Sunday, October 4, 2009

Heart's Desire

The conversation started innocuously enough. We're driving in the car and Zoe was doing her fake-British accent (don't ask!), She asked what the difference was between Great Britain and England, and I explained that Great Britain included England, Wales, and Scotland. She remarked that she thought Scotland was funny since men wore skirts.

I explained about kilts, and said that men in Scotland pretty much wore kilts only for special occasions, like in China, a girl will wear a qi pao only on special occasions, not every day. That lead to questions from Maya about what qi paos are made of (silk).

And that led Zoe to say she wished our whole house was decorated in silk. Why, I asked? The answer was something along the lines of silkworms are cool, silk is so smooth and shiny and colorful. I took the practical road and explained some of the difficulties of taking care of silk. Zoe thought maybe we should invent a washing machine just to wash silk.

And then she changed tacks. "Well, it's not really my heart's desire to have silk all over the house. I want a mirror like the one Harry Potter saw his parents in (the girls watched their first Harry Potter movie last night). I would be able to see my birth parents in that mirror, because seeing them is my heart's desire."

"Yes, sweetie, I know that's your heart's desire. I hope one day you will see them. I know it's not the same thing, but every time you look in a mirror, you can see your birth parents when you look at your face. They made you, so they are in you."

"I KNOW," says Zoe. She's behind me in the car, but I can tell she's rolling her eyes, even though I can't see her. "You're right, it's not the same. I don't know which parts of my face came from which birth parent!"

I respond, "I can tell that makes you feel frustrated. How else does it make you feel?"

Zoe ponders that and says, "It's sad, but I think I've got an idea. I can marry Harry Potter and he can show me the mirror!"

Now she's going all practical on me. . . . . and fickle, too. Earlier in the day, both she and Maya were moving to Europe so they could each find a prince to marry so they could be princesses.

(But judging from Zoe's latest drawing of her birth parents, I can tell her exactly who they look like -- Yoko Ono and . . . Yoko Ono!)


Wendy said...

I like her drawings, I am seeing the Yoko connection though. :-)

Mahmee said...

I was thinking of Yoko and John when I first saw that. Funny.

Anonymous said...

Haha! When I first saw the drawing, I thought "oh, so her birth parents are John and Yoko" before I even read your assessment!! Love it! Tell her she can follow Yoko on Twitter! clf

Susanne Dencker said...

Dear Malinda (And Zoe)

First and foremost thank you ever so much for your enlightening, inspiring and dignifying ways of talking adoption on this blogspot.

I did try to mail you but my mail got lost all the way to the USA  Right now I am doing a Master in Commination at Roskilde University in Denmark. My study deals with the way Danish children’s books present adoption to young adoptive children – especially focusing on the way they talk about the adoptive parents versus the birth parents, the way they do/don’t talk about race, racism, difference and similarity from the Danish way, inclusion and exclusion etc.

Then I came across this fantastic picture, drawn by your daughter – together with her wish and your warmhearted and including answer it spells out, that adoptive children (at least) have two sets of true parents. This is – as well as a lot of other including and excluding definitions - what the adoption communication battle here in Denmark is focusing on.

My question is whether you and Zoe think it is ok that I use the drawing at the front page of my master?

Warm regards
Susanne Dencker -