“..it is true that an adopted person, by very nature of the adjective, gains a new family, and in this family intergenerationality can also be experienced. In my adoptive family, I gained patterns of being an only child (from my mother’s side). I gained patterns of divorce (both father and mother’s sides). I gained patterns of remarriage (both father and mother’s sides). I am the first on either side of the family to be adopted (that I am aware of) and the first to be part of a mixed race family. In academic terms we would call my adoptive family my family of origin and for all intents and purposes, they are the family where I have experienced intergenerationality.
But the primal wound, the original separation, raises its ugly head. One would think that by gaining a new family through adoption and gaining intergenerationality, I would be able to overcome the trauma of the original separation. This is not true. With being adopted, with the original separation, there come nagging doubts and feelings that emerged when holding my daughter for the first time. It was this feeling that because I was adopted I have no experience, no training, no family history, and no right to be parenting a child.”
An excerpt from Shannon Gibney’s chapter
“As I got down to the nitty-gritty of motherhood, of feeding, changing, and cleaning my son, calming him, and helping him sleep, I began to feel the pull and sway of it in my thighs, my breasts, my uterus, and in Boisey’s ability to latch on to my nipple right away (something I had personally never experienced as a baby myself, although I could never remember this, of course), and in my sheer delight in the curve of his tiny little ears, which were the curve of my ears, as well.
What were we to each other, exactly? What is this construct of biological kinship? And what is this tangible solidity of the body? How do those who experience the oppression of transgression (such as the brown adoptee in a white family, disrupting the linear biological story of kinship), and the privilege of conformity (becoming a mother myself, and finally experiencing the pleasure of this seamless story), reconcile the two? And how would this experience of now living inside this socially accepted/expected narrative of obvious connection, when I had lived for 35 years outside it, constantly being challenged because I did not look like anyone in my family, change me, and my very understanding of kinship itself?”
An excerpt from JaeRan Kim’s chapter
“Surprisingly, I have learned that it is actually quite easy to talk about race and racism and other forms of discrimination with your children, even from a very young age. People often believe that parents only need to talk about race, diversity or difference if the subjects come up in explicit ways, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. or slavery. Contrary to what many of us think, every day presents opportunities for conversation through the books, movies, and television shows we consume and the social activities in which we participate. In raising my children, what I have attempted to do is help them recognize the subtle, hidden or assumed messages about people of color in our society.”