Sunday, September 25, 2011

Somewhere Between

My friend and I went to the Twin City Film Festival and saw the documentary "Somewhere Between"!

It was incredible! A must see for all adoptive parents! Here is what is written about it!

Four teenaged girls live in different parts of the US, in different kinds of families, united by one thing: all were adopted from China, because all four had birth parents who could not keep them, due to circumstances colliding with China's 'One Child Policy'. These strong young women allow us to grasp what it is like to come-of-age in today's America as trans-racial adoptees. At the same time, we see them as typical American teenagers doing what teenagers everywhere do. Through these young women, and their explorations of who they are, we ourselves pause to consider who we are-both as individuals and as a nation of immigrants. With great honesty and courage, these four girls open their hearts to experience love, compassion, and self-acceptance.

Above is a link to a 3 minute clip on the movie!

It really opened my eyes to what our children will be going through as they get older. Right now there are so many things to think about, our focus has been just getting them home and acclimated to a new culture and family. I had hoped IF we do things the right way we would be able to avoid what we saw in the movie.

I know that's not right. No matter how good of a job we do raising our children from China they will have deep seeded feelings they will need to deal with. 

Often times I find myself dealing with things when we are "there" instead of ahead of time but adoptive parents need to be aware of this issue before they happens. The feelings are deep and they don't always make sense to someone (like me) who has not been internationally adopted.

Feelings of not belonging... in either culture, of being different than their parents, siblings and friends. Feelings of loss and abandonment. Of the need to overcompensate and always prove themselves worthy of love, of friendship, of value, of anything.

How does a child ever really get over abandonment and the views of their original culture. Even if they don't share those views and even if their new culture doesn't agree with it- they still carry it  deep inside.

We have planned to  teach our children how loved they are by us and God. How valued they are in this world. How special, unique and beautiful they are! We want teach them to be confident, to make good decisions, to be thankful, to be kind and love others and to forgive themselves and others.

Yes, it sounds lovely!
And that is still what we plan to do BUT the reality is all of this still will not heal them for their past.

Healing will be a process, a journey, an enlightenment that comes with time.

For many the scars are to deep and they will always have them but will learn to live with them. They will need to find peace at some point on their personal journey. Our at least a resting spot that somehow feels good to them.

When Sarah (home 2.5 yrs) went to Michael's funeral she did not cry. She showed very little emotion but went through the appropriate steps actions while at the funeral and visitation.

 I did find it a little troubling. I think she could not let her guard down. 

What would happen to her if she allowed herself to really feel the loss of a friend. A friend that adored her and who she was completely comfortable around... one of her few friends.

What would happen if she felt the pain of losing her birth parents. Was she unwanted and unvalued by her parents and a whole culture just because she is a girl and maybe the second or third child in a family?

someday the flood gates will open...
the tears will flow...
for all her losses...
for all of their losses...

I need to be aware of this. We need to be able to help her and our other children process all of this. It will not go away on it's own...

I do think that some adoptees will feel it more than others.
I also think that- to not feel it would be very unhealthy.

This movie was awesome and should be seen by all adoptive parents! Whether you adopted from China or someplace else it can apply to all international adoptees. 

It had many other great points of interest-
reasons to have your child learn/keep their birth language
trying to find their birth family
visiting their birth country.

It was eye opener for me!


Shonni said...

Very interesting...I have often wondered, as a mother, what will “it” be like as they get older. And how can I best support and help them.

Sally-Girl! said...

Jean, As you know I was adopted through a domestic adoption. I get all of it with the exception of being from a different culture. That is one more BIG thing that our kids to have to process. As for them, they are Americans and yet the blood that runs through their veins is Chinese and they know it. They feel it!

You are right, adoption is a journey, a process, a step at a time. It wasn't until I was in my 30's that I came to rest and be at complete peace with being adopted.

But I did not have parents who taught me about Jesus' love for me and His adoption of all people being reinforced and felt in our home. I also did not have parents who talked about adoption with me. It was always just assumed. I hope that is the difference for my children!

Going to watch the movie. Thanks for the review!

Dawn said...

Thanks for this post, Jean.I remember asking one of my children what they were feeling at one time... she said nothing. I know now this child suffered from terrible Rad. I think it would help to go thru what different emotions are... and to do some bio feed back where kids are learning to feel emotions again and identify feelings in their bodies as well. ... shut down is exactly what it is. Only God...

Difference2This1 said...

I can't wait to watch this movie. One of the adoptive moms who has a daughter in this movie has been mentioning it for the past several months as they were's great to hear you found it as good to view as I was hoping. I'm jealous you got to see it already!!! :) Blessings, Jennifer

Chris said...

another good resource for helping you prepare for those future issues is 20 things adopted kids wish their parents knew
if you google the title, you will find it easily-very popular-I won't say it is an easy read-easy to read, but not easy to absorb-easy to understand, just not easy to implement it into life-I so hope we can miss out on some of the issues, but in reality, I don't suppose that really happens for any of our chosen children
Thanks for sharing the link-we need to check it out before we bring home 2 more