More Meme

August 9, 2007 at 12:46 am 5 comments

embrance_diversity1.jpg

I was tagged by Judy over at Just Enjoy Him to do an anti-racist parent meme.  After this, I will not do another meme.  Ever.  I promise. 

1. I am:

Ethnically speaking, I am Irish, Hispanic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian andWelsh.  Culturally speaking however, I grew up in a family steeped in Dutch traditions and foods. 
2. My kids are:
Suzannah, age 5 1/2.  She is German from my husband’s side and all the other stuff that I am listed above.

Isabel, almost 11 months.  She is ethnically Kyrgyz.  Since Kyrgyzstan is part of central Asia, this means she is most likely a combination of Mongolian, Chinese, Uzbekistani and Russian.   

3. I first started thinking more about race, culture, and identity when:

I was growing up.  Race and culture were at odds for me growing up because I am very white in appearance.  But, I am one quarter hispanic and now that I know my birth father, who is quite dark, we joke that the only reason my skin is so white is because my mother’s people are from all those frozen countries.  Identity…well…yanno.  I can’t answer that without talking about adoption and so my being adopted definitely is a part of that discussion.  Mostly, I identify with my adoptive family and all the wonderful Dutch stuff I grew up with.  But, I’ve seen pictures of my paternal great-grandmother who was native American, I do feel a sense of loss of what it would be like to have grown up hearing her stories and with that culture. 
4. People think my name is:
…hard to pronounce!!  My married name is Chekoslovokian.  The main reason I took my husband’s last name is that since it is unusual, I loved it.  My maiden name was Smith, which I dumped like a bad habit.   

5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is:

A love and appreciation of nature and natural beauty.  I was taught to notice the details and to take a moment to look at the shape of a branch, or how soft a blanket is, or how two colors harmonize.  In my family, a stone is more beautiful than a gem.  Also, my family taught me to try to make things yourself.  Everyone in my family knows how to make things, build, create, fix, cook, make jewelry, sew, and all kinds of things.  I really like the family tenacity and strength. 

6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is:
The kind of criticism I grew up with and how it was veiled in the name ‘honesty’ 

7. My child’s first word in English was:
Fish

8. My child’s first non-English word was:
 Agua.  Water, in Spanish

9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
Loco….  LOL!!!  Also, it’s English…but not really…a phrase from David Letterman, Yikes-a-Hooties!!

10. One thing I love about being a parent is:
Being the highest source of comfort and love for my girls.

11. One thing I hate about being a parent is:

When they are in pain…either emotional or physical.  I want to absorb it and take it away, and you can’t.
 

12. To me, being an anti-racist parent means:
Not marginalizing by speaking about any culture or ethnicity in a way that makes it ‘other’.   Differences in other people aren’t something to be judged.  We don’t tell jokes that are demeaning to any group of people.  I will teach my children by example to be open, to like people for their personalities and for who they are in the world. 

So….who do I tag? 

Amira from The Golden Road to Samarqand

Nicole from Paragraphein

Cindy LaJoy from  LaJoy Family Blog

Mamagigi over at musings:mamahood & more

Go for it!!

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Entry filed under: Adoption, birth mothers, Children, Family, first mothers, Isabel, Kyrgyzstan, Motherhood, Parenting, support, Zannie.

My little Meme Reunion Is Good. Reunion Is Heartbreaking. Both Are True.

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. thirdmom  |  August 10, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    “Not marginalizing by speaking about any culture or ethnicity in a way that makes it ‘other’”

    Oh, if this could be bottled and sold!

    Great responses!!

    Reply
  • 2. Cindy  |  August 19, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    This was interesting and reminds me of a woman I know casually through work who had given a child up for adoption and then searched herself to find him. Sounds like he is a nice young man, married with 2 adopted children of his own. I find myself as an adoptive mother getting very uncomfortable when she refers to him as her son and his kids as her grandsons. Is it because I don’t want to legitimze her claim on those titles? Or is it because she has inserted herself into his life in various ways and even from her own explanations it is obvious she is “laying claim” and he is trying to politely figure out how to get her to back off. From comments she has relayed he feels a desire to know her and spend some time with her, but she isn’t getting the subtle clues that tells her he already has a mom…and I think it is because she has regrets and wants to recapture what she wishes she had not given up. So sad, and so difficult to know how to walk these fine lines for all sides of the triad. Sadly, I don’t often here of truly great reunions often as it seems that everyone needs something the other party can not give or let go of. I am sorry you have had to go through such a painful process.

    Reply
  • 3. reunionwritings  |  September 14, 2007 at 9:09 am

    Reunion can be a wonderful and positive experience. It can also be painful.

    Tina, I know your story but never got to read it like I have here. It made me feel very sad for both you and your mother.

    Cindy, you don’t sound like the sort of person I’d want to hang out with.

    Reply
  • 4. Julie Johnson  |  September 19, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    Hello! We are trying to contact Cindy Lajoy and her family as we are currently in the process of adopting from Kyrgyzstan. Cindy if you get this we even live on a street named the same as your city. We have some questions and love your blog site, but cannot figure out how to get a hold of you! Thanks!

    Reply
  • 5. Cindy  |  October 16, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Julie,

    If you come back and read this you can email me at CyndiLJ@aol.com.

    Reunion Writings: Interesting that you would throw a comment out there about me and not explain why you feel that way. Frankly speaking, there is no reason why we should all see adoption or reunion from the same perspective, and why we can’t have respect for those on all sides of the triad who may feel differently from us based upon their own life experiences. I won’t say thing about you and find it sad that you would casually throw out something like that without ever knowing me. One paragraph and you have summed me up as someone you wouldn’t want to meet…how judgmental and sad.

    Reply

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