This is my life...a series of dreams come true on a daily basis. Join me as I run down my dream - maybe you will find your dream in the process.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Raising a Chinese-American Beauty

When we first sent our letter to China asking to adopt a Chinese child, we promised the Chinese Government we would encourage a love of China. We meant it then, and we continue to follow through on this promise.

Miss Scarlett has always known that she was born in China. She is quite proud of the fact, as we have made every effort to build on the love that she has (and we have) for China. We feel that it is important to allow Miss Scarlett to interact with others from China. We have some wonderful friends from Taiwan that we've known for many, many years. They have "adopted" Miss Scarlett and are wonderful "grandparents and an auntie" to our sweet girl. Our family has also joined the local Families with Children from China (FCC) group to assist in this. The FCC has been an invaluable resource to our family.

Our FCC group has many activities in which China-born kids may participate. From Dragon Boat and Moon Festivals, Chinese New Year, and Pumpkin Patch fun to learning more about Chinese culture through culture camp. We just came home from a day of learning and fun at this year's Chinese Culture Camp. Miss Scarlett was able to learn about her birth country with other children born in China. My hope and prayer is that she can forge some lifelong friendships with a few of these other young people who have a similar family dynamic.

One thing we are most eager to have Miss Scarlett learn is her native Mandarin Chinese. Our FCC group has a wonderful relationship with a local Chinese church that allows the children to learn Chinese. We are so thankful that we have this opportunity. So many do not.

But it is just not enrolling Miss Scarlett in groups and classes. A lot of it is learning and teaching her about her heritage at home everyday. We learn about different customs, talk about what her birth parents might be like (Do they ever think of her? We are sure they must.). We are aware that Miss Scarlett is not a Chinese citizen; she is a proud American (and she will remind you of this fact every time she sees an American flag: "There's our flag!"). But we do not want her to feel like she can't embrace her Chinese-ness (is that a word?). It is such a delicate balancing act. We don't want to make her feel alienated from her family as being "different", but at the same time, we don't want her to feel that she has to turn her back on what she is just because we are not the same ethnicity: a Chinese American.

Are we doing the right thing for our daughter? Only time will tell. We love her. Miss Scarlett is such a joy to us, and we want only what is the best for her. We hope that whatever the outcome, Miss Scarlett knows that we did the very best we could and that we love her beyond measure.

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