In my last blog I shared that my eight-year-old has to write a report on a country in our family heritage. Our family contains seven different ethnic heritages (that we know about), but Meg herself is Korean.
She’s talking about doing Canada for the report. While my husband’s family name is French-Canadian in origin, his family moved to New England generations ago, and of all the heritages Meg could choose from, that’s probably the one we have the least family ties to. (I guess she could write that my Yankee in-laws can distinguish half a dozen grades and shades of maple syrup?)
Besides, like I said in my last blog, it just seems odd for this obviously Asian child, who everyone knows was adopted from Korea, not to do Korea. I also wonder why she doesn’t want to do it.
Meg goes through stages of talking about and avoiding talking about Korea and adoption in general. In preschool, she was very proud of being Korean and asked to wear her special Korean dress. But last year, at age seven, she pretended not to know the answer to a question about where she was born. I told her that she did know, but in front of her friends she still appeared stumped–until her four-year-old sister Regina blurted out, “KOREA, Meg! We’re KOREAN!” (What are little sisters for if not to embarrass you in front of your friends?)
Recently a friend asked her what being adopted meant and she replied, “It means you were born in another state.” (I did follow up with her to remind her that adoption means you grew inside a woman who is not your forever mom.) I asked her why she said what she did and she responded, “Because it’s popular to be from another country.”
I’m certainly glad she feels that racial diversity is a positive thing. However, she doesn’t seem to want to talk about Korea or adoption. She has Filipino, Vietnamese, African-American and Latino classmates, but no Korean ones. She’s already at the age of not wanting to seem different, it appears.
Whatever the assignment turns out to be, it’s definitely sparked conversation—about our family tree, the countries various relatives are from, and about her birthparents (which also led into a discussion of reproduction. (Guess we had to do it sometime.)
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