Category Archives: Forever Families

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

Ah…Birthdays…

SeptemberOctober 2009 033Each year I’ve approached Aubry’s birthday with trepidation. Around the age of four, after going through months of therapy, she was processing her world and fully understood what adoption meant. Her birthday became a trigger for immense grief. It didn’t last a day; it lasted days. I understand it never went away, but continued to bubble under the surface of her conscious and subconscious spilling over around her birthday.

Aubry shared her grief with me each and every time and it was all I could do to help her cope with the anguish. As much as it engulfed me, I can’t even begin to understand what she felt and still feels. My soul shattered into slivers of aching sick pain as I held her each time, as she cried until there was nothing left and then fell into an exhausted slumber in my arms.

And then I cried for my daughter. I cried because I couldn’t ease her pain and I because I would sell my soul to make it all go away. Because as much as I love her, someone else can’t. You see, adoption is a dichotomy. Adoption is beautiful, but it also hurts. Adoption is joy, but it is also profound loss. Adoption brings a family together, but it has also pulled one apart.

This birthday didn’t trigger tears or grief.  Aubry now understands that everything about adoption is okay to discuss, express and examine – at any time she feels like it. She also knows that there is nothing she can say or ask that will ever cause me to not love her. Just knowing all of this has made the difference.

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Filed under Adoption Issues, Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Forever Families, International Adoption, Multicultural Families, The International Mom

Until Next Week

SeptemberOctober 2009 093Josi is on her exchange trip, experiencing cultural immersion with her classmates and teachers in Cuernavaca, Mexico. For the first time, Aubry has the room she shares with her sister to herself.

And she’s lonely.

Even though her frogs and snail actively move around the aquarium.

Even with a snuggly warm Marley kitty-boy sleeping next to her each night.

Even with the rest of the family home.

Josi is away and Aubry seems a bit lost, spending more time in her room than usual. She stays out of her sister’s things and out of her space. Quietly and without being asked.

This is the longest my girls have been apart.

I miss her too.

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Filed under Family, Forever Families, The International Mom