Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hope you had a good time ringing in 2009! We rang in the new year with a group of our adoption friends -- our 8th annual Pajama Party New Year's Eve. Our first party was right after most of us returned from China with our first children. We had all waited together, and traveled between October and December 2001, so we all had teeny-tinies at New Year's Eve.

That first year, most of our conversations were little different from other first-time parents -- the incredible things our kids did, sleep issues (for us and the kids!), bottles and diapers and what's on sale at BabiesRUs. In following years, the talk was the same as most parents, but might include the cute Chinese ornaments at Kohl's and the cute Asian doll found at Tuesday Morning. And for most of us, the talk reverted to baby talk as we were seeking to adopt child two or three (or four!) from China.

Now in year 8, the conversations were a little different.

What should I do about the little boy in her class who makes her cry by saying China is bad? Has your child asked about siblings in China, because mine has? Mine says she misses her birth parents -- is that normal? Mine has never mentioned her birth parents -- is that normal? A little girl in her class asked why her birth parents gave her up, and she said, "I don't know, I guess they wanted me to have a better life."

New years, new stages, hoping all will be good!


Mei-Ling said...

What exactly does the little boy say?

Just that "China is bad"?


Could "bad" be a disguised word for "strange"? Or maybe he assumes that your daughter is adopted that she came from a "bad place" where children are abandoned?

malinda said...

From what the mom said, it seems that the little boy has heard his grandpa talk about World War II and the Japanese, and he looks at WWII picture books with his grandpa, and he's heard Grandpa say something negative about the Japanese, and since he knows the little girl is from China, but she looks like those bad Japanese, China must be bad, too.

The mom has talked to the teacher, and the little boy has been moved away from the girl in the classroom, but we were brainstorming about other things to help the little girl deal -- mentioned the WISE UP book, and giving the girl some empowering responses.

Eight years ago, the idea of dealing with racial teasing was an abstraction, not a reality. So now it's what we talk about when we get together with other adoptive parents.

Wendy said...

What a great source of support for you and now the girls. I wish I could find local like-minded families (I have found mostly those with the attitudes that we are trying to change with education). However, I do love having my friends via the web who I get to meet every now and M gets to have as her friends via mail, email, and occassional playdates.