Just another day being the adopted kid...uggh!
My oldest son, C, pretty much turned his back on his homeland. He is not proud of where he comes from, refuses to discuss it, and has stated he will lie if ask where he comes from. Now, before anyone states I must be some sort of horrible monster that made my child feel this strongly against the place he was born, you totally have it wrong. I have taken my son to counselors to try and turn him around on this topic. I finally had one doctor tell me that I would never convince my son that his homeland is wonderful when he has such vivid and strong memories of where he came from. My son bases the whole country on his experiences in the orphanage. He doesn't see the cultural/heritage aspect of it all. He relates to what he remembers and he hates it. He will not look at photographs we took and as far as he is concerns, he is American. I didn't twist that thought into him. I watched this tiny little boy reject his caregivers after two days of visiting him. He rejected the only family he ever knew to be with us. I saw this scene play out for a week. He no longer clinged to his caregivers. He would cry at the window when we left, he would wait by the window each day for us to visit. In his little mind, he saw options, he saw what he perceived as something better. I hope and pray that one day he will open his heart just a crack so we can encourage him to explore his heritage more and not just associate Ukraine with his orphanage. But for now, I accept his wishes because I realize he had no voice back then....now he does.
My youngest son loves Ukraine and he enjoys telling everyone where he is from. He is proud of his heritage. Both boys were in the same orphanage. Both had different experiences. My youngest was held and cuddled often in the orphanage. He was one of the favorites. My older son was a child that would go against the grain, he still does. Therefore, the caregivers found my youngest son to be more pleasant and easier to deal with. My older son was more of the rebel and would get into mischief.
My oldest son came home from school the other day very angry and upset. When questioned he told me that on the front door of the school's office, they had put up a world map with the caption, "Guess where we are from" with about a handful of kids on it. Of course my sons' photo was up there and "C" was extremely upset by it.
First of all, I went into the whole speech about how he should be proud of where he comes from....which gets me no where fast. He actually repeats back my own words to me, which has been... it is his story to tell, not mine, not anyone else's. And the famous words, once you tell, you cannot untell. Of course he picks now to actually listen to something I have told him.
So before the open house at school, I went into the office to discuss this map. I was not mad, well not at first. I mainly just didn't want my son to be upset. I explained the situation and felt I was getting my point acrossed when the office manager stated, from the other side of the room I might add, that she didn't know what the big deal was about. Okay, I saw red then! First of all, it is a huge invasion of privacy for them to post that information for the entire school to see without my permission or especially without my child's permission. The mama bear came out of me because I asked her why isn't any other private information posted on the walls of the school, like for example if any children have divorced parents, or if any child was a foster child? She just starred at me and stated, well that is personal information. What??@?!??!? I informed her that not every adopted child wants to share that information. Some prefer it to be private, which is their right. I know in a million years this woman would never get it, but at least I got my son's picture down off the office door. Uggh!!!!! My other son could care less and it never bothered him.
Now my husband thought I may be a tad over the top with this, he can bite me. After seeing this woman's reaction, I am glad I went off on her a little. I also don't think my husband has figured out why it bothers one son and not the other. Well, duh, they are different kids and they experienced different things. I personally hated two things about being adopted, one was going to the doctor's office and having to fill out medical history forms and the other one was having to deal with school stuff that dealt with baby pictures and family history. I had one person state well you just use your adoptive family for school stuff. Well yeah, but deep down inside I always felt torn by those events. I used my adoptive family's information because it was mine, but a part of me always felt like I was telling a lie too by not mentioning being adopted. I also felt being adopted was my story to share and not anyone else's. When I was growing up, I didn't know a soul that was adopted. When my children were young, they thought everyone was adopted because we had a huge group of adoptive families for friends.
Anywho, I may have lost a clear perspective on the whole posting the "adopted" kids photos on the wall, but you know I am not sorry I made them take it down.
I wonder how our daughter will feel as she gets older. We do more things around Chinese groups and special holidays, but for now she shows little interest. She loves the other kids, but wow, she definitely does not like the Moon Goddess chick! I guess we will see.