Monday, July 20, 2009


I've spent a lot of time thinking about the myriad of losses our little Sergeant has faced in her short life. Loss of her birth parents, before she had a chance to know them, loss of her birth country and culture, and loss of her caretakers at the orphanage, just to name a few. But, although I feel strongly that "open" adoptions are in the best interest of the child (although not possible in the case of China adoption), I can see some benefits for Sergeant in not being our biological child. You see, I had a set of expectations, both positive and negative, for our biological daughters based on genetics. I have none of those expectations for Sergeant - I have no idea if her parents were athletically gifted, or very intelligent, or musically inclined, or learning disabled, or hyperactive, or prone to allergies. It seems like she may be "more free" to develop into her own little person free of the "box" we tend to place children in based on their parentage. I know my parents had that "box" for me, and I spent my teenage years trying to bust out of it. I try not to place my biological daughters in that "box," but it's harder than it is with Sergeant. Sergeant, who is just such a little individual and a bit of a mystery. When she's "telling you how it is" she will do a kind of head shake that reminds me of Claire Huxtable on the Cosby show when she was pissed off with Cliff (I know, I'm dating myself). This is not a gesture I use, nor have I seen anyone else in Sergeant's life use it. So where did that come from? I have to wonder if there's a beautiful, smart, stubborn, opinionated woman in China telling off her husband with a Sergeant-like head shake. I wish I could meet that woman. I wish Sergeant could meet her.

1 comment:

Ms. J said...

I don't give much thought to open adoptions since it's not a possibility with ours (and yours). The first few months after we came home with Lil Pumpkin I thought about her foster mother (she lived with that family for 11 months) all the time. But then I shifted to her birth family, and what they must feel and whether they have had any peace.

Uptil now I haven't given much thought as to whether LP's amazing dexterity or advanced language comprehension are something biological . . . but I have wondered whether her birth family, if given the chance to see her photo, would recognize her now, and whether they would note facial similiarities between her and them.

I have always said that we can attribute her current flourishment to the "one-third rule" . . . 1/3 of it she was born with & hard-wired; 1/3 courtesy of the AMAZING foster family that nourished and loved her for 11 months; and 1/3 due to the hard work that we have put in as parents and her willing to trust us in time.

Thanks for a thought-provoking blog entry!