Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Adoption and being adopted

We often think adoption is just a wonderful thing...only wonderful! Our lucky, lucky kids!!! But when a child is adopted internationally they also lost their culture and birth country. You can try to give them a taste of that culture and a positive opinion of that country but it is not the same as "being" say Chinese. Chinese kids growing up in China have a different identity as Chinese kids growing up in America. But when you are from another country, you don’t always feel 100% comfortable in your adopted country or 100% comfortable in your birth country. It's not always easy to really feel like you totally belong anywhere. We personally have had problems trying to help Thomas, adopted at age 7 from Thailand feel at home in Germany. Perhaps we have only made it worse for him because I'm American. He actually has more of an American influence at home then a German influence. We took Thomas back to Thailand two years ago just to help him feel more proud of Thailand. He was the only internationally born child in his grade school class last year. This was a real problem for him. This fall he will be in a special grade school made up of only international kids. He is already talking more about Thailand. In Thailand we did this, and in Thailand we did that! He fully expects more acceptances this fall. I hope that acceptance comes. It is important for him to feel accepted for being who he is, a Thai, German, American adopted kid! He is a true citizen of the world. In fact Juergen is the only one in our family that was born in Germany, and he was raised in Holland. Here is a movie called being adopted. It is a look at the ups and downs of growing up adopted. As I said, it is not all wonderful. Adopted kids need to figure out who they really are. We can help them by realizing they need to do this!