Grown In My Heart: Blog Carnival

Grown in My Heart’s is hosting its first ever blog carnival. The topic is:

What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Was Touched By Adoption (or What I Wish My Parents Knew.)

As many of my readers know I am an Adult Adoptee (adopted in 1973 at 18 months old from South Korea) and an Adoptive Parent (our youngest is adopted from South Korea.)

I speak several times a year to adoptive parents looking for answers and insights from someone who has been through the trenches and came out the other side relatively unscathed. I share my story but make a point to stress that there are no simple answers and definitely no "right" answers. The best you can do is to continue asking questions and seeking answers in order to make informed decisions specific to your child.

The saying is true, you know your child best. Your child's challenges, gifts and heart are uniquely theirs. My experiences are not their experiences. Because I wish I went to culture camp doesn't mean your child will. At the end of the day no one can fault you for not signing your child up for native language lessons or for making your child do an oral report on their country of origin every year in front of their class or not celebrating their arrival day or for naming them after your great aunt. No matter how hard we try our children our going to love us, resent us, be embarrassed by us and love us again, and that is in just one day! When my parents worry if they did everything right or lament about the "should of's", I tell them -- You loved me and did the best you knew how at the time. That was enough.

My being adopted doesn't make me any better of a adoptive parent than any one else. I struggle and question with whether I am making the right decisions for my children. Don't most parents? I have met a tremendous number of adoptive parents through the years and I can tell you I have met some truly amazing parents.

Many people who know my story tell me how wonderful for my daughter, that we share being adopted. On one hand it is helpful that I can understand what my daughter will being feeling and anticipate what may be coming down the road. Yet, as I said every child is different, and I do not know how my daughter will process her being adopted or how she will grieve. Being an adoptee, I know I can not take a way the sense of loss and abandonment that my daughter will inevitably feel. As an adoptive parent, it saddens me to think she will feel a deep rift in her soul, yet I have to allow her to lay claim to those emotions. I don't want her to feel like my ability to empathize with her diminishes or negates anything she is feeling. I know my role is not to make her journey mine.

To read more about our adoption journeys click here.


Michelle@Gotchababy said...

Thank you for this post. I think most adoptive parents, maybe more than bio parents (maybe), wonder if we are "doing it right". Wonder if we've found that balance between creating our own family and respecting our children's backgrounds. Your point about being able to empathize and that it's still your daughter's journey really put things in perspective.

a Tonggu Momma said...

"I know my role is not to make her journey mine."

This will stick with me for a long time. It will help me remember that every child is unique; every child will process his or her story differently. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts... and your heart with all of us.

malinda said...

"As an adoptive parent, it saddens me to think she will feel a deep rift in her soul, yet I have to allow her to lay claim to those emotions."

So wise!

Emily said...

Thanks so much for this....Great to have this kind of perspective. I still have LOTS to learn. Thanks so much for your support, I am so nervous and need as much as I can get :)


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