Exploring human experience & identity beyond the adoption box
As you can tell, I probably lean more toward the perspective in this article. Hannah did not want to embrace her "Chineseness" she completely detached from being Chinese at the very moment she was handed to me. I was not going to make her go to international school, enroll her in Mandarin, to embrace the culture that she felt abandoned her--I must confess I did dress her in a few Chinese outfits...We talked two nights ago about her name; she just started first grade and I had to fill out a form on how she got her name. While driving I asked her if she wanted me to reveal how she got her middle name, which is the name she was given in the orphanage. She said if I wanted to I could; I told her that it was her story and her decision--she said she wanted me to tell the teacher. Then she got quiet and said " Mom, I know you don't think I do, but I remember things" I nervously responded "Really, like what?" She said " I remember I really liked you but not really dad." Good thing Jay had just shared at our adoption workshop that Hannah cried every time she saw him; he was painfully aware of that truth. Then she went on to say how she loves Dad, and Grandpa Jim (she told Grandpa Jim last year while they were cutting wood "You know, I'm not afraid of you any more") She is coming into her own and dipping her toe into the pool of China (my best friend is from Mainland China so on some level she must), she argues with her brother who is more Chinese (he argued that he is since he took Mandarin), I want her to be comfortable with being a Schmidt and being Chinese. She love Mexican rice, tacos, tamales (my heritage)she loves white rice, peas and dumplings (her's). I fall so short every day giving her what she needs; I became painfully aware of that in our workshop this week. Instead of feeling defeated I must remember it is about her...not me, not my shortcomings. I love her with all of my heart and I think every parent that embarks on this journey wants to do what is best for their child. We do the best we can...It truly does take a village...a diverse village to raise our kids.
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