Sunday, January 13, 2013

Brown eyed girl

Brad and I finally got to see the beautiful, moving documentary "Somewhere Between" last week.  It's a documentary that follows four teenaged girls who were adopted from China.  As if teenage-hood isn't hard enough, these girls struggle with additional challenges.  They say that they feel like a banana or Twinkie - yellow on the outside, but white on the inside.  They struggle with wondering why they were abandoned, not "good enough" for their own birth parents.  I laughed and cried as I watched this movie and this very small time in these girls' lives.  I left the theatre feeling dissatisfied.  I needed more.  I needed resolution and to feel like they found the answers that they needed.  But this will be a lifelong journey for the girls in this documentary.  For all adopted children. 

I know that we will have issues that Cadence will deal with as she gets older.  When the depth of her questions grow beyond "Where am I from?" to which she excitedly exclaims now "China!".  When she starts to wonder about the "who" and "why" of her history.  When she tries to figure out what part of her heritage she will want to embrace.  Maybe even as she tries to figure out where she fits in exactly, in a community with a very small Asian population.  I know what I want for her, but I cannot "fix" anything that might cause her pain and grief as she walks this journey.  All that we can do is anticipate what she might want or need, answer her questions, and love her.

Ironically, a few days after the movie, Cadence started asking me about eye color.

Cadence: What color are my eyes?
Me: Brown.
C:What color are your eyes?
M: Blue.
C:What color are Daddy's eyes?
M: Blue.
C: What color are CeCe's (Sierra's) eyes?
M: Blue. (I'm starting to feel anxious now)
C: What color are Lulu's (Laurel's) eyes?

(Now usually I would answer blue for the sake of ease, but suddenly I'm thinking "She's going to feel excluded from our family because she is the only one with brown eyes."  That being said, Laurel's eyes are a weird blue/grey/green/hazel combination.)

M: Hazel.
C: Awwww... (very disappointed)  I don't want brown eyes.

(I'm thinking "Already?!  Really?!  She is already going to have issues of wanting to change herself to fit into our family/community?  Ack!!)

M: What color eyes do you want?
C:  I want my eyes to be hot pink!

Phew!  Dodged that bullet for a little longer!  I hope that we can raise this little girl to accept herself and all that is wonderful about her - including those deep, beautiful brown eyes.

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