Monday, January 28, 2008

Vietnamese Immersion

This weekend is what I am going to call "Vietnamese Immersion".  Just a few weeks ago I was wondering where I was going to find any interaction with the Vietnamese community, and I'm sure once Tet passes I might still be asking myself that question.  But for this weekend, at least, I got to really enjoy learning more about the country and the people.

On Saturday a friend of mine called and asked if I was going to the Vietnamese Culture Night...what?  It was the first I had heard of it, so after looking it up to make sure it was legit, I called Michael to see if he wanted to go.  I really don't think they were expecting as many people to show as did.  It was really a lot of fun.  They had trivia games, fashion shows (past and present), history of the North, South and Mid-country.  The highlight for me was watching them dance and sing traditional Vietnamese songs.  Students came from neighboring states to perform for the crowds.  From what I saw, a lot of the Vietnamese students were actually American born and there were a number of bi-racial/cultural Vietnamese...something that isn't typical among most the Chinese I know.  It was nice to see that those of bi-cultural histories were not excluded from the celebrations.  While that may not sound like a bid deal to you, I fear my kids will be left out because of their forced bi-cultural history.  I'm afraid they will be called twinkies (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) or worse, but my fears were somewhat allayed after seeing all the diversity present.

I felt even more assured after meeting Maxine on Sunday and speaking to her and her teenage daughter that was adopted from Vietnam.  As a single parent it does weigh on me that I will have to be both mother and father to my kids.  I feel sad when I see dads playing with their kids--tickling them and carrying them.  My kids won't have that and I unfortunately can't do that for them.  Not the way a dad would.  I asked Maxine's daughter if she was ever bothered by not having a dad.  She was pretty quick to respond, "No.  I understood why I didn't have one. It would have been nice, but it didn't bother me."  Maxine explained that her daughter was 4 1/2 years old when she came home (after living with her birth parents for most of those years).  Initially she would say, "I had a daddy and now I don't. What did you do with him?"  She seemed to be a very well adjusted, bright, interesting and interested teenager.  One of my biggest concerns is that my kids will hate me for taking them from their home country and by not being able to give them a dad.  Some things are just out of my hands.

Yesterday I met a number of other adoptive parents around the mid-state when we crashed a real Vietnamese Tet.  It was great to finally meet Kelli, The Desserich family, Angel and Chloe, Katina and James and family, Margie and Maxine.  Sorry if I have left a few out.  It was nice to finally meet another blended family (Katina and James).  It was also nice to see the Vietnamese community celebrate.  I would have liked to have gotten to know some of them and perhaps I will have that chance as the years pass, but yesterday I was just excited to meet others that had or were in the process of adopting.  I have to admit, it really gives me a sense of hope to see other families that have done it.  Despite all the uncertainties, I left with a feeling of "if they can do it, so can I". 



About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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