Thursday, May 6, 2010

adoption from an adult perspective

To expand a bit on our trip to Seattle,
and to answer some of your questions...

here's a bit more:

Yes, the girls only spoke to each other in Chinese,
with the exception of when the moms
were involved in the conversation.

Isn't that every teenage girl's dream...
to be able to chat with her friends openly without
Mom knowing what the heck they are
talking about?

The girls had a blast together but Macy assured
me that she was really happy to be home.
Love that!

I also wanted to talk a bit more about the adoption class
we went to, which was a panel of six adults who had
been adopted when they were young
(most were infants, one was a toddler).

It was REALLY good.
We were a tad fearful that we would walk away
depressed by negative stories
(which you can find a lot of online),
but it was quite the opposite.

Three of the adoptees were from domestic adoptions
and three were Korean.

A key element that they all zeroed in on was the fact
that it is SO important to keep the communications lines open
regarding their adoption.
Adoption was always a part of their life stories from the beginning.
Never did they recall a time that it was announced
to them that they were adopted or any new information that their
parents had withheld.
I think we all know how important that is
but it certainly helps to know that when we are talking
to our toddlers about being adopted
and they seem clueless as to what we are talking about,
it is in fact weaving a strong fabric that will later be
so essential.
And along those lines,
keeping our child's story consistent is also key, according to
the panel of adoptees.
Being honest is so very important.
That means when we don't know the answer
to a question about our child's life before us, just say so.
It's perfectly fine to say, "I don't know."
Don't make up
some flowery story in an effort to make them *feel* good.

They also said how vitally important it was for them to
be connected with
(even if it was just a couple times a year)
other adoptees, particularly with those who share their
heritage.

They also stressed that they deeply love their adoptive families.
So much so that each of them got very
emotional as they spoke of them.
It was deeply moving and very encouraging.

They shared with us moments of the discrimination they received
at various times
(interestingly, it was other Koreans who most often gave them a hard time).
They told little stories that stuck in their minds
of some of the very stupid things people would say to them.

Oh how people say STUPID things.

As much as we would like to believe it isn't going to happen
in our neck of the woods,
it will.
We gotta be prepared and help our children deal with that.


I suppose none of this is new information to those of us who have had
a good amount of education regarding adoption.
But it's very encouraging to have it reinforced and to know
that it really does make a difference.

I'll end my ramblings there.

Hope y'all have a happy Friday!

8 comments:

Holly said...

That is so good! There is way too much negative on the internet when it comes to adult adoptees. But I am convinced that is because the happy ones don't feel the need to post their feelings on the internet so much. I know a few teens who were adopted as babies, and they are quite happy. Thanks for sharing!

Tiffany said...

Thank you so much for sharing. It is so good to read & hear those stories.

Patty said...

That was so encouraging wasn't it! So much better then I expected. I especially loved the encouragement of it being a good thing to have several adopted kids in the family mix!! :)

Leah said...

Perfect timing my friend......

Marie-Claude said...

No rambling Lori,
Thank-you for the insight, sometimes it's hard to say ''I don't know'' to my daughter when she asks a questions about her life in China that I cannot answer. It's nice to hear from adult adoptees, that it's the right thing to do.

Marie-Claude

Cristy said...

Lori,

Thank you for posting so openly. I failed to mention that several months ago, I told my sister about your blog. They are adopting a 12 yr old girl, and can gleen so much from families like you that are so openly sharing the highs and lows of teenage adoption. Your blog blesses more people than you know, ME included.

Thank you for being vunerable.

Blessings to you!

Chris said...

Thanks for posting that, sometimes I wonder if ANYTHING I've thought or done was the right thing after all.
I guess it is true, the happy people don't feel like getting out there and arguing..

connie said...

Lori, that's very encouraging! JUst so ya' know - I emailed you this morning before I had a chance to catch up on you blog :) Thanks for sharing! I love the Mother's day pictures!

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