Monday, December 29, 2008

All you need is love...

Isn't that a song? All you need is love.... well, some folks in the adoption world believe that all you do need is love to build a family. And while I believe that love is extremely necessary, I also believe that other things are necessary, as well.

Respect - respecting your child's origins (birth country, biological family, race, heritage...etc) is very important. We can't belittle any of it. And, frankly, I wouldn't want to. Yes, my daughter is an American. But she's also Chinese. So, with that comes some responsibility on my part to figure out how to help her love and respect both aspects of her life. The same goes with her bio family. There are biological lines/ties there that are inherently a part of her. I respect that. I do not know her beginnings. That deeply saddens me. And I mourn her loss as well as that of her bio family. But I also know that she and I are building a family, and that I get to help build another part of her familial line...

Willingness - a willingness to learn and be open to your child's pain, hurt, questions, fears, successes, differences, beliefs. It is my responsibility to my daughter to be open to what our lives bring...and especially to help her learn to become her own person and traverse all the feelings, joys, pressures, hurts along the way. I do believe this will include her adoption story.

Education - I believe that we, as adoptive parents, are responsible to be as informed and educated as we can regarding adoption, transracial adoption and identity, and our children's birth country. I'm never going to know as much as I could know... but it is my responsibility to TRY.

Focus - we need to focus on our own children. That has meant that I've taken almost a year for Mia and I to spend mostly together... and will continue to do what it takes to make sure she knows she is my number 1 priority and that she can trust/count on me. I do not think this is adoption specific.

And, of course, then there is love. Love is very key. Without it, the other things are just an empty shell. I'm sure there are other things, but these are what came to mind to me today.


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