Monday, August 24, 2009

Identity - Who Am I?

Over the last two weeks we have celebrated two different milestones with our daughters. One of my daughters celebrated her family day and the other celebrated her birthday. These two milestones have spurred many discussions about birth parents, China, their orphanages, and adoption. They are at a point in their cognitive development that our discussions have incredible depth.

Wanting to understand and help my daughters deal with these issues, I began a search for articles on identity. I found a really interesting article called “Anticipated Times of Identity Sensitivity” here. Looking back on our most intense discussions on birthparents, adoption and family, I can fit these conversations into one of these categories. This list will be helpful to me in the future as other discussions come up.

In addition to this list, I found one of the most complete blog articles on issues surrounding Adopted Asian Americans here. This article is really long but covers many topics including historical/sociological background, questions on legal status of orphans, how adoptive parents deal with racial differences, and cultural and identity issues faced by Asian adoptees. I found this article extremely insightful on so many levels. I was happy to read the statement saying that “research is emerging that suggests that Asian Americans who straddle diverse sets of cultures are happier and report less stress and anxiety when they create their own definitions for fitting in and actively shaping their own identity…”

Have you found certain times that your children deal with identity issues? How have you handled them? How are you dealing with your children’s racial differences? Do you see yourself parenting your children to be “normal” but white centered? Are you educating your children on Asian American issues?

Karen Maunu

Hope and Healing for Children in Need

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