I really appreciated KJ Dell’Antonia’s Motherlode Post “Celebrating Chinese New Year with My Adopted Daughter” where she shares honest thoughts about being Caucasian raising a Chinese-born adopted daughter along with three other biological children. The annual Chinese New Year’s festivities and her pledge to honor her daughter’s birth heritage spurred the reflection which is worth reading for anyone thinking about issues of identity and intersections with global culture(s). I got to thinking what happens after a few generations have grown up “different,” and submitted the comment below. If you read the article on the link above, also be sure to read the thoughtful (and some incendiary) comments.
My comment as published:
Weighing in late, but I love this post, KJ. I remember growing up when we’d hear the tsk-tsk of folks who’d say “We worry about what will happen to the children (of international adoptions and inter-racial or inter-faith marriages).” But the determining factor seemed to be the loving and encouraging environment at home, as well as on-going, honest conversations, and finding or creating a supportive community (as it seems you have), not whether everyone under that roof had the same shape of eye, hair texture or affiliation. What’s awesome as those children are getting married and having their own children is this melding of SO MANY more cultures in the next generation(s). So the English-Iranian wife married to the Swiss-Congolese husband raising a child in Philadelphia who looks Puerto Rican isn’t such an anomaly – and she loves every piece of who she is. Embracing the world – sometimes in the form of our children, our sons-in-law, and godmothers - gives us more chances to grow and to love, even when it’s confusing or uncomfortable.
(PS: Thanks to my Italian friend Kate, married to Jewish Richard with 2 Chinese children (out of 4) for reminding me of this piece!)