I went from feeling like my childhood was hard because of racism, to feeling like my childhood was hard because of my adoption.
It’s taken me a long time to sit down and write this, and as I do so, I find myself flooded with emotions and moments I have honestly tried to push aside during the past two and a half months.
Today is May 1st, and boy do I feel like May is a loaded month–this year in particular.
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). It is also Jewish American Heritage Month. May 9th is Mother’s Day. And this May is the month I will give birth to my first child.
Not surprisingly, all of the above things are really blending and meshing together into one very complicated, mixed up ball of emotions.
If this blog entry reads as angry, frustrated, or desperate–it’s because it is. I am. I feel as though I have been screaming my entire life and my screams have been silenced or quantified as a direct result of being an adoptee.
People don’t understand what it is like, and I suppose I don’t expect them to because I’ve never come flat out and said some of these things, but I am going to now. I am going to now so there is no question, and in the hopes that anyone who reads this will reflect and can no longer feign ignorance.
There was also a part of me that felt like giving our daughter a Korean middle name might impose too much “Koreanness” on her. At the time, I was really struggling with the fact that she was going to have nods to Asian features, and I think that the protective side of me wanted to shield her from any adversity that could potentially come from acknowledging her Korean heritage. I also sort of felt like an imposter giving her a Korean middle name. Who was I to give a child a name from a culture I grew up so divorced from and had only recently begun to reconnect with?
We are happy to announce that Baby R’s name is…
Just kidding! Sorry, but you all are going to need to wait until the little one makes her appearance earthside to find out what her name is.
But in all seriousness, I knew that the business of naming your child was probably not something to be taken lightly. However, I didn’t know how many feelings and emotions it would bring up as a transracial adoptee parent.
I can’t believe that I’m already in the third trimester! Unlike the first, I feel like the second trimester just flew by! Between the holidays and all of the nesting, it seems like I blinked and suddenly I’m at 28 weeks. While this trimester has definitely been easier and more fun, it’s still had some challenges that warranted these absolute necessities!
This past Tuesday, in the car on the 25 minute car ride on the way to the OB, I asked my husband the question.
“What would your response be if our daughter came home and told you that someone called her a Chink?”
Naturally, when I found out that we were expecting, I did what most scholars do–I hit the books. I’ve read and researched several different birthing methods and parenting styles from hypnobirthing to Montessori. I’ve read about breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, and all that’s inbetween. However, over the course of my pregnancy for the last six months, the most valuable information I’ve learned has been that which is not found in books. It is the information that one merely learns through experience, and I’d like to share what I’ve come to love and embrace about pregnancy.
Well, I’m a little bit more than halfway through my pregnancy with our little girl! With only fifteen weeks to go, I’ve really started taking a look at some of my own personal habits. What do I already do that will serve me well once she arrives? What do I not do so well that I need to get better at in order to be the best mom I can be? After a lot of soul-searching and much trial and error, here are the top 5 habits I think every mom can work to establish before her baby comes!