Friday, 28 September 2012

Afterthoughts on the Visa post...

I have done a lot of thinking after I posted yesterday.

I've realized that the reason I am upset with the cancellation of J's passport is simple.  As I mentioned yesterday, when J became a Canadian citizen, amid the celebration, it bothered me that we were having to make this decision for her.  It sure would be nice if we could allow her to choose her preferred citizenship when she's older.  But at the same time, when she was granted her Canadian citizenship, there was no physical proof of her renunciation of Chinese citizenship.  This cancellation of her passport is exactly that.  It is the physical proof that she is no longer a Chinese citizen.  And that is, no doubt, why it bothered me so much.

One of my work colleagues thinks I am being overly sensitive about this.  I have to beg to differ.  I think it's important for me to realize how this factors in the loss my child has experienced.  Is she happy and healthy in Canada and in our family?  Of course.  Is she better off in a family in Canada who loves her than growing up in an orphanage in China?  Probably.  But I think this is an erroneous comparison when discussing the loss a child has experienced in the adoption process.

The true comparison is between a child who grows up with her birthparents vs a child who grows up in an adoptive family.  As a family created by adoption, I can proudly say that our child does not want for anything.  She is loved and cared for, happy and healthy. We are good, loving parents, and we do all we can to create and maintain a good understanding and connection to her birthculture. But that doesn't mean that she has not experienced loss.  No matter how good the adoptive family is, an adoptive child has, necessarily, by the very nature of the act, experienced loss.  In our daughter's case, loss of her birthparents, the nannies at the orphanage and her Foster family.  Loss of her culture, her language, the foods she ate, the smells she liked and the sounds by which she was comforted.  She has lost her citizenship, and her country.  Has she gained a truckload of things in the process?  Of course!  But does this extinguish the loss she has experienced?  Absolutely not!

As J's mom, I now have to choose how I will deal with all of this.  I can deny the loss and spend my life trying to convince J that she is better off where she is now (as most of the entire world will invariably try to do), or I can recognize the loss she has experienced and let her know that I am there for her when she needs to think, cry, or talk about it.  I can wait for her with a warm, comforting mommy-hug and a huge dose of "it's ok for you to feel like this and I'm here for you".  I choose the latter.

Good night my little (forever) Chinese-Canadian Princess...  I'm here for you.  Always.

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