Friday, May 20, 2005

Reacting to reactions

You all knew about our plans to adopt before many of our meatspace friends and family. We are out of the closet now, and Lily will tell anyone who looks at her that we are adopting a baby from China, that it's taking a hundred million years, and we're going to name her Lily. I've noticed an interesting pattern in responses. First, we told John's family on Easter. They seemed excited at the time, but not one of his 3 siblings nor his father have asked us about it since. We've seen them at gatherings, spoken with them on the phone...not a thing. They don't even know that we have decided on a country. Another woman in the immediate family announced a pregnancy, and the family's abuzz with chat about her. Passing along baby stuff, planning showers, etc. Possible reasons from my perspective: 1. They don't know anything about it, so don't know what to ask. 2. They forgot. 3. They didn't take it seriously. I'm beginning to think that we'll just show up for a family gathering with a second child and surprise them. I've also noticed a pattern of response from strangers and acquaintances. Many say something close to "what a wonderful thing you're doing for that little girl." Where do I start? Ummmm, first, I see it as quite a selfish act. We want to add to our family, we are certainly motivated by love, and this is a feasible solution for us. However, we are yanking a child away from her caregivers and whatever life she knows now and bringing her to a completely strange place. And expecting her to trust us. And then hoping that we are able to offer enough support, guidance and connections for her to have a sense of her heritage and roots, but still fit into our american society. It's daunting, and not exactly noble. Yes, China isn't the best place to be female and an orphan. But I would not bring a child into my family based solely on that, or assume that the US is a better place. It's complicated, and I believe there is much misinformation out there on adoption. I have much soul-searching to do on transracial adoptions. I hope that I have a bit of a start having taught a different culture and lived abroad. Oh, and I was married to a man from the Dominican Republic. I got a feel for what it felt like to be the minority in his world (in a small way)


  • At 5/21/2005 06:33:00 AM, Blogger Miko said…

    I've never been anything *but* a minority in any world I've every lived in, and frankly I wouldn't have it any other way (you can be a real bitch and get away with it, on the grounds that "nobody knows what it's like!"

    Okay, this is weird, but before I knew you'd picked China (ie, today) I fantasised since a couple of weeks back, that you had a little girl named Ling Ling. I guess because it sounds like "Lily."

  • At 5/29/2005 07:28:00 AM, Blogger Cait said…

    How old will the baby be? I think it's wonderful when any baby is adopted from anywhere. It's just special.

  • At 5/29/2005 09:39:00 AM, Blogger dawn said…

    She'll be 9-12 months old. I had a dream last night about her. Strange to be anticipating a baby that someone else is caring for now.


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