Well, we're experiencing something new with our oldest daughter, but I'm guessing it won't be the last time we have similar situations arise in our family.
Taevy is lonely. Poor baby, she just...is. Yes, she hopes to have more friends in general, but more than that she yearns to know other young adoptees like herself--especially the 9-12 year old crowd of Asian adoptees.
It all came to a head this evening even though I can look back over the last few months and see that this was coming. I've heard, "Mom, do you love Ghana more than Cambodia?" "Mom, why don't we have more Asians in Oklahoma?" "Mom, WHY aren't there more kids here from Cambodia?" "I think I might move to California when I grow up, because there are lots of Asians there." And the kicker...while watching hoarders..."Mom, why do they never show any Asian hoarders?" [That one actually cracked me up!]
So, this is the part where I get to feel really guilty for not doing a good enough job keeping Taevy involved in her own culture, or at least in the Asian community here. Ugh. People often ask how we "do it" having so many countries represented in one house. I guess the truth is we haven't done it well enough! For Taevy, books and photos and recognizing Cambodian holidays, and hearing how wonderful her birth country is, is not enough. She needs to know her people--and I can't really give her that. Around here the best I can do is "Asian"--not Khmer (Cambodian).
We are blessed that her little bestie was actually Samren's orphanage-mate and has several Khmer siblings. Taevy LOVES it at her friend's home. I know it is partly because she loves her friend so much, but it is also because that home is full of kids that live a much more Khmer/Vietnamese culture in their home than we could ever provide (older adoptees who remember their language, etc.). I'm so thankful she has this family, but even that is not enough.
Tonight she asked if we could move to Colorado because I had told her once there were lots of Khmer people in Colorado. Huh?! Turns out she was remembering when I told her about the Khmer Heritage Camp that happens in Colorado each year. Umm...guess who will be trying to figure out how to make it there this summer? =-)
I love my daughter so very much. I always thought I was providing everything she needed, but that just isn't the truth. She is at the point in her life now where she truly needs to have friends who can identify with her unique background. It's going to be WORK to provide that for her because in our state Asian culture does not abound. However, we can do better than we've been doing.
Have any of you experienced this sort of thing with your "tween" daughters? Any tips for the newbie? Has anybody ever considered making a yahoo group for these girls (from any country) that so desire to connect with other adoptees of the same age? I know Taevy would be really into that.