Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Transracial Adoption & Discussions About Race

A few of our daughter Yunhee's thoughts (comment #11) in response to the same clip (see previous post) on not discussing race with transracially adopted children:

I struggled with identity, and the idea of why I was put up for adoption. I went through phases of sadness, anger, and every other emotion along the way. The idea of my parents telling me not to worry about it, because no one cares about race anymore is unfathomable! That would have destroyed me.

My parents were understanding, supportive and ALWAYS willing to talk about what I was feeling. That is how I moved through each phase into something healthier and happier. Not by them ignoring my questions, emotions, and pain. They nurtured both cultures in my life, and let me explore both. I have since found a happy balance between my two cultures, and I claim both.

...Children are very observant. It is why we watch our language and behaviors around them, because they will pick it up. Children are curious, observant and very, very, blunt. A child will notice if they are not the same race as their family, and even if they don’t notice, some other person will, and then that becomes the mirror for the child. And the people in the world are not always the kindest.

At one point I was at a holiday party with my parents and a woman saw me, and then stated to her friend loudly, “Yes, you have to be white to be American.” Those mirrors are there, they are real, and they are painful.

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