Monthly Archives: May 2010

Immigrant

I didn’t even get a “Hi, Mama!” before Aubry asked, “Am I an immigrant?”

Aubry was obviously still excited by the history she had covered that day in class. Gosh, I hadn’t thought about immigration. But now I did. The vision of her old green card floated in my peripheral.

“Yep. You are. Isn’t that cool? Immigrated from China.”

Aubry and Josi received their citizenship with the passage of the Child Citizenship Act on February 27, 2000. This was a BIG DAY for the girls and us (even thought they didn’t realize it and still don’t comprehend the importance of it) and tens of thousands of other adoptive families who fought so long and hard to have their children given automatic citizenship.

“What is that? Am I one?” asked Greyson.

Greyson arrived home in America on a different visa and was awarded automatic citizenship. (I wish the Customs lady in Houston had been a happier person and nicer…)

“An immigrant is a person, or in each of your cases, an infant, who left the country they were born in and went to live in another. So, you are and Josi is as well,” I explained.

“But now I’m an American,” Greyson said.

“Yes,” I said.

“Mama, that’s not right. He’s a Guatemalan-American, just like I’m a Chinese-American. Greyson is Hispanic and I’m Asian. What are you? ”

What am I? Difficult to answer, but I tried, “I’m German, Irish, English, Scotch and I’m sure some other stuff thrown in through time.”

“Oh, Mama. You’re a white lady!”

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Claiming, Forever Families, Multicultural Families, Politics, Racial Identity, The International Mom

A Day of Community Service

At the core of my kids’ education is community service. They enjoy volunteering their service to help others. The majority of their service focuses on our local community and internationally. I appreciate community service because it teaches my kids to care about others and to understand that giving is rewarding in many ways.

Today the community service was their school.  Josi, Aubry, their classmates, teachers, and parents worked all day with a service organization that focuses on uniting people through transforming outdoor spaces.

Despite the heat and humidity, the kids and everyone else made huge impacts on the school campus. Their hard work is evident.  More fencing was installed and a pathway was made through the prairie. Organic gardens were planted. The school Girl Scout troops laid the initial groundwork for an outdoor classroom. A bridge was built, trails mulched, trees planted, and the Peace Garden got its first bones.

We ended the day with icy pops, having run through all of the water, Propel, Gatorade, and copious amounts of snacks. Oh…and a lot of sunscreen.

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Filed under Multicultural Families, The International Mom

Downtime

I don’t know about you, but I have always found the end of the school year to be a race to the finish. I’m worn to the bone; my kids are ready for a break.

I’ve also found the end of the school year bittersweet. My kids have matured in knowledge, self-assurance and independence. They are in the process of growing away from me. And this realization forces me to remind myself that growing away from me, becoming independent, is their job. Helping them, giving them the tools to become independent, well, that’s my job.

And how am I doing? Have I given 100%, like I ask my kids to do, as in, “Give it your best effort.”? Or have I fallen short? Honestly, I’d say I’ve fallen short (but not by much), although my intention has been to give it 100%. Instead of beating myself up over falling short I look for how I can improve.

So, this morning, when another parent asked me, “What are your plans for this summer?”

I responded, “Nothing, other than our annual Pawleys vacation and lots of downtime.”

Summer. Necessary downtime to rest, replenish and refill my well of energy, patience, focus. Appreciated and welcome downtime to be with my kids—my blessings, and to reconnect. Time for my kids to just “be” and enjoy the simple moments.

Time together without the “noise” of life. So important. Time to reinforce the secure bonds of family, so that my kids can indeed find the independence they will need. I can immerse myself in summer 100% and relax (somewhat) knowing that they are, with my help and guidance, building the knowledge and skills to succeed.

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Claiming, Family, Multicultural Families, The International Mom