Monday, April 17, 2006
Another Open Letter to Clear the Air...
I am an adoptive parent. My daughter was born in China and she is Chinese by nationality. This is obvious if you look at her. She is a beautiful Chinese girl and she is my daughter and I love her as much as I love my biological children.
I know we "got" a pretty one, but I don't think we need to talk about that anymore. This is partly our fault as Hugh and I are so in love with Eva and her beauty takes our breath away and we talk about how gorgeous she is with abandon because we have nothing to do with her genetics and therefore we haven't felt like we were bragging. I know for a fact that each family we traveled with feels as though they were blessed with the most lovely and perfect child in all of China and we all know how incredibly fortunate we are to have these children in our lives.
We didn't save anybody. We grew our family through adoption. We are doing the best we can. Also, shut up about her loss of culture. If you honestly believe that she would have been better off growing up in an orphanage you are off your fucking rocker. The people of China love and adore their children and to let westerners come in and adopt and take these children out of this proud and strong culture shows a tremendous amount of faith in us and our commitment to raise these children to be proud of not only where they came from and the country of their birth, but also to be proud of where they are going.
We support domestic adoption and we support children staying with their birth parents, but, we don't live in a perfect world and sometimes, just sometimes, life isn't the Utopia we feel is should be and we therefore must solve problems as they arise. A child cannot languish in an orphanage, no matter how well staffed or how lovely, while the world figures out the population crisis.
Every adoptive parent I know has anguished over the loss her child's birth family has suffered and there is a sadness at knowing they will never experience the joy that is your daughter. We don't believe that Moon Cakes and dance class make up for not growing up in China, but we do think that they are a start.
Also, our daughter does not look just like any other Asian child you know. This is because Chinese children do not all look alike.
I would also appreciate if Eva were not referred to as "Chinese" with every introduction. Pointing out that she is the "Chinese grandchild", "Chinese daughter", "from China" is annoying and also kind of obvious. If you persist I shall begin to introduce you as, "Old Bat/Dumb Bunny/Ignoramus/Village Idiot".
In closing I would strongly like to suggest that, when discussing any adopted child, you strike the word, "own" as in "your own" or "their own" from your vocabulary. People will start to compare you Jessica Simpson and that is never a good thing.
Thank you for listening, world, it was time for me to say something.
P.S., if you are reading this and thinking, "Oh, she is talking about me", you can put your hair shirt away because I am not. This is a very general letter about things that have been brewing in my head since we came home with Eva.
After reading Jen, and being referred over to Pomegranate, I do feel the need (and I can't believe I forgot) to mention that we didn't adopt because we wanted a girl. I find that statement insulting to my sons as it implies that, if I had given birth to a girl we wouldn't have had to adopt... simply not true. If you adopted a girl because you really wanted one, good for you... I am all for following your dreams, I am just telling you how it is in our family.