts and my opinions. If you disagree, please do so respectfully, or move on....

A couple of months ago, J&I watched the film 'Ad0pted'
I highly recommend it for every single person that plans on adopting a child and becoming a transracial family. It was eye opening and really made J&I aware of things that we may have never considered an issue or a *possible* issue that may come to be one day as our daughter grows up in an all white family.
We made the decision a while back that we would not celebrate 'G0tcha Day'...

I realize this is very controversial and many have different opinions on that subject, but for us, we decided that we didn't need to remind our daughter that she was adopted every single year. We celebrate birthdays, not g0tcha days. My boys all have one birthday a year, I can think of no greater way to remind my daughter that she is different than the rest of the members of her family. We considered what it would be like for her to be in a family where she was the only one with a different day to celebrate when she got older, don't all kids just want to fit in and feel *normal*? Adoption is her journey, not her life. Being adopted does not define who she is. We want her to be strong and confident and proud of being adopted, but we also don't want to take the day that holds the most pain in her life and turn it into a celebration. By celebrating a G0tcha Day, we also remind her that she was abandoned and undermine the pain that may hold for her. Would you celebrate the day she was abandoned? & in order for us to have a 'g0tcha day, she had to come with an abandonment day. This is her story to make peace with, not ours to turn it into a party & we will be there for her always to explore her feelings and what these days mean to her.

I'm not saying that on May 24th of every year, I will not reflect on that beautiful day in China where she was handed to me. I will ALWAYS remember how beautiful it was for me, but she was not waiting for me to arrive. It was a happy day for us, but it was a day full of trauma & loss for her, a day that she grieved deeply. That day will always be special for us, as complex as it was and I want to be cognitive of her feelings.
If you celebrate G0tcha Day or Family Day then that's great if it works for your family, I am not criticizing, I am simply saying how we feel about it. Watching 'Adopted, the Movie' may be very enlightening for you as well.
You can click here: to view some trailers, but it's worth the purchase for sure.

As the years unfold, I am sure that I will learn more. The video section entitled "We Can D0 Better" is very informative from many adoptees point of view. I am not adopted, I can not assume I know how my Asian daughter will feel growing up in an all white family, I am navigating the AP waters with the knowledge that I currently have and I believe we can do better as AP's.

There was a very validating point in this movie that made me realize the uphill battle my adopted child will always have to battle within herself. She is American, but she's not, she is Chinese, but she's not. She is a --(our last name)--, but she's not. She lives in a white world, but she's not. She is a part of me, but she's not. The list goes on and on and on. Even as an American citizen, she is not entitled to ALL the same benefits as her 3 brothers....for example: She can never be president of this country because she wasn't born in this country. She is, but she isn't. & we as her parents want to be aware of all those things that she might internalize. How will she feel when she walks past the family photo that hangs on the wall and she is the only Asian in it? Will she see herself as a white little girl and be surprised she isn't every time she looks in the mirror? I have so much to learn and I find myself looking at things differently now than I did before we ever met our daughter. I am fortunate enough to have such great friends who's family looks like ours and I believe these connections will be very valuable for her one day when she needs others like her to connect to in this world. And for me, it's great to know that others are navigating the same waters of being a transracial family. I'm sure I'll make a lot of mistakes along the way, but I hope somewhere along this journey of life we can grow Eme into a strong and secure woman and feel like she can talk to us about anything. And if one day she wants to explore her roots, I would be the first friend to grab my coat and book a ticket.
_________________________________________________________

Books:

In my opinion, Mommy Far, Mommy Near has to be the worse written adoption book ever.

Here's one line out of the book,

" ...One family, one child. Your mother couldn't keep you because she already had a baby."


Great. Now I just read to my daughter that she has 2 Mommies and a sibling that she will never know. Maybe that is the reason why she was abandoned, but even at that, it's like telling your child that her life wasn't as important as her biological sibling.
The book also goes on to watch the 2 adopted Chinese girls make pretend phone calls to their China Mommy. That's weird and a tad confusing as a child to comprehend if I do say so myself.



My daughter only has 1 Mommy, that's me. We honor her birth Mother, but she is not Eme's Mommy. It's obvious that Eme had another Mother before me, but to give the title of 'Mommy' to the unknown lady on the other side of the world would confuse any child.

Next this book: It's just silly in my opinion. Nothing bad, just silly. I'm not into the whole ladybug China red thread thing, but the book isn't hateful.


This book is ridiculously silly. It's illustrated in beautiful pictures. The author isn't an adoptive parent, she just had interactions with families with children from China. That could explain the quirkiness.

Nothing real bad about the Shaoey & D0t book, it's cute, not totally accurate and it kind of makes being abandoned a beautiful whimsical type thing. It is an age appropriate book to begin reading and getting the ball rolling of being open about adoption.


The White Swan Express is the best book I've read. It's accurate. It doesn't sugar coat the process of how she ended up in an orphanage. It doesn't give some make believe fairy tale about her journey to us, it doesn't lie.


The journey of adoption is complex. By giving attention to certain aspects of it, it neglects other parts of the story. I do believe adoption is a beautiful thing, but it is also a very painful thing. In order for my daughter to know she was adopted, she has to know she was abandoned by a different mother and maybe that mother didn't abandon her, maybe that story is completely different. I want to believe that her birth Mother loved her, but the truth is I don't know and I don't want to fill her head with fairy tale stories. One day, she will have to claim her story for herself. We can do without all the pretty images of cute bundles in baskets and red threads strung throughout the pages of adoption books. That just may not be her story.

40 comments:

A Beautiful Mess said...

oooh I get to be the first one:)

As you know I couldn't agree more!

Oddly enough I don't own any of those books...

You can now rent "Adopted" on Netflix. It is essential...I think adoption agencies should include it in their "welcome packets".

Pink Velvet Mommy said...

you grabbed the thoughts right out of my head. In our case(Taiwan) we have birthfamily info. It is so hard to know what to tell and when and what not to tell. I find all of it painful, but when she is old enough we will give her all the info she wants, and then help her to understand it...but like you said not define who she is as a person.
You are so right...she was not waiting for us, like we were waiting for her. We have chosen to not celebrate that "gotcha day" While for me that day will be the day my life changed forever, and the day I became a mother, for our daughter it really was a traumatizing day that I hope she will never remember. So that day is actually a very bittersweet memory for me and my husband.

As always thank you for being honest, and if people can't play nice then they need to find somewhere else to play!!

Good luck with the new therapist:)

Will be renting "Adopted" ASAP

Suzie said...

This is a great post! I've often thought about whether we would celebrate "Gotcha Day" as most often that first one is a horrible day for the child. Why would you want to celebrate that? I appreciate your honesty and would love for you to do a post about all the books that you've read and if you would recommend them or not. With a 9/4/2006 LID I've got a lot of time to read!

Laurie said...

I totally agree with you on the Gotcha Day issue. I bought the Adopted DVD when M recommended on her blog-a must.

Good food for thought on the "2 mothers" storyline. I have to admit I own the Motherbridge book and really like it, maybe I need to take another look.

Those of us still waiting appreciate you insight. Good luck with the PT

t~ said...

Laurie, I really like the Motherbridge book as well. It's very evasive and sweet in my opinion:)

a Tonggu Momma said...

I really dislike the three children's adoption books that you don't care for, especially the red thread one (which is sad because I totally adore all of the other Grace Lin books). And, while I do like Shaoey and Dot, I agree that it makes abandonment sound whimsical, so I'm reserved about recommending it. I adore The Motherbridge of Love book.

Tawni said...

I don't own many adoption books - a few essentials for parents but no children's books. Although, I have been looking for some on transracial families.

I need to watch the adopted movie. I agree that it is so important to have a connections with other families with similar dimentions. This is something locally that I lack.

We have agreed that Avery has one set of parents - that's us. We recognize the fact that she does have "birth parents" but we don't call them birthmother or birthfather...We will teach her their first names and will never refer to them as her her parents. I know there are some who would blast us for that, but it's what we decided. We are all for being open and honest about her adoption, but like you said it doesn't define who she is...

Seriously, great post.

Anonymous said...

Even if a person was never given up by their birth mother and adopted by a loving family...even if you grew up in your "normal" home...sometimes God places other people in your life to be your chosen family. It's beautiful. You have to understand, even as an adult, that you never picked your parents or asked to be born. Your identity is who YOU are, not who your parents are. You SO get that, and you will pass that on to Eme and she will be strong.

Thanks for the great post.

I'm not even in the "adoption community", and I love it :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Post ~ Thanks for sharing your feelinngs...

nerdgirl said...

Thanks for your insight. I haven't read any of the books you referenced, but my husband and I went to a showing of "Adopted" last year that included a Q & A with Barb Lee. She was amazing. We learned so much. The movie is a must see for all adoptive parents.

Michele said...

I have to admit that we do celebrate our "Family Day." However, since I went to a screening to this powerful movie last Spring and had an opportunity to speak with the directors, it has made me feel increasingly more uncomfortable with the whole idea of it being a "celebration." Hey, we celebrate our family everyday, why do we have special day set aside for each person who happened to be adopted. I have been in conflict about how to deal with this in my own family since my girls at this point (almost 5 and 7) *do* get excited about their "Family Day" and look forward to it. How do I suddenly shift the focus of the day, you know? Great post and one that I have been thinking about on my own for a while as my girls process exactly what it means to be adopted and begin to ask more specific quesitons about race, birth families, etc. I agree this is a must see dvd (as well as the companion videos) for everyone touched by adoption...including grandparents, extended family..etc. It should be a must view as part of the initial homestudy.
Great post!

Colleen said...

Great post T. Although we have chosen to celebrate Gotcha Day... it works for us, and our travel group. We haven't seen Adopted yet, but now that I know we can get on Netflix - it will be ordered today.

And eeek... I think I got you Mommy Near Mommy Far. I met the author at a China thing we went to and had it signed... sorry, I hadn't read the book at that time. :(

Smooches.

Lisa (Briana's Mom) said...

Really, really good post. I have "Adopted" sitting in my hands right now. I just ordered it and I'm going to make Doug watch it with me this weekend.

Doug, Bri and I do celebrate Family Day, but like you said, it doesn't work for everyone. We don't have cakes and balloons or anything, we just give her a small gift and take her to dinner. If she ever tells me that she doesn't feel comfortable commemorating that day, then it is completely her choice and I am fine by it. She is my only child, so I think family structure is a big factor on how people look at that day.

I do have the Shoaey book and Little Miss Ladybug book that I received as gifts, but I haven't read them with Bri yet. I'll have to check out the White Swan one. The other two I think I'll stay away from. I do really like the "Motherbridge of Love" book that everyone is recommending.

Sandra said...

This is a GREAT post and very thought provoking. After watching Adopted and reading this post, I am strongly considering not celebrating Gotcha Days anymore. I am going to have to think a bit more about this.

Tracee said...

Lots of good things to think about. We were united with Lilly when she was 6 1/2 months old. We do celebrate a "family day" on the date we became a family. We watch our video from China and ask her questions...but she doesn't remember anything and has a hard time grasping that the baby in the video is her.

Being adopted myself, I want Lilly to feel comfortable asking questions so we talk about China a lot and how she came to being our daughter. We do our best to feel her out to see what she can handle.

I generally find something wrong with all the books for kids. I do love Motherbridge though...thanks to you. I had never read it before.

I am curious about the video...I'll have to check into it.

I believe that as parents, we have to decide what and how to share information with our kids. It makes it so difficult because we don't know their "real" story...there are so many "what ifs".

3 Peanuts said...

Great post!! I honestly had never thought about it this way. We have celebrated April 4th as our Family Day for two years now and the third is approaching. It is not actually her gotcha day but the day that we were all home as a family of five. I had only thought of it as the same as my kids b-day....celebrating the day they came into our family. Yes, the boys have mentioned that Kate gets two days but I have thought.....she deserves two days because she is different. I had never thought that we were emphasizing that difference in a way that could possibly be negative. This really makes me think. We could stop..she is young enough that she would not know but I wonder if one day she will ask why we did NOT celebrate such a miraculous day especially when she finds out that other adoptive families DO celebrate this day. So much to think about.....

It is all tough...I know that Kate is coming to an age when she is going to start asking questions. She is more and more observant and articulate everyday. We talk about adoption a lot around here. But I'll admit I am nervous for the questions.

Thank you for bringing this up. I truthfully NEVER thought about this and now I have some soul searching to do. I am going to try to track down that movie but I want to think about these things before I do. I don't want to base my decisions on just one movie and sometimes I can be easily swayed by a powerful piece of media. There are so many dimensions to these issues.

One more thing I thought of...I think our kids will take our lead in how they perceive adoption. One little girl said to me once. Kate is adopted. That is SO sad." I asked very surprised, "why is it sad?" She said, "her Mom did not want her." I sat down and said..you know I don't think it is sad. I think it is beautiful. He mother probably wanted her very badly. Almost all Moms (even accidental pregnancies) want their babies deep inside. But they cannot all care for them for many reasons. How wonderful that there are other families to love them. Kate's adoptions is not sad in our family....it is joyous. She is a gift to our family as all our children are.

I only share this because it is so easy to get weighed down by the painful part. I was deeply distraught for weeks and weeks after I leaned that Brian Stuy stuff. It still haunts me. I have decided that I cannot change it but to dwell on it would not be good for me, for Kate, for our family. I do mean to sound polyannna here. I just don't want Kate to dwell on the one awful part--the abandonment (or not according to some) of her story. I want her to dwell on the beauty of adoption. because it really is beautiful.

Sorry this is a small novel. You made me think this morning and I am so grateful or that.

Anonymous said...

What a great post. I have been following your blog since just before you brought your little girl home. As an adopted child I agree with so much of your post. When I was younger I didn't want anyone to know I was adopted, I didn't want to be the "different" one at family gatherings. As I have gotten older, my thoughts have changed. I acknowledge my birth family and what they gave and mean to me.

I am lucky that I was able to meet my birth family and get a lot of questions answered. I also never had to deal with looking different from my family so that made things easier I am sure. I talk to my birth family often, and I love them, but they will never be my mom and dad or my siblings. They feel like aunts, uncles, and cousins :)

I am going to watch the movie now!

A Beautiful Mess said...

The movie on netflix is just the documentary not the "we can do better" dvd....which is fantastic! Still worth putting in your line up for netflix.

Polar Bear said...

T~ This post is so good. I just wrote a really long comment, but I am afraid that it's way too wordy to post here.

Thank you for sharing this. It has made me pause and really think. I've been to your blog three times to comment, and always leave because the words don't sound right.

I'm leaving this comment because I don't want you to think I'm stalking. :o)

Hope you don't mind, but this comment is going to lead to a post of my own.

Kayce said...

Great post and wonderful to read for us preparing to leave. The whole gotchaday/familyday thing has bugged me for several years. I struggled with what to "call" it but as we get ready to get on a plane, I've come to the realization it will just be a day to never forget and it doesn't need to be called anything. We do know that it will be a day mostly for Mike and I to celebrate between each other, a day we've dreamed of for us. It is the birth of our family, our families birthday of sorts I guess.

Thank you again T for posting this. No harsh words from me...only praise! Oh and the books...Motherbridge is awesome! We just got "a blessing from above" a golden book...cute, a bit silly but cute.

Ellie said...

I really appreciate your perspective. I think everyone does things a little different. I will look for that video, I do think it is important to be educated, not negative and be true to what we believe is the right way to raise OUR children. We did not give our daughter ANY of her Chinese name. we just didn't have any peace about it. When we got to China we found out she was named after the hospital where she was abandoned. THANK GOD we were able to trust that still small voice . . .

I agree with you and would never think of saying our daughter has two mothers - she only has one. And one father also.

Thanks for your informative and honest post!

Marie said...

I agree with almost everything you posted, and if I had bio kids I would not celebrate "Gotcha Day" either. But all three of my daughters are adopted from China, so none of them is "Different" from the others if we do it. I'm the only one who just has a birthday in this house :-)

Donna said...

We don't celebrate Gotcha Day either (but we refuse to be politically correct and call it anything but that). Like you, we're a bit uncomfortable celebrating a day that was exhilarating to us but totally devastating to our child. Childbirth probably isn't peachy from the perspective of the baby either but we understand how that really marks a new beginning. For us, Adoption Day is more significant.

We own all of the books you mentioned (and a few more) and like White Swan Express very much. But I don't see how it explains how the children got to the orphanage.

Shaoey and Dot charms the heck out of me and it's very simple because it's told from the perspective of the ladybug who befriends the "little bundle" she finds all alone on the side of the road (Shaoey). We read this one pretty often and our kids know that they lived in that room the "was covered with bunches of bundles galore". The author is a very special mother in our community and she's very dear to my heart too.

We have about 150 children's books and we read a really wide assortment of stuff throughout the week. Currently, we're reading about King Arthur!

:)

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Wendy said...

Since coming home just over two years ago with our daughter I have been very tossed about Gotcha Days. I think most of the feelings I have struggle with was, What about our other children. They were not adopted but they are just as special. Celebrating Larkyns Gotcha day always made me feel as if I was saying in some way she was MORE special. There was even a time when we considered making her Gotcha Day her birthday day only because her Gotcha Day was two days after her first Birthday day. Your post was very insightful. Thank-you for sharing your thoughts. As all parents ones who have adopted and ones who have not will tell you making the correct decisions for our kids can be extremely difficult. We try to do our best, we love our kids but it isn't until later that we realize we should have done thing differently.
Let hope we can teach our children the value of forgiveness so if we make those mistakes they can forgive us for them.

윤선 said...

Wow, this is probably one of the best posts I've seen from an AP (a lot of AP's blogs have made me mad). I always thought that celebrating Adoption Days were stupid, and just as you said, if my family had done this, it only would have highlighted the fact that I was/am different, making me even more insecure as an adoptee. You may as well come right out and SAY: "you're different! You're not like us!", which is SO bad for adoptees, because as children, all we want is to be just like you! People who do "celebrate" this day make me think they know very little about what it's like to be adopted, and it makes me think that if they can't think this much about how their child/ren may feel, they shouldn't have adopted at all.

Also, I think that line from that first book is atrocious. How and why was that published???

Marie said...

Just wanted to add that for all three of my adopted Chinese daughters, their favorite adoption-themed books were "A Mother for Choco" and "Over The Moon," neither of which is specific to China. My youngest daughter, adopted at age 4, has always adored books about how parents and children love each other; for example, she wanted to hear over and over "Guess How Much I Love You," "Love You Forever," "I Love You, Stinky Face," "I Love You With All My Heart," and a couple of other similar books. None of these were adoption related, but she adored the whole collection and wanted to hear them over and over. She is eight now, firmly attached and very affectionate and loving. I think these books would be sure hits with most children, adopted or not.

Kris said...

what an excellent post. i am seriously impressed with your thinking. i saw Adopted at the end of 2009 (bought it too) and though i wasn't surprised by much, there were things in it that i had not considered and i'm so glad i saw it before M-n-M came home.

i also read a LOT of adult adoptee blogs. most of those blogging tho are those that are struggling with identity, their "place" and the loss. a struggle that is valid and i need to pay attention too. but it's easy to forget the other side of the spectrum.

if you haven't read "Lucky Girl" by Mei-Ling Hopgood, get it. She was adopted from Taiwan (so is also Chinese) and it too is eye opening, but in an ENTIRELY different way.

I wrote a post yesterday at No Hands But Ours blog about the adult adoptee perspective, there is a huge quote from the book.

link on my site.

we never planned to celebrate Ellis Day. like you, it was a joyous day for us, not for her- and truthfully, it was painful for ALL of us once we met her. i felt so guilty about what was happening to her and telling myself that ultimately this was the best possible decision given the circumstances of her life, well- at the time, talk didn't help. her grief was powerful, deep, and overwhelming. that first day was the hardest of all of them.

i really commend you on writing this.

junk said...

Thank you so much for this thought provoking post. I really appreciate your perspective and you have given me alot to think about. Like you we have three bio boys and adopted Mia this past July. I also struggle with celebrating a day that was painful for my daughter. July 13 will always hold a special place in heart but I don't feel like Mia needs a reminder of this every year.

Again thanks so much for your insightful post!

Melinda said...

My comment was the one posted above by "junk" lol! I hit the "publish" button too soon!

Anonymous said...

umm this is not directly related.... your page is beautiful, but the brown on brown is really difficult to read.... any chance of an option to change the type color or something?

InMySeoul.com said...

wow...I can't believe there are so many voices in agreement. I read through the comments section fairly quickly, but I don't think I saw a single dissenting comment. It actually makes me a little worried and looking around for hyperlinked "pink kool-aid". I guess you can count my comment as a dissenting voice.

What I am most astounded by was the line:

"My daughter only has 1 Mommy, that's me."

When I first read this I was dumbfounded and awestruck and to be honest angered. I sit here wondering who is advocating for your young daughter? To raise your daughter thinking that you are the only one who deserves or has earned the right to be called "Mommy" is quite frankly disgusting. And then to try to say your doing this in her best interest to reduce her confusion??? Heck, Im a grown adult and Im confused...so what do you allow your daughter to call her birth-mother?

If you really think about it, do you really think it will reduce confusion? When she is the only one in her entire school who looks different from her only "Mommy", you don't think she will be confused? Or when she asks you if she came from your tummy as the only "Mommy" she has, you don't think she'll be confused when you explain that she didn't come from your tummy?

Why not just tell them the truth the entire time? Why not tell her that she has two "Mommies"? While I certainly do not agree with the "Anti-Adoption" factions out there, I can agree with them that sometimes when AP's try so hard to "soften the blow" or "protect" their adopted child from confusion end up causing more harm than good.

While AP sometimes think its a great idea to try to make their kids "blend in" or to be "normal" and to forget that they were ever adopted. I read many of these types of rhetoric in your blog and it is concerning. While you follow up at then explaining you'll be the first "friend" to help your daughter "explore her roots"...I guess I would have to ask "What roots?" It sounds that by the time she gets old enough, you will have successfully obliterated her roots. You will be the only "Mommy" she will know...she will "fit in" and be "normal"...just like your white children and your white community.

The truth is for a transracial adoptee, there is no such thing as "Normal" or "Fitting In". They will always be Different and stuck in between two cultures. I would rather work with my child through these feelings and emotions as they grew up, so they could be emotional mature than to help them "fit in" and be "normal" as they grow up, all the while secretly and internalizing having to deal with these on their own.

As for celebrating Gotcha Day or not...to each family their own. However I would strongly disagree with your logic of not celebrating "Gotcha Day" because it comes with a painful memory of the day of abandonment. Do you not celebrate birthdays because you know that eventually there's going to be a day of death?

While I strongly disagree with some of your statements, I applaud you for being an AP and for trying your best. Its not easy and there is no for certain "right way" of doing it.

I would highly recommend these two books:
Best one for little kids (and even deals with 2 mommies syndrome)

"Why was I adopted"

and for AP's trying to understand some of the psychology behind transracial adoptees and what they experience or go through should read:

"Birth is More Than Once"

Its a study on adopted Korean children, but it relates to any transracial adoptees.

Oh..and Im new to this blog, and the reason why I am so passionate about this subject is because I am a Korean adoptee. I was adopted when I was 5 years old.

stephanie and scott said...

We really don't celebrate "gotcha day" either. Loved your post and enjoy seeing the pics of Eme!

t~ said...

InMySeoul,
You really missed the mark on this one. Sadly, you agree with most everything I said, but yet you argued it. You read the post, but yet you didn't comprehend the words. You quoted one line, but apprently missed the very next sentence that followed it, several times over.
So below are my responses to your thoughts as well.
My words: "We honor her birth Mother, but she is not Eme's Mommy."
She's not and I stand behind my statement. There's no denying it. She doesn't put her to bed, wake up with her or do any of the motherly things that raising a child entails. & the other line that you seemed to have skipped right over...
"It's obvious that Eme had another Mother before me..."
It will be blatently obvious to her as well every.single.time. she looks in the mirror.

To me, Mommy is an endearing term that is earned, not given. Kind of like the old quote, "Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Daddy." If I were to give a child up for adoption, I wouldn't think that they would be referring to me as Mommy as they grow up under the love and care of another set of parents, that's not even something I would be comfortable with. It's simply a choice of words. There's no denying the mother that came before me. Moving on...

Your words: "It sounds that by the time she gets old enough, you will have successfully obliterated her roots. "

That's just an ignorant comment. Period. There was nothing in this post that spoke about what we can, might and will do as a family to explore her roots. I'll ignore the stupidity of that statement because it was so foolish and just plain ignorant.

Your words: "They will always be Different and stuck in between two cultures"

I guess you missed the WHOLE paragraph of me acknowledging how she is but she isn't. Yeah, I think I get that as well, but you can go back to reread it at any point to refresh your memory.

Your words: "I would rather work with my child through these feelings and emotions as they grew up..."

& again, you missed my words, so I'll repost them here for you...
"This is her story to make peace with, not ours to turn it into a party & we will be there for her always to explore her feelings and what these days mean to her."


Your words: "As for celebrating Gotcha Day or not...to each family their own."

& my statement that you missed...

"If you celebrate G0tcha Day or Family Day then that's great if it works for your family.."

You may not agree with the logic, and that's fine, I have 5 other members of this family that do not celebrate anything other than a birthday, 3 of which are children. By doing our best to explore her feelings of 'normal', I need to not highlight all the differences of living day to day. We are Eme's soft place to fall in a world that will be difficult for her to navigate in. We are fully aware that she will deal with more issues than anyone else in this family. We are not in denial, we are aware and fully ready to help her sort all this stuff out. This is her life to live, I'm only here to love her and raise her to be a strong, confident girl.

So thank you for your comments, it looks as though you fully agree with my choice of words, you just seem to have a few *issues* for whatever reason.

Thank you for the book suggestions, I will be checking those out soon=0)

Debbie said...

T,
What a beautiful post. I am so glad that you posted what you have, it has caused me to stop and think. I will definately be getting the movie and watching it and then making my own conculsions. Thanks for sharing your heart!!!!

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

WOW.. this is a great post. I'm so far behind but you and Mare have got your blogging mojo going on! You both write so many things I've thought but never thought to write... (mostly because I suck at writing my thoughts) I'm looking forward to the "project" you and Mare have cooking.

Mei Ling said...

"It's obvious that Eme had another Mother before me, but to give the title of 'Mommy' to the unknown lady on the other side of the world would confuse any child."

Er... no it wouldn't. I've witnessed comments from other adoptive parents around the blogosphere that at age 2 the child can understand the concept of another mommy.

Is this more about the title of "Mommy" or is this about the idea of being afraid that you'll confuse your child?

Children at young ages can understand a lot more than we realize...

t~ said...

Mei Ling,
I can tell you for a fact, after having many foster kids come through our home, that though they were 'taught' very early in life to call their biological Mom, Mommy, they didn't share that same comfort level during later years.

At age 2, a child can not grasp another Mommy without her being in the flesh. I've had a few to many 2 year olds to come through my home to know that it would just be words, not comprehension.

Children do understand a lot, but not fully and wholly until they come of age to grasp the meaning behind words. My son is 5 years old and can't grasp that he has another grandpa, my Dad who died before he was born. When he sees his picture, he says "that's papaw", but it's a title that we gave him, not one that he connects to. So if you believe that 2 year olds can grasp the concept of 'another' Mommy who isn't in the flesh for them to connect to, then you need to be around a hell of a lot more children and sadly, their parents have very little understanding of comprehension levels.

Mei Ling said...

"So if you believe that 2 year olds can grasp the concept of 'another' Mommy who isn't in the flesh for them to connect to, then you need to be around a hell of a lot more children and sadly, their parents have very little understanding of comprehension levels."

Actually it's not me who says that... but the adoptive parents that I've had discussions with, although these discussions took place well over a year ago.

Georgea's Mommy said...

I love this post! I often speak of how our first encounter with Georgea was a sad one for her...how it makes me emotional, when I think about it. It still makes my heart heavy because I remember the tears, I remember her crying so hard that she was having a hard time catching her breath, how she eventually "passed out" from exhaustion, soaked with sweat & limp, lying face down on my chest. That was the reality of our first moments together. I knew that would pass, but in my heart I still feel sad when I think about that because it was such a traumatic experience for her. There was some happiness, some smiling, some giggles that followed later in the day, but still it was a really tough one for my baby girl & I can't (and don't really want to) wipe that memory of sadness out of my mind. I'm going to talk with James about our first day with Georgea & if we should celebrate that day. I'm thinking not.

Thanks for the thought provoking and relevant subject matter. I always appreciate your candor.

Amy

Anonymous said...

Good posts. We don't celebrate Gotcha Day for our Korean born daughter or Chinese daughter. Not a concious decision. We talk on that day about the first time we held them but that is about it. I do call the girls birth mothers their "first mothers" because it works for us. Again everyone is different.

Andrea