(Quick note: We should be DTC very soon. Yes, it took way too long, but I'm happy that the papwerwork is done!)
After reading about this documentary video on Harlow's Monkey, I ordered it through our local inter-library system.
First Person Plural is an amazing and incredibly touching story, and should be required watching for parents adopting internationally. Parents adopting domestically should probably watch this as well.
For those of you who haven't seen it: In short, it's a documentary about and by Deann Borshay Liam, a woman who was adopted from Korea at an older age (about 9 years old, I think) by a couple from California.
Reflections on the video (caution: spoilers):
This video illustrates how important it is for you to help your internationally adopted child be as comfortable as possible with their native culture, and to learn the language as much as possible. It's heartbreaking to watch Deann, aka Ok Chin, meet with her birthmother and to have to communicate via an interpreter, as Deann knows very little Korean. After meeting her Korean family two or three times, she decides that she needs to have both her families in the same room, and flies to Korea with her American adoptive parents. I just watched the scene where her two mothers meet, and was absoutely heartbroken (and sobbing like a baby). Her American mother was very brave to do this, and I absolutely commend her for trying hard to understand Deann's new reality. It was also heartbreaking to watch Deann's Korean mother hold Deann's hand and tell her, basically: I gave birth to you, but I'm not your mother. (She wasn't pushing her away, just stating a fact). She then said "My heart aches".
Wow. What a choice that poor woman had to make. If you want to see something that gives you a little insight into what a birthmother has to go through, and also see an illustration of what may happen when an international adoptee meets a birth parent (and their biological family - Ok Chin has 5 Korean siblings), First Person Plural is a must-see.
This is something that I'm adding to my wish list and have to make sure to pull out and watch every one in a while, just to remind myself why it's so important to work on cultural knowledge and language with my adopted children.
I'm not as articulate or insightful as Harlow's Monkey. I suggest you read the rest of her post. And keep an eye out for Deann Borshay's upcoming new film, Precious Objects of Desire.