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  #71  
Old 10-13-2012, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
As horrific I think it is that skin color is even still a factor in adoptions, I would absolutely understand why white parents might want to adopt only a white child...just because someone isn't racist doesn't mean they're ready or able to help a child cope with all the racism around in the world...especially if the parents have never dealt with it directly themselves.
This. In all honesty, I plan to adopt one day. But I don't think I, personally, could adopt a black baby. It's not about being racist, I just don't think I would be able to represent that culture well or help the baby with those sorts of issues. Just not something I'm comfortable with.
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  #72  
Old 10-13-2012, 12:38 PM
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OK I quit reading half way through partially because I'm lazy and partially because I just woke up XD so excuse me if it rambles.

Also Fran I quoted you the most, not because I think you are wrong just you seem to have some of the best posts here that I can comment on.

First off I'm an adopted Korean. I've always known I was adopted and it would have been pretty dumb for my white parents to try and lie about it. So all the comments on my part are based not on adopting kids internationally but on being adopted internationally so I probably do have quite a few different view points.

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Originally Posted by Fran27 View Post
3) transracial adoption - most people need to be educated about it. Kids need role models of their race, parents who will know how to deal with racism and prepare their kids for it etc... it's not as easy as saying 'race doesn't matter'.

It isn't as easy as saying race doesn't matter but I disagree with NEEDING role models of their own race. I do think parents should know how to deal with racism but I find the idea that you have to find someone who was a great person and the same race as the child to be kind of wrong. An example would be if you are white and found a role model who is white and presented it to your child as 'they did all these great things AND they're white!' it would be offensive then why would you not think it would be offensive to a minority? A great person is a great person regardless of race and to teach someone that they should look up to someone because they are the same race just seems wrong.
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Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Of course race matters, and yes, children do need to have role models of their own race and parents who are able to help them through the issues that come from growing up as a minority or in a transracial family.

But it's absolutely ridiculous to say that parents of another race aren't capable of helping a child through those issues. Kids need ROLE MODELS they can relate to, of their own race...that doesn't mean the need parents of the same race. And just because someone can't understand racial issues from the point of view of a minority child does not mean that they can't help the child to find ways to cope with it and support that can understand them.

Plus all of the studies that show children in stable, long term, transracial homes are more successful, happier and healthier than children in foster homes or orphanages or unstable homes with parents of the same race.

Aside from my feelings on same race role models I agree with this post.
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Actually it's that kind of thinking that bothers me... I know it's meant the best way, but I don't want my kids growing up feeling grateful that we adopted them, like they owe us or something, or even worse, that we saved them. I'm the one who is grateful that we adopted them. They were the greatest gift for ME. They could have ended in any family, but we are the lucky ones because we got chosen.

For me, adoption should be selfish. It should be about wanting a child, not wanting to 'save' them.

For that just don't raise them to be that way. My parents were incredibly open about me and my two brothers *also adopted*. But never did they say things like 'we saved you from a horrible situation', 'if we hadn't come along to help you who knows how long you'd have been in the orphanage'. You may think that of course people wouldn't say that but people do. Don't act like it was a heroic thing act like it was an act of love, like it should be, and I don't see too many problems arising. And alone side of those feelings I see a LOT of children with birthparents who claim their mom or dad are their hero and they are eternally grateful for what they did for them. So gratefulness shouldn't be considered a bad thing. Hero and worship are.
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Originally Posted by Fran101 View Post
Just to speak up on inter-racial adoptions. Since we are a mixed race family that adopted kids from quite a few cultures...

3. Let them learn about their birth culture, but don't force it upon them. Some may want to learn the language, partake in traditional coming of age stuff, etc.. but some are just fine with your traditions It's very personal and not mandatory.

Agree 100% with this. My parents meant well but I went to Heritage Camp during the summer for a few years. It was fun as a kid being around all asians who had also been adopted. But as I got older it wasn't as fun. You saw how people messed up with some of them and just felt like 'your heritage' was being shoved down your throat. I made great friends there I still talk to but I have NEVER been interested in learning about Korea and felt like I was having school forced upon me by adoptive parents that felt that I may be missing out on something by not learning it. I also say 'your heritage' because I came over as a baby. I never knew Korea and never considered it mine. Forcing me to go to this was insanely confusing for a LOT of us as we got older. When we weren't young children and it wasn't just fun camp any more it really did come off to a lot of us as our parents forcing a 'ours' and 'yours' thing onto us. NONE of us including some who were adopted at an older age 3/5 remembered Korea and saying things like 'no this is your heritage' after being raised in America was just awkward and hard to deal with.

That being said I do have friends who were interested in Korea and they pursued it but they are a VERY VERY small minority. If you adopt a young child I definitely see the reason for allowing them to learn about where they are from. But at the same time if we don't remember it, it isn't 'our' country any more.



4. Please don't over-romanticize these kids. They are kids.. they are not angels sent from above full of grace and gratitude. I love my little cousins, I really do. but holy hell are some of them spoiled ROTTEN. lol they can be naughty, boisterous, test their limits..they are KIDS.
Don't hold adopted kids to a higher standard like they should be thankful for being adopted any more than you would hold your birth child to that standard because you had them

Totally agree with this. THEY ARE KIDS. They aren't all going to be quiet easy to deal with children. My older brother was pretty easy. He was sarcastic but friendly and very active in school. I was smart/clever. Most of the time I was the ringleader. My younger brother was super talkative and in trouble all the time for talking in class or pulling pranks. It was not easy for my parents.

8. Role models of their race. It's important. Not as important as a well informed, loving family of course. but it does help to know others that look more like them.. to know they aren't weird or odd, just different from their immediate family.
Even for just the physical differences.. things like eyes, hair, skin tone, etc.. I think it's nice that they can have someone to ask these questions and see themselves in.

I already addressed this in above. For me, my brothers, and all the kids I went to Heritage camp for it just wasn't important. If a child asks about people who look like them I don't see a problem. But to go out of your way, after establishing that race doesn't matter in your home, and say 'the look like you!!!' seems really forced and hypocritical imo


9. Teach your kids to take it in stride, in humor and in honesty.

This. The child is going to be asked where they are from, what languages they speak, if they miss their 'real parents', how well they understand english and a ton of stupid questions that really aren't anyone else's business so might as well teach them how to respond young.

I think the one thing that most people don't realize before they adopt internationally is the problems they are going to run into are probably about 95% adults. I had my occasionally run in with a student at school. But everyone had known me there for so long even though I was the only nonwhite kid at school it was never really pointed out and if it was it was shut down pretty quick by my friends/other students.

But adults.. omg. You have to be VERY vigilant around other adults. For some reason they don't think they have to pull any punches with kids. They are the ones that constantly asked if I missed my real family and other super personal questions.

Also I missed about a week of school after 9/11. Not because any students bugged me, my brother, or the principals daughter who was also an adopted korean. But because the parents started throwing fits asking where we three were from and why they should trust their kids around us. It got to the point where some parents surrounded my friend *principals daughter* screamed at her to leave and to never be around their kids so all three of us were pulled from school until it was safe for us to come back.

9/11 was horrible. I was lucky my parents stayed on top of the news and what was going on. But it was a difficult time. I was refused service at so many places. I was a sophomore at the time and that was the first time I really had to deal with full on hate filled racism. So many minorities were being beat up and shot in 'retaliation' that year just kind of sucked for me since I couldn't go a lot of places. And again all the issues stemmed from adults and not people my own age.


Disclaimer: All my comments are based off of me, my brothers and the herd of other adopted asian kids I've had to hang out with year after year. These are kids who were adopted 5 years or younger. The majority of us were raised in the 'country' so were use to being the only minority in our school.

Also if you made it through all this you deserve a prize XD
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  #73  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:15 PM
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I'm not surprised that adults are the problem unfortunately. I like to believe that things improve with each generation.

I see your point about the role model thing. I think it's more about growing up around people of the same race really - did you know any other Koreans when you were growing up? Was it important?

About the adoption thing shoved down your throat... seriously I see it a ton in adoption forums, even if the kids is the same race... They make adoption lifebooks, read them to them, read them book about adoption, celebrate gotcha day and whatnot... It's just too much. I don't know how the kids can feel normal if their parents remind them all the time that they're adopted. For my kids we just mention their birthparents occasionally, and whenever they ask the 'where do babies come from' question we'll definitely mention that they were not born from us, but I don't think they 'get it' yet anyway...
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  #74  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Fran27 View Post
I'm not surprised that adults are the problem unfortunately. I like to believe that things improve with each generation.

I see your point about the role model thing. I think it's more about growing up around people of the same race really - did you know any other Koreans when you were growing up? Was it important?

I knew quite a few. Most were around my age but I did know a couple adults who I kept in touch with and visited often. To me when I went to hang out with them it wasn't really set up as 'hanging out with my adopted korean friends or korean adults' it was just hanging out with friends. I never really saw it as more important/less important than my nonkorean friends.


About the adoption thing shoved down your throat... seriously I see it a ton in adoption forums, even if the kids is the same race... They make adoption lifebooks, read them to them, read them book about adoption, celebrate gotcha day and whatnot... It's just too much. I don't know how the kids can feel normal if their parents remind them all the time that they're adopted. For my kids we just mention their birthparents occasionally, and whenever they ask the 'where do babies come from' question we'll definitely mention that they were not born from us, but I don't think they 'get it' yet anyway...
I think stuff that's really in your face like a lot of this causes a lot more problems than it resolves.
Also to anyone thinking about international adoption I can say that the BIGGEST annoyance I have is not being born in America. If you don't know where the paper work is you NEED to stay on top of it. You'll need it for drivers license, school, jobs pretty much everything. And for me because of the extra hoops it takes since I have to check 'born outside US' it took me a year and a half just to get a replacement SS card. Luckily I had a job that worked with me. But a LOT of jobs won't be that nice.
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  #75  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:38 PM
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Yoko, do you think you might feel differently about wanting to know about your heritage or having important Korean role models if those weren't available? For example, if you grew up in a predominantly white area and didn't know ANY other people in minority groups or have the opportunity to meet other children adopted from Korea, or if you were the only adopted child in your family, do you think you would have felt more uncomfortable with your heritage?
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  #76  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Yoko, do you think you might feel differently about wanting to know about your heritage or having important Korean role models if those weren't available? For example, if you grew up in a predominantly white area and didn't know ANY other people in minority groups or have the opportunity to meet other children adopted from Korea, or if you were the only adopted child in your family, do you think you would have felt more uncomfortable with your heritage?
I did grow up in a predominantly white area. I was the only minority in school until I was a sophomore in high school. My Asian friends where the ones that I met when I had to go to heritage camp each summer. And even though they were asian they were all raised by white families as well. So even there the 'culture' we were exposed to was during classes. When we wrote and talked it was NEVER about being korean/difficulties with being a minority/being adopted. It was always normal kid/teen stuff. Movies, music, friends, activities stuff like that. My actual interaction with my actual Korean heritage in a normal setting was almost nonexistant.

I honestly don't think I would feel that different. Even when I was younger and enjoyed heritage camp it was just fun because I was hanging out with kids my age. They talked about culture/traditions/language/food but I mean the fact of the matter is, is that stuff isn't mine.

I mean it's kind of hard to explain. I guess technically it is mine, being that I'm Korean, but really it isn't MINE if that makes sense.

I was raised knowing I was adopted and from where. My parents always had an open door approach if I had questions. But really I didn't have any.

I don't really know how to make it clear but I see a lot of people who assume that we are missing things, feel left out, desperately want answers and knowledge about where we were from and some do but so do same race adopted children. A LOT of these questions/feelings are pushed on to us even by well meaning people/family.

I can say the biggest issue most I have talked to have faced is they really weren't interested in where they were from. But because of movies and strangers saying we should care it does make you stop and question if you should find out these answers. You can't just say 'no I never really had any interest in Korea or my birth parents' because that always leads to 'why not? I would want to know. Don't you feel you are missing something?'

Growing up I had more questions about if I really should care about this culture that I have no emotional attachment to at all than I did the actual culture.
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  #77  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:54 PM
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Also wanted to add:

Sorry if that makes no sense XD

It really is hard to explain to people. I can try to clarify if I need to.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:15 PM
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I get it Yoko lol. So it never bothered you not to have other Asian kids around? That's kinda cool.
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  #79  
Old 10-13-2012, 03:31 PM
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I get it Yoko lol. So it never bothered you not to have other Asian kids around? That's kinda cool.
lol not really there was never any emphasis on the fact that I wasn't the same race as my parents or on race in general so I never really noticed anything was different. I still pay so little attention to race I have trouble remembering if someone I met was black, white, asian or whatever after meeting them.

Besides have you ever seen a bunch of asian kids together?

Here:



Sorry for the bad pic the only pic I have is a normal pic so I had to take a picture with my cell but it's a pic of Heritage camp. I'll be the first to laughingly admit most parents couldn't find their kids in the pic. Trying to find your asian kid in a giant group of asian kids wearing the same thing is like a weird race based where's waldo XD
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:38 PM
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LOL. I admit I don't know many Asian people but all the ones I've met were quite different looking.
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