24 February 2010

Finding Wonderland?
Who am I?
I.d.e.n.t.i.t.y is not just a word, it is who we are, it is where we came from and what we stand for, or more importantly it is OUR OWN impression of who we are that defines our identity.
Now some of that identity is molded through nurture, through life experiences, and through personality...but an integral part of our identity is knowing from whence we came.
It is different for adopted children. No denying it. You can talk the talk but until you have walked in the shoes of a child who was somehow separated from their birthparents and/or their birthcountry you can't really imagine what it must feel like to have that piece of the puzzle missing, and in most cases impossible to uncover. I'm certainly not the one to assume I know what my daughters are feeling or will feel as their lives continue, I cannot fathom the paths they will take and the discoveries they will make for themselves as they eek out understanding why things are the way they are. What I can do however is arm my children with compassion, empathy, self assuredness, curiosity, and a sense of peace that will come with the knowledge that who they will be and how they will live their lives in light of their adoption not in spite of it!
(thank you Auntie Kris for such powerful words)
There is a large community of adult trans racial/international adoptees that struggle openly from the questions above and as a 'new' adoptive parent I have learnt many a valuable lesson and gleamed much worthy advice from those who have gone before us. Still it resonates when you hear the bitterness of unresolved angst and sadness. Sure, it's but a section of adoptees, I've had MANY internationally adopted adults seek me out in the store, at gymnastics, school, restaurants and swimming lessons to ask me the heritage of my girls only to congratulate me on how sweet they are and how they themselves were adopted as infants or small children from lands afar. You see there is a a very visible black and white in this equation, but also a lot of gray!
As a parent with absolutely no 'personal' exposure of the 'primal' loss of identity that I seek to find answers for my children. Which is why, we are doing everything in our power to search for our daughters birthparents. It is a daunting task, but after procuring a birthparent analysis from Research-China we believe we have a good chance that someday, with some luck, and a lot of research, and hopefully with help we just might be able to find some answers that someday could help our daughters understand and hopefully give them a link to their identities.
One hopes, that sometimes looking back can improve how we move forward.


MotherMotherOcean said...

I think that as adoptive parents to children of a different ethnicity than ourselves, we have almost created a new category of race, a new way our children will have to define themselves.

Two Kayaks said...

"One hopes, that sometimes looking back can improve how we move forward." Absolutely. You are so eloquent and such a wonderful mom.

Kris said...

your last line is so important. wonderful post. we are on the same page here. i worry very much our trail to E's parents is long gone since she was much older at the time of her adoption...

but i keep hanging on to how long her first family kept her... so many unknowns. for her. for us.