Saturday, May 3, 2008

Blending Cultures

Last Saturday I attended a class at my agency called Blending Cultures: The Importance of Preserving Heritage. One of the class presenters is an adult Korean adoptee who teaches the class on what adopted kids wish their parents knew so it was interesting to see her again and hear more from her perspective.

The main points are:

1. Teach your child to cope with racism BEFORE it happens. Just like The White Swan Express is a story about adoption, there are books for kids on racism.

2. Help your child learn the difference between "family ways" and "cultural ways." Find a cultural mentor or guide.

3. Do what you can to connect your child with his or he heritage without apologizing for being of a different ethnicity.

4. Practice bi-cultural dualism in your home. Integrate basic words from your child's heritage into your everyday speech.

5. Talk less, listen more.

6. Answer their questions honestly and be the first to discuss the difficult issues of racism, abandonment, and cultural relativity.

I was able to talk to the facilitator about some of the prenatal and perinatal studies I've been reading lately and she was so happy for my future daughter that I know about this and acknowledge it. She said that she believes my daughter will have an advantage in dealing with her adoption issues because I acknowledge the mother/infant psychic bond and birth memories. I feel very good having this support and I do hope it's true.

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