Smore Stories – Daring To Journey Through Adoption..

by Marisha

Tara Bradford has initiated an exciting new series on her blog. As an adoptee and an adoptive mother, she has a wealth of experience from both perspectives which can inspire and enrich the rest of us. Follow the link below to read her description.

Thank you, Tara!

Smore Stories – Daring To Journey Through Adoption...

Tara Bradford

Tara Bradford

10 Ways You Might Be Letting Down Your Adopted Child

by Luanne

Do you have the best intentions to raise your adopted child in the best possible way you can?  If so, you’re like most of us adoptive parents.

In the case of international and transracial adoptions, the intentions can multiply, as do the mistakes made by parents.

Cheri Register, in her book Beyond Good Intentions, lists ten reasons adoptive parents who think they are being good parents often fall short.  In fact, we all fall short in some way or another.41JFR2MD2PL._SY300_

The book is organized according to these ten reasons, so I will list the chapter titles and gloss each one:

  1. Wiping Away Our Children’s Past–a child who is adopted is not a blank slate. She comes with a past, including the past before she was born.
  2. Hovering over Our “Troubled” Children–don’t pathologize your child.
  3. Holding the Lid on Sorrow and Anger–allow and encourage the expression of emotions in your home and don’t show your child that you don’t accept emotions or have to be protected from them.
  4. Parenting on the Defensive–if you’re defensive, you’re going to come off as angry at the child. You might do something dumb like tell her she ought to be grateful. See my recent grumpy post about that subject.
  5. Believing Race Doesn’t Matter–of course, race matters. We live in a race conscious world. Saying “I never see Lauren’s race” isn’t doing her any favors. She has to learn to live in the world the way it is. And her race is something to take pride in–not to ignore.
  6. Keeping Our Children Exotic–This is where sometimes people think “exotic” = cute. Your child isn’t an exotic pet.  Need I say more?
  7. Raising Our Children in Isolation–Children need to be raised in a diverse community. This is healthy for all children, no matter their race or if they are adoptees or not. But international and/or transracial adoptees, need this even more.  This is the one where my husband and I most let our kids down.
  8. Judging Our Country Superior–How does that make a child born in another country to people of another nationality feel pride and instill self-confidence?
  9. Believing Adoption Saves Souls–if you follow this logic to its conclusion you learn that God intended for your child to be torn away from her birth parents, culture, history, genetics, etc.–all to save her soul. How will that make her feel about the religion you bring her up in? Or about herself and her natural emotions?
  10. Appropriating Our Children’s Heritage–This is a big ick. If your child was born in China and you were born a white person in Philadelphia, don’t start to think you’re Chinese by adoption or by extension.  You’re not. It does your child no disservice to have you act like you think you are. It can be perceived as a colonialist attitude.

A huge thanks to blogger Menomama who directed me to this clear and well thought out book.

You Can’t Always Trust a Kid’s Reaction

by Luanne

The other day I had a discussion with a few people on our Facebook page about an article in Adoption Voices Magazine that guest blogger Lisa posted.

But this blog post isn’t about that article—it’s about where my mind ended up.

As the conversation went on, the mention of race in adoption came up, and as my mind usually works, I was soon off on my own mental tangent.

I remembered a story our case worker had shared with us during our first home study. She was very good about bringing up issues, such as race and forming a transracial (called interracial in those days) family. The story went that a Korean boy was adopted by a white couple in the Midwest. They raised him in an area which happened to have very few Asians—so few, in fact, that the boy grew to be seven or eight and he had never seen another Asian. One day he watched a television show about the Japanese, and he laughed and made a derogatory comment about their looks. That’s when his parents understood that he didn’t realize he was Asian.

Her story made an impression on me and on my husband, and we knew that our children needed to be helped to understand and develop their own identities.

However, when our son Marc was in 4th grade, my analysis of the case worker’s story added a new layer of complexity.

I believe that it’s possible that the child did know at some level what he looked like and that he was “different” from those around him.

Here’s what happened. One night Marc was reading his homework on the floor of the family room and started laughing. I asked him what was so funny.

He kept laughing and pointed to a passage in the book. I read it and . . . you know that expression, my blood ran cold? It did.

Marc was reading an assigned book, The Story of Doctor Doolittle. Have you read this book? If you’re white, have you read an original version in recent years, with an enlightened view of race, or as a kid “back in the day”? If you’re not white, what did you think or feel when you read it?

There is a character in the book called Bumpo, the African prince. The way he is portrayed—both in text and illustration is clearly racist. In fact, Bumpo wishes to be white so he can marry Sleeping Beauty.

Marc’s school, the best private school in our town, was literature-based and founded on principles developed by Mae Carden in the thirties. The school hadn’t veered much from the decades-old curriculum and this book was on that curriculum.

I was more upset upon discovering what Marc was reading than anything that had happened up to that point about my kids. I felt betrayed by the school. When Marc started at the school there weren’t many minorities there, although each year more and more attended and by the time he was in the middle school grades, there were many Asian and Latino and some African-American children at the school.

I felt sad that Marc had to read something so racist, provided to him by adults he trusted.

I felt angry at the school.

I felt confused that, although Marc had been raised to respect people of all races and he knew he himself was of a minority race (in his community), he was laughing.

Although I’m dead set against book censorship, there is a big difference between banning books from libraries and choosing the best possible selections for curriculum.

So I called the school, of course, to complain. I met with immediate resistance and deflection. They had me speak to the teacher who assured me that Marc had not had a problem with it at all when they read it in class.  It was a humorous passage, the class had found it funny, and they had all laughed. I was making a mountain out of a molehill.

Think about that a minute. OK, think about it after you get around that pissed off feeling you’re experiencing right now.  He had already read that passage in school. So why was he reading it at home and laughing at it?

When I asked him why he was laughing and expressed my dismay at the overt racism, he gave me the “it’s no big deal” reaction and indicated I was over-reacting.

I concluded that he wanted to draw my attention to the passage to help him sort out his own feelings, but he was unable to be direct about it because he himself was confused and disturbed deep inside.

Later, I further concluded that as one of the only minority kids in his class at that time, he was embarrassed and wanted to show the other kids that he wasn’t different from them. That he wasn’t, in fact, the African prince.  That he didn’t have to wish he was white to marry Sleeping Beauty because he was already white, just like them.

That’s why I think that the story about the Korean boy responding negatively upon seeing his first Asians is more complex than on first thought.  On one level, the boy identified so strongly with his Caucasian family and community that he didn’t understand what he was seeing. But on some other level, he did know he was different and that being different was a very uncomfortable place for him to be.  A way to get around thinking of himself as different was to make other non-Caucasians the “Other.” (If you wonder why somebody could have knowledge and not have knowledge at the same time, you haven’t met anybody in denial ;)!)

What happened with the school and the book?  Because the school was sensitive to attempts at book banning, they made me fight them on the issue. But a compromise was effected when I presented them with a fully researched alternative list of books which had some of the same positive characteristics as the book in question and none of the racism.

One last thing. I want to make clear that even as this incident was happening, the school had already begun to change in positive ways as the administration and some teachers were replaced and the demographics of the city changed.  Although it had always been the best choice for my kids in our town, it became a much stronger and more inclusive school than it had been originally. I don’t want you to think I’m writing this to bash the school that caused my children much happiness.

A Story of Open Adoption

by Kristie Hoyt Gonzales

Adoption was always something I knew I wanted to do. In college I had the opportunity to study abroad and work in an orphanage. I fell in love with the kids. Leaving them was hard and I knew I wanted/ needed to do more.

Four years later I traveled to Guatemala for work. I fell in love with the city and the children. I was able to visit the special needs orphanage and my heart was broken for these children. In both Mexico and Guatemala, when I would arrive at the orphanages the children would smother me. They craved attention, contact, interaction, and mostly love.

And they had so much to give. Their hearts were big and open even in the face of adversity. They just wanted what everyone else wanted: a family, someone to hug them and tuck them in at night, comfort them when they fall, someone to read them a story while sitting in their lap, and someone to tell them they ARE loved. My heart broke every day I left them, and then when I returned. I wondered if they ever found someone to love them; a family of their own.

When my husband and I started talking about having a family we knew we wanted to have a child of our own and then adopt internationally—and from a Latin American country since we both spoke Spanish. After a few years of trying I was told it was pretty unlikely I would ever have kids and we knew that adoption was always the way our family was meant to grow.

We decided to adopt an infant since you only bring home your first baby once. That means we went domestic. We were open to transracial adoption and searched for an agency that would meet our needs, even though it meant going out of our home state. After a long process to enter the waiting pool, we were matched one week later. With TWINS!

But it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel it would happen, so much so we never even asked the gender of the babies. Three weeks later, late at night, the phone rang. It was an out-of-state number and I had all the numbers for the agencies and our social worker saved so I wasn’t thinking it was the call. But I answered and I am so glad I did. She told me we were matched for a little boy, and that the birthmom wanted to talk to me tonight! What? Tonight?! But Tony was working and it was past 10PM where she lives. “Call her anyways” is what I heard. I responded with a shaky “ok” and a “what do I say to her?”

Over the next few weeks we talked often with our birthmom (she has asked to remain anonymous). We developed a close relationship and she asked us to fly out for the birth. YES! YES! YES! But Hudson came early and fast and we weren’t able to get there for the birth. We had to be in state for at least two weeks waiting for our Interstate Compact Papers to fly home and had plans to visit some of the sights with our birthmom. However, since Hudson was born prematurely, those two weeks were spent in the hospital, which had a weird loop hole: even though all papers were signed and he was legally ours, birthmom still had all medical rights. This meant we couldn’t visit our son in the hospital without birthmom and she had to be in the NICU, so as a couple, we couldn’t spend time together with our new baby.

It was a very hard and difficult situation on everyone. Our birthmom, who had planned to say good-bye at 48 hours and then take time to grieve before we all went out for the first time, couldn’t leave. She had to be there, had to see us interact with our baby, the baby she just gave birth to, had to give the doctors permission to speak to us, watch the photographer take his newborn hospital photos with us, and put her grieving on hold. We had to put our bonding on hold and it became an awkward situation for all involved. To make things worse, we were the ones driving her to and from the hospital to the hotel we were BOTH staying at. Her counselor was with two other birthmoms during that time that were giving birth. We all wanted to be a family, but we also needed our space, which we didn’t get.

Fast forward a few months.  The grief that our birthmom had been compartmentalizing erupted. And she took it out on the only person she could and that knew about the adoption: me. I fought through it, was her punching bag, tried to set boundaries, but also keep with our openness plan. Our agency told us to cut off all contact and change my phone number, but I just couldn’t do it–to her or my son. After a few months, I was finally strong enough to set and keep boundaries. This was the best thing I did!

After a few months of no contact, our birthmom had the time she needed to grieve and I had the time to focus on Hudson and form an attachment. We now text often, talk on important days, and are planning for her to visit. Even though our relationship wasn’t always easy, I am so grateful for our birthmom, for sticking through the rough times and not listening to others to end contact because we wouldn’t have the relationship we have now. We have trust, we check in with each other (and not just about Hudson). We have a relationship with each other.

But our adoption story doesn’t end there. We knew our family wasn’t complete and we had love in our hearts from another child. It was still weighing on our hearts to adopt internationally. Knowing we wanted our children to have the same ethnicity we changed from adopting from Latin America to Africa. After researching different countries we felt led to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We chose DRC for the process and the fact you could adopt independently with lawyers in country versus using an agency. This adoption is a completely different experience. We are currently waiting for a referral and are excited to see our family completed.

###

Kristie Gonzales is an Early Childhood Education Specialist. She says, “Adoption was always something that was on my heart and when I couldn’t get pregnant, we knew adoption was always meant to be how our family would grow. My husband, Tony, and I pursued an infant adoption and we were open to a transracial adoption. Our blessing, Hudson, came into our family through an open adoption, and we are currently pursuing an international adoption from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Kristie Hoyt Gonzales can be found at www.ourjourney2forever.wordpress.com

Adoption Comes Straight from the Heart: A Book Review

by Luanne

(Originally posted August 13, 2012)

I felt driven to review this book because the title made me so uncomfortable.   I can’t imagine saying to Marc or Marisha, when they were little ones, “Sit with Mom.  I want to read you this great book called My Adopted Child, There’s No One Like You.”  I have never called them “my adopted children” and can’t imagine ever doing so.  They were–and still are, at 27 and 24–my kids.  And I am their mom.  My husband is their dad.  When the kids want to explain to people, they will say, “Yeah, I’m adopted.”  And that’s basically how I answer people, too.  I would never even think of saying, “This is my adopted son, Marc.”  So to say that the title put me off is an understatement.

Nevertheless, since the book was written by Dr. Kevin Leman, a psychologist and New York Times best-selling author, I wanted to see what was inside.  The book is one in a series of “birth order books.”  There are other volumes which deal with being firstborn, only child, middle child, and youngest child.  I will admit that the idea of adding in a book for the adopted child is a good idea, although children who have been adopted can be found in all “positions” within the family.

When I opened the book I discovered that the illustrations, by Dr. Leman’s son Kevin Leman II, are very clear, entertaining, and colorful.  They aren’t the sort of art which wins the Caldecott Medal, but they are pictures which illustrate well the story.  This book has a lot of text on every other page; it’s broken up by a full-page illustration opposite each one.

It turns out that I did enjoy the story and even teared up at one point–that was where Mama Bear tells her little boy, Panda, “‘You were born right here,’ and she touched her furry chest with her paw.”  The heartfelt sentiment and love between Panda and his mother and father is palpable.  That makes this book very worthwhile.

The story is a little specific.  Panda’s birth mother was a young panda — beautiful, kind, and loving.  The bears were able to meet Panda’s birth mother, so Mama can personally tell Panda about her.  Let’s face it, every adoption story is a little different.  So in books about adoption we are apt to get different stories.  The more stories kids read, the richer their minds and their lives.  That’s why I don’t consider the specificity a negative.  And there are other adoption books which are even more specific, if that is what you are looking for.  The question that lingers for me: if a child whose birth mother is unknown (and perhaps unknowable) is first exposed to this book or if it’s the only book he or she reads, how would that part of this story affect him or her?

The underlying plot situation is that Panda’s teacher asks her students to draw their family trees.  This is a common assignment in American schools, so it’s a very real issue for many children who have been adopted.  It’s handled well, even with a bit of an open ending, which keeps the book more appealing to a wider range of readers.

Whether this is a book about transracial adoptions or all adoptions, I think it depends on how you read it.  At one point, Mama Bear explains that Panda is a black and white bear and she and Papa are brown bears.  This can be seen as a racial metaphor.  However, many adoptees go through a period where they may feel different from the others in the family. Because the characters are animals, it frees up the child’s mind to read the book as it makes sense to him or her.

A very small note is that on the first page we learn the teacher’s name is Mrs. Racoonaroni.  This sounds humorous when read aloud, but to a beginning reader it looks daunting on the page.

All in all, the book makes a valuable contribution to the subject of adoption.   Because of its position in the series of “birth order” books, the author or editor titled the book My Adopted Child, There’s No One Like You to be clear about the readership for which it aimed.  I’ve tried to come up with some other titles which would be more palatable to me and still fit within the series.  My Chosen Child? Um, I don’t think so. My Child (by Adoption)?  Not much better.  Maybe you have some good suggestions, but that doesn’t change the title on the cover.

Would I place this book on our family bookshelf?  Yes, but not without other books about adoption.  When a child asks me to read the book, I will put the emphasis on There’s No One Like You.

A Little Bit of Korea through Tae Kwon Do

by Luanne

(Originally published October 8, 2012)

When our Korean-born children were six and two, we moved from southwestern Michigan, where it wasn’t uncommon to see families forged by international adoption, to a community in southern California where it was extremely rare.  My husband and I were both full-time students, worked, and had long commutes, so time to educate ourselves and our children in Korean culture was very limited.

We did make the drive to Los Angeles to visit the Korean Cultural Center as often as we could.  What a fantastic resource!  We borrowed videos of Korean dance and ballet.  Since Marisha was dancing by then, we hoped that these tapes would offset the ballets featuring primarily white dancers which she had been watching.

Hubby and I insisted that the kids attend Korean language class at a local church.  We bought some basic textbooks and the kids attended once a week.  But they went in knowing absolutely zero Korean and, unfortunately, their teacher didn’t know a single word of English.  The pictures in one of the books apparently didn’t work because what the kids had understood to be the Korean word for shoe, pronounced goo-doo, sent a Korean girl Marisha met a couple of years later into hysterics.  Apparently, it wasn’t the correct word.  I don’t know if I want to know what it means.

White belt and little no belt

A year after we moved to California, a Korean Tae Kwon Do Master opened a dojang (Tae Kwon Do studio) up the block from our house.  Marc started attending classes, where he learned the basics of a sport which has integrated certain aspects of the Korean culture.  Then Marisha won a free month of classes and joined her brother at Tae Kwon Do. The kids learned to bow and show proper respect, as well as some Korean words and philosophies.  At the frequent potlucks, our family enjoyed Korean dishes, such as Bulgogi (beef BBQ) and Kimchi (a fermented spiced cabbage).  Both kids earned their Black Belts in the sport.

According to Marc, one of the best parts of the experience was that when he was a young teen he got to travel to Korea with his dad and a few others from the dojang under the guidance of the Master who was now Grand Master.  The trip was split between staying at the Grand Master’s mother’s apartment in Seoul and staying at a hotel on a tour to see Cheju Island.  They also were able to practice Tae Kwon Do at the Kukkiwon, which is World Tae Kwon Do Headquarters, training with the Spanish, Italian, Mexican, and Korean Olympic teams.  It is one thing to tour Korea with an American group, but another to travel with a Korean friend and stay in the friend’s family home.

Seoul’s streets were very crowded.  At one point, hubby looked at Marc and said, “Look around you.  If you get lost, I will have a hard time finding you.”  This was the first time Marc had experienced being in crowds of Koreans, of being able to get lost in the crowd, so to speak.  And it was the first time his Dad had to worry about that.

Seoul Neighborhood

On Cheju Island, the guys watched seafood being caught in the ocean and brought up on shore, where it was promptly served up to tourists.   Here are some of their photos.

Cheju Island

Seafood at the beach

Yakcheonsa Temple, Cheju

Interior, Yakcheonsa Temple

The beauty of Korea

What about Privacy?

by guest blogger Menomama3

Imagine you’ve just finished swimming laps and you’re in the shower sudsing off the chlorine. You’ve left your spectacles in the locker with your towel. You’re butt naked. You’re also pathetically myopic and directionally challenged without your glasses. Turning towards the opening that you think leads to the change room, you find yourself standing on the public deck of the pool instead.  Totally naked.  Words to describe how you feel: Exposed, embarrassed, ashamed, surprised, stunned, and vulnerable. Absolutely everything is on display. The worst of it is, when you turn to scuttle to safety, you expose yourself even further. Your hands rapidly move from one body part to another trying to cover something, anything, as you retreat.

If you’re white, pretend your mom and dad are black. Yes, you’re adopted, and when you’re in public with your family EVERYONE knows. It’s not about shame, it’s about privacy. Right away there’s a loss of privacy about your origins. And for whatever reason, interracial families draw a lot of attention when they’re out and about. Random strangers will approach and after the graceless question, “Is she yours?” ask the most shockingly rude and personal questions like, “Do you know who her real parents are?” or “How much did you pay for him?” or “Weren’t you able to have one of your own?”

We were in a bookstore. One child was still in a stroller, the other just 4 years old. I had bent down to adjust something for the baby and as I stood, the four-year old and I bashed heads by accident. I bit my tongue hard. With tears in my eyes, hanging on to the stroller, I hauled myself up and there he was, the determined stranger, striding confidently towards me with the LOOK. Through countless similar experiences, I had come to recognize the LOOK in the boldly curious. First comes the alternating eye shift from adult to child, and then back to adult again, followed by a resolute question mark posture and finally light of dawning on the face.  Please, I thought, please, just go away. But I mistook this gent. After the inevitable question – Are they yours? – he politely inquired, “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” (Internal voice – YES I MIND!)

Maybe it was because I had just chewed and chomped on my tongue and the blood crashing through my veins made me feel like I was going to explode, or perhaps it was light-headedness from standing up so quickly after the collision, or because my quickly swelling tongue made speech difficult that I turned to my daughter and said “Do you want to answer the question?” She looked down at her feet and shook her head. I pulled her close and looked at the quizzical man and gave him my best Gallic shrug. In that instant I handed my daughter control over her story. We walked away.

Have you ever met someone who tells you their life story in the first 30 minutes of meeting them, sparing no gritty details? I have two responses when this happens. Fascination and awe at their openness and then withdrawal as I hope to god they don’t want me to reciprocate.

Families love to tell stories about the day their child was born. Adoptive families like to tell the story of the day they met their child and the intense joy, happiness, (and in my case a touch of fear) that arrived wrapped up with the bundle. Yet out of the blue we don’t ask the mom sitting next to us on the bus to tell us about giving birth to her son.

For lots of reasons, adoptees have complicated responses to the telling of their story, especially as they get older. Regardless of how well the child “fits” in the family, in every adoption there is still a loss and it’s hard to articulate that with casual acquaintances. How do you explain sadness at losing a birth family, a culture, an aborted embryonic identity? Our society has lingering xenophobic beliefs and tells families like ours “Your child is so lucky to have you for a family.” (As an aside, contrast this with repeated encounters in China, when I took one of my children back for a trip, as strangers in markets would tell me how lucky I was to have her.) What child feels lucky all the time?

For nine years I was a volunteer member of a group who assembled a quarterly newsletter for a Canadian adoption agency, The Children’s Bridge. When we started this endeavour we had very young kids. We willingly shared our experiences with the adoption community. As our children grew up we started to think twice about what we were telling, recognizing that maybe we were crossing a line that our kids might not like. It seems ironic to be so concerned with over-sharing in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere. But everyone has a right to privacy and everyone has the right to tell their story when, if, and how they want to tell it.

 ###

Adoptive mom to three teenage girls born in China, Menomama3 was employed for 8 years at The Children’s Bridge, an international adoption agency, working with families to facilitate adoptions from China, South Korea and Thailand. She now works for a large medical, non-profit agency and enjoys telling tales about being a middle-aged, hot-flashing mom to hormone addled teenagers.

What’s in a Blog Name?

by Luanne

After Marisha and I decided we wanted to write about our experiences with adoption, we brainstormed a name for the blog.  Marisha came up with the title Don’t We Look Alike? based on a joke she makes when she introduces me to people.  She might have been half joking when she suggested the title, but I loved it.  At first glance, it seemed to say it all.

But what does it say?  Since it’s Marisha’s expression/question, I can’t speak for her intention or meaning, if she has even examined it herself.  After all, the best jokes usually spring from an instinct about what’s funny or funny and insightful.  However, looking at her question from my perspective, I realized I wasn’t sure what it means.

Since it asks the question in negative form—do not we look alike–it seems to make the assumption that we do, in fact, look alike.  The meaning would change significantly if she asked, “Do we look alike?”  In that case, she would be starting from a position of uncertainty, wondering if someone who is a stranger to the family (not necessarily a stranger to her, but one who isn’t used to being around our family) thinks that she and I look like each other.  That question would be kind of ridiculous.

By phrasing the question in the negative, the case is made that we look alike.  Since we very obviously do not look alike, the person addressed has to assume that Marisha is being ironic.

According to my best friend and nemesis Wikipedia, irony “is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is an incongruity between the literal and the implied meaning. . . .Ironic statements (verbal irony) are statements that imply a meaning in opposition to their literal meaning.”  Steeped in irony, as it is, her question is clearly stating the obvious.

So why draw attention to the obvious?  Why use irony?  Irony tends to create humor.  In the case of a Korean-American young woman and her blue-eyed bottle-blonde mother, acting as if they look alike does create humor.  Humor puts people at ease, makes them less uncomfortable.  It even links people together by forming a bond of good cheer between them.  So when Marisha asks her question and people laugh, it’s an ice-breaker.

In this way, the question also relieves others.  If they are wondering about our difference and aren’t sure if they should say something or not, Marisha takes that concern away from them.  Now they feel free to acknowledge the difference.

Does the question then invite discussion?  Sometimes it does, but more often only after Marisha or I continue the conversation with a follow-up comment, such as “Obviously, I’m adopted” or “I wish I looked like Marisha.”

Sometimes people use irony to hold others at bay.  Like all humor, it can be used for protection.  It’s possible that “Don’t we look alike?” can function in this way.  It can be a talisman that keeps others from thinking too much about our family and why we look different.  It can be explained and we can all move on from there.  Why would this protection be necessary?  Maybe it’s because neither of us wants to be slapped in the face with our differences in every interaction we have with others when we are together.

Marisha and I don’t sit around and talk about our differences very often.  We are much more focused on our commonalities, the interests we share, such as our family, the theatre, music, dance, writing, and cats.  So when she asks this question when she introduces people to me, does she then see our difference anew through the eyes of others?  Are others a mirror to our family?

What Do People Say to the Parents of Adoptees (in Transracial Families)? This stuff . . .

This video captures some very realistic moments!  These comments get very annoying to parents (although they can be very funny, too).  If you have made any of these comments yourself, try to think through how it might make the parent feel.  What could you say instead?

A Lighthearted Blog Post with a Smidgeon of Seriousness

by Luanne

Years ago, when I waited for Marc to arrive, I bought him a fluffy Teddy bear and a stuffed seal toy from an animal welfare organization.  Three years later, when I awaited Marisha, I thought about dolls with human features.  It was important to me that she have dolls which looked like her, not the majority of dolls which were available in stores at that time.

I found one beautiful Asian doll with long silky hair, but she was very expensive–close to $100, which was an incredible price at that time–and I put her on layaway.  Seeing Marisha  hugging that baby doll when she was little more than a baby herself was priceless.

When Marisha started school, she received Barbie dolls for her birthdays.  They were usually blonde, but every time she got a blonde one, I bought her a black-haired Barbie.  In this way she accumulated a lot of Barbies.

Then Marisha moved on to her true love:  Power Rangers!!!

 “It’s Morphin’ Time!” (aka Happy Weekend!)

%d bloggers like this: