We have come to think of Thanksgiving as a holiday for families like us: Those who know that America, whatever its sins, is a refuge in the world.Reactions?
When my parents—a Jewish man and an Irish woman—married in the 1950s, they were warned, as transracial adoption families often are, that their children would
face bigotry and hostility. But today, our 6-year-old niece Juliette, a California blond, slips her arm around the shoulders of our daughters and says, "We're cousins for life, right?"
Our Chinese children sit at the Passover table and scrounge for Easter eggs. They wear "South Side Irish" green scarves around their necks on St. Patrick's Day. It's all in the family.
My wife came home one day from our daughters' Chinese culture class to announce there would be no class next week. "Because of the Jewish holidays," she explained, straight-faced. Only in America. Our girls speak French, like their mother. My wife and I join our girls to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in Mandarin. We've learned that families mixed by marriage or adoption don't shrink or starve a heritage. They nourish it with newcomers.
Monday, November 23, 2009
"How to Say Thanksgiving in Mandarin"
Scott Simon of NPR, and adoptive father to two girls from China (his oldest is 6), has written the above-titled opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal: