Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Open Thread -- Wo Ai Ni Mommy

Reactions?

Thoughts?

Feelings?

Opinions?

Please share!

28 comments:

Chinazhoumom said...

I just finished watching - and I have to say I understand more "viewing" it than reading -What mom said etc. Some sounded harsh and some was harsh (Imissed the first part)...I can understnad how frustrating it must be on both sides to not be able to say just basic things - like I can't carry the books - vs being a "bratty" kid - which her mama later said she was sorry for...


I can't imagine losing everything that I knew including my language - and being thrust into a new life - even if materialy she had more - but it appears that she had immense love for her foster family.

I would like to hear/see where she is now...

I look forward to discussing more - I say a prayer for the children of other nations that come here - whether via adoption or family moves - it must be as culture shocking as it is to us to visit other lands.

I have to say - our girls are amazing - the groups of children I(my daughters age) never cease to amaze me! How far they have come - where will they be 10, 20 years etc from now...time will tell.

JBH said...

I was not able to watch it last night on TV. I'm on a lunch break, watched the first eleven minutes - and came close to crying twice! I'm also trying not to read the post before mine...so I can see the whole movie without "bias."

One thing that strikes me so far: since they decided to adopt an older child, why did the mom not try to learn some Chinese? Language is a basic icebreaker, I think.

Will comment more after I watched the whole thing.

a Tonggu Momma said...

It will air in our area on Sept. 1, so I'm going to wait to watch it with my husband then. I know I could watch it on-line now, but we wanted to see it together.

Anonymous said...

As is typical, there is a lot of judgement flying around the internet (once again) about the mother. The earlier treatment of this mother at this very blog was disgusting in my opinion. (see prior commentary and reviews at this blog site)

I continue to be amazed at peoples abilities to form arm chair negative opinions and judgements on the basis of a short documentary which is at best very fractional and selected editing on the part of the documentary owner.

JBH wrote: "One thing that strikes me so far: since they decided to adopt an older child, why did the mom not try to learn some Chinese? Language is a basic icebreaker, I think."

Hey JBH, that is a perfect example of arm chair judgement, based on incomplete information (even though the information is available to you at this very blog) IF you were to actually read comments from the mother posted at this very blog earlier in the year, you would know the answer. You may read here, if you care enough to actually understand the mother and her persepctives:

http://chinaadoptiontalk.blogspot.com/2010/07/review-wo-ai-ni-mommy.html

I feel sincerely sorry for the members of this family in how they are treated by the China adoption community. On the other hand, other peoples opinions and judgements do not apply to Faith and her family, except in the imgaination of those who opine and judge. The critical community is irrelevant, yet scatches and claws to be relevant anyway, at the expense of the family here.

People who know the family in the documentary (I personally do not) have given a number of public accounts of how positively things have progressed for Faith and for her entire family. I take them at their word, as they actually know the family members.

As for the documentary itself, it is a fairly good accounting of the challenges and stresses of being assimilated from one life to another life, including the very abrupt nature of transition that takes place in a China adoption. This is not a documentary targeted at China APs. It is a documentary that strives to show the harsh edges of reality and coping/adjustment for a child who is plucked from everything they know and placed abruptly into everything they do not know. It is what it is, it won't change, and each family must know, it believe it, embrace it, and overcome it. Each family that adopts is an integral part of the coping and adjusting process.

If you listen to the mother (Donna), it is pretty clear that she was very much integral to that process, committed to loving and nurturing Faith, and Faith has thrived as a member of this family.

That of course does not mean that Donna was perfect, or did everything exactly perfectly, (she admits this publicly) but she was far more competent, loving and compassionate in the process then acknowledged by most comments by APs who do not even know her or Faith give credit.

Anonymous said...

As is typical, there is a lot of judgement flying around the internet (once again) about the mother. The earlier treatment of this mother at this very blog was disgusting in my opinion. (see prior commentary and reviews at this blog site)

I continue to be amazed at peoples abilities to form arm chair negative opinions and judgements on the basis of a short documentary which is at best very fractional and selected editing on the part of the documentary owner.

JBH wrote: "One thing that strikes me so far: since they decided to adopt an older child, why did the mom not try to learn some Chinese? Language is a basic icebreaker, I think."

Hey JBH, that is a perfect example of arm chair judgement, based on incomplete information (even though the information is available to you at this very blog) IF you were to actually read comments from the mother posted at this very blog earlier in the year, you would know the answer. You may read here, if you care enough to actually understand the mother and her persepctives:

http://chinaadoptiontalk.blogspot.com/2010/07/review-wo-ai-ni-mommy.html

I feel sincerely sorry for the members of this family in how they are treated by the China adoption community. On the other hand, other peoples opinions and judgements do not apply to Faith and her family, except in the imgaination of those who opine and judge.

People who know the family in the documentary (I personally do not) have given a number of public accounts of how positively things have progressed for Faith and for her entire family. I take them at their word, as they actually know the family members.

As for the documentary itself, it is a fairly good accounting of the challenges and stresses of being assimilated from one life to another life, including the very abrupt nature of transition that takes place in a China adoption. This is not a documentary targeted at China APs. It is a documentary that strives to show the harsh edges of reality and coping/adjustment for a child who is plucked from everything they know and placed abruptly into everything they do not know. It is what it is, it won't change, and each family must know, it believe it, embrace it, and overcome it. Each family that adopts is an integral part of the coping and adjusting process.

If you listen to the mother (Donna), it is pretty clear that she was very much integral to that process, committed to loving and nurturing Faith, and Faith has thrived as a member of this family.

That of course does not mean that Donna was perfect, or did everything exactly perfectly, (she admits this publicly) but she was far more competent, loving and compassionate in the process then acknowledged by most comments by APs who do not even know her or Faith give credit.

Anonymous said...

As is typical, there is a lot of judgement flying around the internet (once again) about the mother. The earlier treatment of this mother at this very blog was disgusting in my opinion. (see prior commentary and reviews at this blog site)

I continue to be amazed at peoples abilities to form arm chair negative opinions and judgements on the basis of a short documentary which is at best very fractional and selected editing on the part of the documentary owner.

JBH wrote: "One thing that strikes me so far: since they decided to adopt an older child, why did the mom not try to learn some Chinese? Language is a basic icebreaker, I think."

Hey JBH, that is a perfect example of arm chair judgement, based on incomplete information (even though the information is available to you at this very blog) IF you were to actually read comments from the mother posted at this very blog earlier in the year, you would know the answer. You may read here, if you care enough to actually understand the mother and her persepctives:

http://chinaadoptiontalk.blogspot.com/2010/07/review-wo-ai-ni-mommy.html

I feel sincerely sorry for the members of this family in how they are treated by the China adoption community. On the other hand, other peoples opinions and judgements do not apply to Faith and her family, except in the imgaination of those who opine and judge.

People who know the family in the documentary (I personally do not) have given a number of public accounts of how positively things have progressed for Faith and for her entire family. I take them at their word, as they actually know the family members.

As for the documentary itself, it is a fairly good accounting of the challenges and stresses of being assimilated from one life to another life, including the very abrupt nature of transition that takes place in a China adoption. This is not a documentary targeted at China APs. It is a documentary that strives to show the harsh edges of reality and coping/adjustment for a child who is plucked from everything they know and placed abruptly into everything they do not know. It is what it is, it won't change, and each family must know, it believe it, embrace it, and overcome it. Each family that adopts is an integral part of the coping and adjusting process.

If you listen to the mother (Donna), it is pretty clear that she was very much integral to that process, committed to loving and nurturing Faith, and Faith has thrived as a member of this family.

That of course does not mean that Donna was perfect, or did everything exactly perfectly, (she admits this publicly) but she was far more competent, loving and compassionate in the process then acknowledged by most comments by APs who do not even know her or Faith give credit.

Anonymous said...

I know in the past, some people have been a bit tough on the adoptive mother, but I thought it was extremely generous of her and the rest of the adoptive family to allow a prying camera into their lives, sometimes videotaping them in not-so-pleasant moments. It took a lot of guts to allow that, something I think most of us would never allow.

I guess what struck me most were how amazing the Chinese foster parents were. They clearly loved the child, but realized due to her foot and hand abnormalities, she had a very limited future in China. They felt she'd have a better life in the West, even though they seemed quite attached to her. WOW, what generous people. I was also impressed about how candid they were. They seemed like very lovely people.

Patti said...

It was very sad during her transition. I think the standard Chinese adoption script of "here's your new mom, see ya later" is inhumane for infants, but really abusive to older children. Realizing that a complete transition may take months or years, the least we can do is take a full week or two to allow our children to become comfortable with our appearance and basic behaviors before we whisk them away from everything they've ever known.

I was oblivious to the need for this when I adopted my first daughter. I guess being a first time parent, I didn't realize how AWARE babies are and didn't give credit to the small humans that they would need some transition time. But two and a half years later, with the adoption of my second daughter, I knew that this was not going to be easy for her.

Looking back at footage of me before our meeting and just after, you can see how nervous I am and how bad I feel about being responsible for this baby's discomfort (if not terror.) I still feel terrible when I watch those movies. And she tells me that she was scared of me and wanted "Ma" which is what she was screaming to her a-yi.

My older daughter is proud of the fact that she did not cry when she met me because, "I knew you were my mom." Huh, more likely because she had little to no one-to-one care and was grateful for the attention, even if it was from a funny looking white lady.

Watching this documentary made me more resolved in my quest to become a counselor and work with adoptive families (1/3 finished with coursework!) Because I really think someone needs to be advocating for these kids, even within their families. Please, adoptive parents, put yourselves in their shoes and treat them gently during their transitions! AND GET PROFESSIONAL HELP!!!

Lori said...

This was very painful to watch. I have only watched about the first 20 minutes and was sobbing several times. The part where they were going over the English cards on the bed at the White Swan was really hard for me. I know, I am not in there shoes, and we only saw that part, we didn't see what happened right before that or after. But, IMO, the English will come eventually and pushing it so soon after Gotcha Day was not necessary. And I agree, why didn't the mom make more of an effort to learn some Chinese or at least have an electronic translator. Hindsight is 20/20.
I applaud her for allowing us to watch these very precious moments. As a friend of mine said to me, referring to this movie, "I'm glad no one has a camera on me during my worst parenting moments."

Joanne said...

So glad I finally got to see this! I found it really heartbreaking at points...she just looked SO scared at "gotcha" and they (the SWI staff) could have handled that better! I was also a bit "thrown off" by the flash card scene ~ it seemed that she still needed time to grieve and adjust before learning more english.

My heart just hurt for Faith and how difficult the transition was for her~ I cannot begin to imagine how scarey this all was for her~

I just loved Faith's spirit and determination in all that she did ~ and how she didn't loose that part of herself ~ what a brave and remarkable girl!

Anonymous said...

"One thing that strikes me so far: since they decided to adopt an older child, why did the mom not try to learn some Chinese? Language is a basic icebreaker, I think."

Actually, the mother did learn Mandarin ahead of travel to China. Unfortunately she was not told until a month or so before travel that her soon to be adopted child only understood the Cantonese dialect.

In fact, much of the criticism of the mother circulating in various forums and blogs is irrelevant to the documentary, so I really do not understand why there is so much focus on the internet about the mother and what she did or did not (apparently, through the narrow lense of a heavily edited documentary) do, rather then about Faith and her transition from one culture and one family to another culture and another family.

Adoption, particularly international adoption is a very stressful set of events for a child, especially an older child.

In spite of the trauma and stress, Faith DID have a loving and supportive family that adopted her and she has in fact thrived and moved beyond the traumas of adoption day. She remains in touch with the foster family and the foster sister is coming the US as we speak, adopted by another loving family.

The purpose of this documentary is to help people understand the challenges (and the accomplishments on the part of Faith)for a child who leaves one life behind and starts a completely new life in a new culture with a new family.

Wendy said...

Anon--when are you and others like you going to stop DEFENDING. This commentary is NOT about your friend, as matter of fact I can't think of one person who gives a damn about your friend. It is about a child and the system that created the space for this event, her adoption and this film, to exist.
That system and those who are a part of it are open to criticism, if your friend didn't want criticism she shouldn't have allowed the cameras in. Of course there are hellish moments and we are all guilty of a bad parenting moment, you are MISSING THE POINT!
As for me, I am can't figure out why I am responding to you. Obviously you are embarrassed by what you saw or saw yourself reflected in the video or are feeling the guilt that so often comes with adoption since you could not even manage to give us your name.
Your friend is human, we all are. We are all open to judgement for our decisions and actions--that is life. STOP defending and try to learn something.

Anonymous said...

"Anon--when are you and others like you going to stop DEFENDING. This commentary is NOT about your friend, as matter of fact I can't think of one person who gives a damn about your friend."

Really? What an awful thing for you to say about the mother.

1) I am not a friend of Donna, nor do I know her, nor have I ever met her. I am an AP of a child from China. Which, makes you completely wrong on your accusations.

2) I'm not defending the mother, I am objecting to the targeting of the mother as an outcome of peoples perceptions of the mother in a documentary that quite frankly is not about the mother, so please give it a rest already.

As for:

"As for me, I am can't figure out why I am responding to you. Obviously you are embarrassed by what you saw or saw yourself reflected in the video or are feeling the guilt that so often comes with adoption since you could not even manage to give us your name."

Um, no I am not embarrased by what I saw in the documentary.

Nor do I feel guilty.

As for identity or no, you are precisely the reason some people choose to be anonymous.

Sorry but as long as the blog owner allows anonymous posting (good for you Malinda!), I can freely choose to post anonymously on a topic. Given the propensity for people on the internet to flame and stalk based on peoples identity, being anonymous is often prudent. People who demand people identify themselves are the reason people choose to remain anonymous.

But really, why are you so defensive about my earlier comments? That is what I don't get.

Anonymous said...

You are not fooling anyone Malinda by sensoring away posts that dare to confront your little clique of haters and the hate they spew forth

Nice try though :)

malinda said...

Anon, I have no idea why you think I'm "sensoring" anything. I'm also not censoring anything, either. In the history of this blog, the only comments I have EVER removed were 1. viagra spam, and 2. one using a racial pejorative. Other than that, I'm anti-censorship!

Can you give me more details about where this alleged censorship happened?

Anonymous said...

yes, you have deleted my earlier response to Wendy. It was published on the blog, so I know it posted.

You removed it.

Yet you left Wendys hateful post alone.

That is censorship.
It is also factional on your part.
So much for free speech and freedom of expression in open dialogue, right law professor? :)

Of course it is your blog, so your choice. But you are not fooling anyone.

Are you going to delete this post as well Malinda? :)

Anonymous said...

shall I post a repeat of my earlier response to Wendy?

Sure, why not, since it does not violate either of the reasons you claim are the only reasons you have ever censored a posting to your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Reposted:

"Anon--when are you and others like you going to stop DEFENDING. This commentary is NOT about your friend, as matter of fact I can't think of one person who gives a damn about your friend."

1) I am not a friend of Donna, nor do I know her, nor have I ever met her. I am an AP of a child from China.

2) I'm not defending the mother, I am objecting to the targeting of the mother as an outcome of peoples perceptions of the mother in a documentary that quite frankly is not about the mother, so please give it a rest already.

as for:

"As for me, I am can't figure out why I am responding to you. Obviously you are embarrassed by what you saw or saw yourself reflected in the video or are feeling the guilt that so often comes with adoption since you could not even manage to give us your name."

Um, no I am not embarrased by what I saw in the documentary. Nor do I feel guilty. As for identity or no, sorry but as long as the blog owner allows anonymous posting, I can freely choose to post anonymously on a topic.

Why are you so defensive about my earlier comments? That is what I don't get.

Anonymous said...

Resposted:

"Anon--when are you and others like you going to stop DEFENDING. This commentary is NOT about your friend, as matter of fact I can't think of one person who gives a damn about your friend."

1) I am not a friend of Donna, nor do I know her, nor have I ever met her. I am an AP of a child from China.

2) I'm not defending the mother, I am objecting to the targeting of the mother as an outcome of peoples perceptions of the mother in a documentary that quite frankly is not about the mother, so please give it a rest already.

as for:

"As for me, I am can't figure out why I am responding to you. Obviously you are embarrassed by what you saw or saw yourself reflected in the video or are feeling the guilt that so often comes with adoption since you could not even manage to give us your name."

Um, no I am not embarrased by what I saw in the documentary. Nor do I feel guilty. As for identity or no, sorry but as long as the blog owner allows anonymous posting, I can freely choose to post anonymously on a topic.

Why are you so defensive about my earlier comments? That is what I don't get.

Anonymous said...

Cute.

You continue to remove the reposting.

Very mature Malinda.

Wendy said...

Where is the hate? Get a dictionary--look under criticism. Yet, again...you don't get it! Waste of space to respond to you any further.

malinda said...

NO, I HAVE NOT REMOVED YOUR POSTS. I would NEVER do that, and anyone whose read here for any length of time knows I wouldn't do that. I know you've posted them, because I get them in email form. I don't know why they are not showing up on the blog. Other than me, the only person who could delete a post would be the original poster. . . .

Here is what Anonymous posted:

"Anon--when are you and others like you going to stop DEFENDING. This commentary is NOT about your friend, as matter of fact I can't think of one person who gives a damn about your friend."

Really? What an awful thing for you to say about the mother.

1) I am not a friend of Donna, nor do I know her, nor have I ever met her. I am an AP of a child from China. Which, makes you completely wrong on your accusations.

2) I'm not defending the mother, I am objecting to the targeting of the mother as an outcome of peoples perceptions of the mother in a documentary that quite frankly is not about the mother, so please give it a rest already.

As for:

"As for me, I am can't figure out why I am responding to you. Obviously you are embarrassed by what you saw or saw yourself reflected in the video or are feeling the guilt that so often comes with adoption since you could not even manage to give us your name."

Um, no I am not embarrased by what I saw in the documentary.

Nor do I feel guilty.

As for identity or no, you are precisely the reason some people choose to be anonymous.

Sorry but as long as the blog owner allows anonymous posting (good for you Malinda!), I can freely choose to post anonymously on a topic. Given the propensity for people on the internet to flame and stalk based on peoples identity, being anonymous is often prudent. People who demand people identify themselves are the reason people choose to remain anonymous.

But really, why are you so defensive about my earlier comments? That is what I don't get.

malinda said...

NO, I HAVE NOT REMOVED YOUR POSTS. I would NEVER do that, and anyone whose read here for any length of time knows I wouldn't do that. I know you've posted them, because I get them in email form. I don't know why they are not showing up on the blog. Other than me, the only person who could delete a post would be the original poster. . . .

Here is what Anonymous posted:

"Anon--when are you and others like you going to stop DEFENDING. This commentary is NOT about your friend, as matter of fact I can't think of one person who gives a damn about your friend."

Really? What an awful thing for you to say about the mother.

1) I am not a friend of Donna, nor do I know her, nor have I ever met her. I am an AP of a child from China. Which, makes you completely wrong on your accusations.

2) I'm not defending the mother, I am objecting to the targeting of the mother as an outcome of peoples perceptions of the mother in a documentary that quite frankly is not about the mother, so please give it a rest already.

As for:

"As for me, I am can't figure out why I am responding to you. Obviously you are embarrassed by what you saw or saw yourself reflected in the video or are feeling the guilt that so often comes with adoption since you could not even manage to give us your name."

Um, no I am not embarrased by what I saw in the documentary.

Nor do I feel guilty.

As for identity or no, you are precisely the reason some people choose to be anonymous.

Sorry but as long as the blog owner allows anonymous posting (good for you Malinda!), I can freely choose to post anonymously on a topic. Given the propensity for people on the internet to flame and stalk based on peoples identity, being anonymous is often prudent. People who demand people identify themselves are the reason people choose to remain anonymous.

But really, why are you so defensive about my earlier comments? That is what I don't get.

malinda said...

NO, I HAVE NOT REMOVED YOUR POSTS. I would NEVER do that, and anyone whose read here for any length of time knows I wouldn't do that. I know you've posted them, because I get them in email form. I don't know why they are not showing up on the blog. Other than me, the only person who could delete a post would be the original poster. . . .

Here is what Anonymous posted:

"Anon--when are you and others like you going to stop DEFENDING. This commentary is NOT about your friend, as matter of fact I can't think of one person who gives a damn about your friend."

Really? What an awful thing for you to say about the mother.

1) I am not a friend of Donna, nor do I know her, nor have I ever met her. I am an AP of a child from China. Which, makes you completely wrong on your accusations.

2) I'm not defending the mother, I am objecting to the targeting of the mother as an outcome of peoples perceptions of the mother in a documentary that quite frankly is not about the mother, so please give it a rest already.

As for:

"As for me, I am can't figure out why I am responding to you. Obviously you are embarrassed by what you saw or saw yourself reflected in the video or are feeling the guilt that so often comes with adoption since you could not even manage to give us your name."

Um, no I am not embarrased by what I saw in the documentary.

Nor do I feel guilty.

As for identity or no, you are precisely the reason some people choose to be anonymous.

Sorry but as long as the blog owner allows anonymous posting (good for you Malinda!), I can freely choose to post anonymously on a topic. Given the propensity for people on the internet to flame and stalk based on peoples identity, being anonymous is often prudent. People who demand people identify themselves are the reason people choose to remain anonymous.

But really, why are you so defensive about my earlier comments? That is what I don't get.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Malinda for providing space for comments about Wo Ai Ni Mommy - I know I've appreciated reading others thoughts regarding the film.

You provided a link to the comments from your review of this documentary which included a response from Donna Sadowsky (much appreciated)and enhanced my understanding of their situation.

The film didn't focus as much on Faith's special need. Perhaps the filmmaker didn't want it to be seen as a "rescue",thank God. To the parents credit they didn't either. It would have been a very different film had that been the case.

Faith's special need does add another layer of complexity to an already complex situation. I'm speculating that she may have been behind on needed surgeries and repairs - so they probably needed to be done pretty quickly, not to mention other types of supportive services like OT. Medical needs should be high on the priority list obviously weighed against Faith's understanding of any procedures and to some extent her comfort level. Perhaps that was also behind some of the decisions regarding trying to quickly assimilate her to her surroundings?
To make it easier for Faith to have her hospital stay and meetings with doctors, etc?

Jill C

Louise said...

I'd just like to say that "Anonymous" needs to get a backbone and come out of the closet. I have been on this blog a LONG TIME and know that the author does not censor. And if she did, what's it to you? I think she should - there's quite a bit of rudeness and hurt feelings at times. But, Malinda doesn't see it that way. "Deleted by author" means the person who posted it, by the way.

I've never much agreed with Wendy before, but now I do: this is NOT a personal attack (even though the film "is" personal). This blog and others DISCUSS the film (with strong, emotional opinions). If the family didn't want people looking in their lives and making judgments, then they shouldn't have made the film.

I am sure the family is (and were) doing what they feel is appropriate for that lovely little girl. It's easy to be a quarterback on the couch when you aren't playing the game. All the best to Faith and her family.

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

I finally got to watch it last night (we have been on vacation). I, too, was bothered by the flashcard scene at the White Swan. It was one thing when Faith was enjoying doing it, but to push her so hard seemed a bit cruel.

I found that this family's experience mirrored ours so very much. We adopted a 2.5 year old out of a long term foster family in Korea. Hearing Faith's words were important to me. I knew that was what my son was thinking but he couldn't articulate those things. I also really sympathized with the mom and her frustrations. However the things she was dealing with 3 weeks in with Faith are things that we still struggle with 10 months in with our son. It is so hard for these children. Incredibly hard. But day after day, as a parent, it DOES get frustrating and hard for us as well.

I was glad to see that Faith seemed so well adjusted so soon considering everything that had happened. It gave me hope....for my son and for our family.

Lucy in the Sky said...

"Unfortunately she was not told until a month or so before travel that her soon to be adopted child only understood the Cantonese dialect."

Not true. Faith came from Guangzhou (where my mom's side of the family still lives). Most people there speak Cantonese and Faith spoke Cantonese very well in the beginning of the film. In fact, I was a bit confused when she started speaking imperfect Mandarin to her family through webchat because she only spoke to them in Cantonese before.

I still have mixed feelings about the movie...as my friends said, the movie was, "Cute, then sad, then wrong." The family was quite brave to allow their story to be filmed, though. A fascinating film that left me a bit sad... I'm happy that Faith eventually adjusted to American life so well but I feel like one question that even Faith addressed is still left unanswered: Why did the Sadowsky family choose to adopt from China?