Friday, January 25, 2013
An acquaintance recently said to me " I have wondered why your group (FCC) goes through so much trouble to keep an identity and culture for your children. Didn't they all come from a Country that didn't really want them. I mean, what good is it when they are just American now". It really was meant as an honest question and in no way was meant to be negative. Yet, I am saddened to realize that is a perception some people have and I fear that my children will one day feel the same - both not knowing what culture they fit into and wondering if their birth county ever really wanted them.
Well, a few weeks ago I was able to see an amazing documentary with 100+ of my FCC pals that helped to answer that and more.
But I've got to tell you, I didn't even want go to see it when I first learned of it. I really didn't think I could bear it. One of my dear friends had commented before we went that she was scared to see it, a fear many couldn't understand. But I could, I felt that fear too....
So you ask why? What could have made you nervous to see a documentary about children just like yours?
Because I was scared of the truth I may hear, the truth of what we've done. I've always said, and really feel, that in no way did we adopt our children to "save" them. We were purely selfish in our adoptions, we simply wanted babies and could not have them on our own. The person I did save in this adoption process was myself and what I could have become if I remained childless. Did we give them a better life....? Probably, maybe. But my heart secretly fears that we stole them from their birth countries, took away their ethnic identities - made them Americans when inside they are still Chinese. So my fear was in what these girls in the movie Somewhere Between would have to tell me, what their truth would be? Where we right in getting our babies from elsewhere in the world, bringing them home to a culture so different from their birth. And now, are we right in teaching them about that culture left behind or should they be taught to be "just American"?
I am still not sure I got all the answers, for I feel like each child brings his/her own fears, truths and emotions with adoption. My adoptive experience is far different from theirs, and each of them have differences in their own adoptive situations. But I do feel I got a better perspective on what our children may go through as they grow and my fears have been met head on.
The truth is that we will do our best in raising our children in the way we feel is most beneficial for them.
Do I feel that my FCC (Families with Children from China) group is an essential part of my children's life? Oh yes I do. The girls from Somewhere Between showed me how truly important it is to allow them their Asian identities and to give them as much culture as we can until they can make independent decisions about it. The truth is that giving them both a basis of Chinese culture and the circle of friends just like them will help them to navigate the road ahead and make decisions on who they choose to become. I will never know how it feels to be not quite American and not quite Chinese, but I can give them the tools to confidently discover all of it on their own.
In some ways I feel the "truth" will be ever changing and evolving, differing with each child and each experience. I think the truth will never be able to be completely defined or described. I hope that the adoption, culture and ethnic parts of our families life will be just like all the other parts of parenting....we do what we can and hope our choices are right. My wish is that both my children understand the love I have for them, and the Countries that allowed me to be their Mama. I hope they will know as much about being Asian as a totally non-Asian Mom can offer and I that our FCC group helps to fill in the gaps. I hope that through these choices my children will grow to discover their own truths about their identity and birth culture. And I hope they feel confident enough in me and the foundation I've laid to allow me to come along for all of their journey.
And that is all I discovered of the truth. For now....
Posted by QingLu Mama