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« Affecting More Than Just One | Main | Honestly, It's Not a Competition »

November 18, 2008


Cheryl In Iowa

Great post, Paula!!!! It is unfair for parents to put that burden on their children.


I think this is so true! Talking about adoption is just like talking about sex or drugs or any other sensitive topic that some people may feel is "uncomfortable". If we wait for our kids to bring it up chances are it won't get discussed and chances are our kids will suffer for it. Adults have to guide kids through all these complicated areas. Glad you brought this up!


We go back to my family in France only every year and half. I remember 2 Christmas ago my daughter was 3 and she said to her cousins she was lucky because with us and her Chinese Dad and Mom she has 4 parents.
My Mom came to me panicking, asking me why she would speak about them like that and if that was appropriate for us to speak so much bout her adoption and China with her, that she was too young and that we might want to wait until she asks.
I had some doubts for a while, wondering if it was the right thing to do, being natural about it with her and create with a book, some pictures or else an opportunity to speak about it.
Glad to know you believe like me that our children can decide only if we give them the info to decide.


In your post below you stated....

"I consider myself no expert at parenting, and that includes parenting a child who is adopted. But as many other adoptees have said before, I do consider myself an expert in my own life as an adoptee - what I know to be true, what I have experienced and how it has affected me."

So why would you 'cringe' because someone does something different than you? You're right... You're an expert on your life and you know your son better than anyone else, so you know what he is comfortable with. This post sounds very judgemental and you sound like you are putting your 'expert' hat on to repremand those many, many adoptive parents you claim to know. If you were honest with yourself and your readers you would say you don't know many of them in real life, nor do you know their children or their personalities well enough to say what they can handle and when.

I know 3 trans-racial adoptees and they don't feel the same way as you do in a lot of ways. I referred them to your blog and we've discussed you're writings a few times. The four of us find no relation to most of what you write. What we're most concerned with is that most of your readers who are adoptive parents to trans racial adoptees, will harm their children more than help them by taking your words verbatim. But that's on the adoptive parents shoulders not yours, just to clarify.

Wendy O


I don't know who you talk to or their experiences, but you are the one who is making a universal claim. I have to say that I don't think any AP takes any one person's experiences as the whole and absolute truth for everyone; however, it is important to take in many truths and experiences in order to fully understand and recognize what may be happening with our children.

I am very appreciate of many TRA's experiences (that they are willing to share--they are not writing for us btw). You have a lot of nerve posting such a rude comment, if you and your friends don't agree then just move on.

The leap you are taking into thinking AP's are "harming" their children with information is ridiculous. Roses is also correct (like any other hard issue), it is an essential conversation(s) that is important to be open about. If you don't talk to your children and allow them a forum for their thoughts, you are the one harming. Maybe your children will be like your friends who may or may not have grown up in a family of trust and open discussion, maybe not. I hope you are more open and less judgemental of them than you are of a person who is opening her ideas to us and one in which you don't have to read or accept as truth. It seems though that you are in the minority when it comes to understanding, but in the majority of those in denial.

Paula O.

Dear Ha,

I'm afraid you bestow upon me far too much influence and authority when it comes to how APs will choose to parent their child. As Wendy mentioned, hopefully many APs are seeking out a range of truths and experiences from the many voices affected by adoption, as well as other resources in a concerted effort to make an informed, intelligent and well-thought out decision when it comes to parenting their adopted child. As I said on an adoption forum earlier today (which I suspect you have might already read, given the choice of words you elected to use in your particular comment), hopefully we as the parents know our children the best and I believe it is absolutely imperative that we remain cognizant of our children's emotional, social, psychological and other developmental needs when discerning when and how to approach the subject of their adoption.

I am most pleased that you have had conversations with other transracial adoptees. I suspect there are many, many other transracial adoptees who would disagree with me on just as many issues as the ones you mention, but I for one, am just happy to hear that adoptees are speaking their truths and expressing themselves to other people. I don't know if it was your intention or not, but please do not try to position your knowledge from them to artificially create a mutual tension amongst me and any fellow adoptees. I believe it is incredibly unfair to everyone - most especially to adoptees - when one attempts to assert the truth of one adoptee to invalidate or entirely negate the other. I personally believe there is room for just an many opinions as there are adoptees, because there is always a place - and should be a place - for one's truth. No two adoptees will have the exact same experiences, nor will they ever feel the same way about adoption related issues and I for one, have never asserted as such.

When it comes down to it, I am but one adoptee and adoptive parent who tries my best to speak honestly and openly about my own experiences, reflections, observations, correspondance and direct interactions with others. My opinion is just that - mine. And I truly do thank you for sharing yours.

Paula O.

Wendy O - thank you for sharing your opinion here as well!


Once again, thank you for sharing your heart, observations, and thoughts.
Because of our open adoption with our youngest daughter, the topic of her Korea Mommy is a nearly every day conversation starter. Some have suggested to us that she's too young for the information we give to her, or that perhaps we giving her access to the photos her Mother provided her with is "too much" for her to handle. I see it otherwise. Her security with us is growing, but more importantly, her security in herself is increasing. While she has had questions since she came home, her other sibling haven't shown the same curiosity about their first families until recently. Yet we've tried to create an atmosphere where they can and will be comfortable asking questions, some of which we will sadly be unable to answer.

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