Yet I worry that some parents are now taking things too far: Going to extremes to idealize the native culture might be as damaging to an adoptee as ignoring it. Asian-American activists have for decades fought the idea that you are born with a culture - that if you look Asian, you must eat with chopsticks, wear different clothing, speak a different language; that you are different and thereby less American. Parents, to some extent, are asking children to conform to those expectations. And without adequate acknowledgement of the reality that actually is - their experience in America - I suspect that children might have an even harder time figuring out where they belong.
She goes on to say:
But focusing on a museum view of culture can ignore - or become a way to ignore - the reality of life as a racial minority in America.
This is a danger, I think, in presenting the birth country and family in an overly romantic way, and in raising a child’s expectations that they will and should fit in. Adoptees can end up feeling bad not only because they don’t fit in, but because they disappoint their parents.
How much culture are you giving your children? Is it more than the “museum view of culture”? Are there better ways to celebrate who they are and also help them deal with racism as an Asian American? Do you also share other cultures with you children?