Friday, March 19, 2010

Without Heritage

As K and I talked about St. Patrick's Day and her Irish ancestors, a little voice piped up from the backseat. "It's not nice to talk about being Irish in front of people who aren't Irish."


I sometimes forget that L is adopted. As an adopted member of our family, our ancestors are now her ancestors, but it's not the same as with K. Even at 6, she knows this.

So we switched gears as she asked about her ancestors. Do you know how much it stinks to have to tell your daughter that you don't know who her ancestors are? Or even who her birth parents are? Or exactly where she was born or why they couldn't keep her? It stinks to not know any stories to tell her about the people who made her.

Instead of regaling her with family stories passed down through the generations, I told her her own story. I told her the little bit that I know about who she lived with and when. About who found her and where. About who took care of her and what she liked to do. I told her how we were chosen to be her parents and how we went to China to get her. I told her about her orphanage friends and promised her that she will get to see her best friend from the orphanage this summer.

She's going to China Camp this summer. Our adoption agency holds it every summer. For 3 days in Oklahoma, there's a gathering of children. A sea of shiny black hair and almond-shaped eyes, all with similar stories. A common heritage.

And she's old enough to have a need for that heritage.

1 comment:

jinksto said...

I think it's really unfair. She gets to have her very own heritage and all of the rest of you have to share. I feel sorry for you with your mundane old sameness.

Remember, Redneck is a learned skill. I'll volunteer to teach her. :)