I have a friend that adopted from China at the same time we did. And now we follow each other on the web, like so many other virtual friends.
Anyways! My friend recently did a post on the same subject. I found myself nodding my head yes and feeling like she was saying what I meant. So, with her permission I am reprinting her article here. You can find the original at: http://lighthousegal.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/balance/
I scan a lot of blogs. I try to read perspectives from all sides of the adoption triad. I try to understand, I try to learn, I try to apply. But I have learned that I need to step back, to not read those blogs very often, and to have very thick skin. If I did not, here are some of the views that would seep into my personality and affect how I interact with the world, namely, my daughters:
Adoptive parents are thiefs.
Adoptive parents do not care about the children, they are just selfish and feel they are owed a child.
Adoptive parents are ruining their adopted children’s lives.
Adopted children will walk around angry with the world at all times.
It is impossible for an adoptive person to acknowledge and cope with the pain of their separation from their first parents.
No matter what I call first parents, it is the wrong thing.
All first parents had their child stolen from them by a totally corrupt system.
That I cannot mention to my children that God had a hand in their adoption because that would give them a warped sense of God.
The list goes on and on. It is overwhelming to read. There are blogs out there that complain because people have labeled them “angry” – but when that is the only emotion that is presented to the public on the web…..
I brought up the emotions that roil in me as I read these blogs to an online friend of mine. She reminded me that the “happy” ones, the ones that have found a balance in their lives, are not going to be the ones who post – they are too busy living their lives. Balance – that is a good word for what parenting an adoptive, transracial child is all about. It is also what is missing from all these blogs I read. The balance that while there is a lot of hardship, a lot of pain, a lot of corruption, there is also a lot of good. There are still smiles, there is still laughter. What I hope to teach my children is that there truly is a balance. There have been so many cliches about taking the good with the bad, the silver lining in every cloud, not enjoying laughter unless you have tasted the tears – they go on an on. But ultimately it comes back to the Yin/Yang philosophy of their birth culture – a balance.
I will be writing about how I am addressing each of these issues in my conversations with the girls. This is as much an exercise in making sure my thoughts are clear before I continue to share them with the girls as it is sharing my thoughts with anyone. It is my exercise in balance – to pull the anger and pain towards me without letting it consume me. I just hope that as I walk this tight-rope of parenting that I can find my balance and guide my girls to find theirs.