Thursday, January 17, 2008

"You are Chinese"

So, its the middle of the night and I'm awake. Not all that unusual considering my age. What is unusual about the middle of the night for me is the clarity of my thoughts. When I wake up I usually wake all the way up with thoughts galore. Funny thing about tonight...I woke up from a dream where I was in labor. I was in the hospital being induced with my fourth child. I couldn't remember if I was having a boy or a girl. David was there and I was asking him. Apparently I was early delivering because I was discussing how small Catherine was when she was born and asking if this baby would be that small too. I was reading a book during my labor. Definitely never done that...even with an epidural...but in this dream I was reading a book and the nurse asked if I could do that in the bathtub and would I like to take a warm bath. I said definitely and after a little more small talk I woke up.

As I woke up Davie was on my mind. She is my fourth child. I woke with an incident that happened today at ballet on my mind. This is Davie's second year of ballet and all the little girls she is in class with are new to her except one. At the end of class all the little girls run out to find their moms. Today Davie ran up to me and said "Mom, they said I am Chinese." To which I responded "and did you tell them you are?" and she said, "no." And I said "well, you can tell them that you are an American of Chinese decent. You were born in China, but now you live here". Nothing else was said at the time that I can remember. But, later on in the car on the way home I said, "who said that you were Chinese?" and she said, "all of them". Then later on that night I asked her "who" in particular said that she was Chinese. She told me the little girl's name and said, "I was the only one that was Chinese and the rest of them were all the same." I'm sorta slow, but I'm beginning to get that she did not feel good about what had been said. I'm wondering how it was said and WHY it was said. What is so interesting to me is that one of the little girls is adopted from India and the little girl that pointed out Davie's ethnicity is 1/2 Japanese so they are not all the same....I'm not going to pursue it anymore I don't think. But, I do wonder what the other mothers have told their children about Davie. I do wonder if they felt the need to explain to their 5 year old daughters that Davie is adopted and what her situation was before her adoption. Then I wonder how I can possibly sheild her from these types of incidents for the next few years until she can have the time to grow into her situation for herself. And I am burdened for my little girl. And I wonder how to tell parents to not tell their little children more information about my little girl than they need to know. I want to tell them not to explain Davie's existence in our family until the child notices for themselves the difference and then to only explain as much as is necessary. I wonder what I'm going to do if a child who has been educated by their parents tells Davie that her "real mother" didn't want her and that is why she is adopted. My heart is so burdened for my little girl and for all the children being adopted by white families who will be forced to look at themselves as different than everyone else. Couldn't that least until she is 8 or so? Does it have to happen before they are even 5? Well, it has happened and I'm apparently not quite prepared for how to deal with I'm pondering, in the middle of the night, how to prepare myself and Davie better for the next time. Honestly, what I'd like to do is just keep her home for the next few years and when I feel she is ready, then and only then, let the world at her. That would only be a few years, wouldn't it? Say 25 or so. :) love, js


Brandi said...

First of all, I'm so sorry for our sweet Davie! My heart hurts for the lies the enemy probably tried to tell her after that conversation with her friends!

Please tell us what you figure out. I probably have a year or two, but not much more than that. . .I dread dealing with this part! The hurt hearts when we ache to explain to our kids just how wanted they are!

I love that we have a group of friends for our kids where they will see adoption as a natural occurance and an obvious way to come to the family! Thank you for starting that heritage in our Body! Love you and your beautiful kiddos (all 5!!)


Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

I can only imagine what that must feel like. So sorry. What is interesting to me is that my childdren know plenty of families where the children are adopted. They know the countries they've come from too. I don't know if they have or would ever say something hurtful like that. I sure hope not. I wonder if I should be telling them anything different (more or less) than I am now.

Julie said...

This makes me sad, Jackie. My husband's cousin (age 8) is adopted from Vietnam, and her mom told me she already struggles with "looking different", which breaks my heart. I'm glad you are teaching Davie to celebrate her Chinese heritage but I know there are no easy, cut-and-dry answers here.

Anonymous said...

Hey Friend,
Oh boy, is there anything harder than watching our children feel pain?
My niece sent me an email last week with the same kind of hurt for her little 8 year old boy. He is not adopted but is in public school in Cincinnati(?). He is experiencing mean children for the first time, (he's been punched in the face on the playground and a boy on the bus told him last week that he was going to kill him--aughhh!!). Its SO hard when our kids get their first taste of the real world.
One thing I have realized, though, is that I was wrong to shelter my boys from everything painful that I could. I know, now that they are grown, I got in God's way many times and didn't let them need Him.
Davie is in the best place she can be as she learns to deal with this hard stuff. Home and family are her sanctuary----she will always have you all to run home to and you will point her to the only One Who can give her what she needs to survive the heart wounds she will encounter in life.
did that sound preachy--hope not =)
love you and Davie!
lisa e
ps I'm sooo glad Sarah got in touch!

Karin said...

Hi Jackie. I actually just read another blog of a mom going thru the same heart hurts for you mommas... and it helps prepare me to know what I will probably experience. I agree with Brandi. Let us know what you figure out... Maybe what the Lord reveals to you or something.
I loved the pictures and storie over the holidays by the way! I call Eric to my computer on a regular basis saying, "come look at the kids!" :)