A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
A clarification and a grump

Grump first.

I find it rather ironic that in comments to a post talking about being dismissive, someone gets dismissive about the specific physical resemblances to OmegaDotter's birthparents I talked about in my Somewhere in southern China... post.  One of the main points of that post was that there are things people think about (a lot) that don't get talked about in blogs or that require a knowledge of the blog and the blogger to know it gets talked about elsewhere.  In that post, in that paragraph, I stuck to physical stuff.  If you read the rest of my blog, you'll find things scattered here and there where I talk about personality traits.  But.  Tell me how to untangle the various aspects of OmegaDotter's personality?  Please.  Tell me how to pinpoint this and say, "Oh, yes, that came direct from her birthfather!" or pinpoint that and say, "I'm sure that comes from her birthmother!" or pinpoint yet another trait and say, "That is a result of being in an orphanage for the first year of her life."

We don't know.  I think I said that all over the place in that particular post.  We don't know. I can point to specific mannerisms and say it came from me or from OmegaDad or from even OmegaGranny--because I know those mannerisms like the back of my hand.  But I also know, from my own family experience, that likes, dislikes, personality traits, etc. are a weird amalgam of pieces from all over the genetic tree.  I'm like my mother in this set of personality traits; I'm like my father in that set; I'm like my Aunt F. in yet another; I'm like my grandmother in this, this, this, and that.

If I knew OmegaDotter's birthfamily, I'd be able to point to things and say, "Oh, yes, that comes from her mother, and that comes from her father, and that comes from me, and this comes from OmegaDad."

As it is, mostly I take her in her totality, as she is.  Every once in a while a mannerism that is mine takes me by surprise.  (Usually not very pleasantly--I'm obviously something of a clown and a bit bossy.)

I have even surrendered to the horsie obsession, which perhaps does spring from her birthfamily.  (I will point out that this is a statement of wry amusement about the whole horse thing, for those who find it difficult to figure out.)

I can say that she's scary smart, she's charming, she's funny, she's flirty, she's stubborn as hell, she's bossy.  She loves drawing and artwork.  I see flashes of what she will look like as an adult, and she will be beautiful.

Onto the clarification.

I found the comment trail on Karen's post to be (har) dismissive of the original commenter's post and rather obnoxious in the pack mentality it showed.  I did not and do not agree with the tone that many people took.  I think Karen's original response was bound to rouse the posse, but...but...she did say some good things in that post.  The problem was that there was defensiveness all around.  My point in my post was that, given the way the comment was presented and the timing of the comment, it was bound to bring defensiveness to the fore.

If the anonymous commenter had really wanted to bring those issues out, perhaps a different blog would have been a better venue.  Because, frankly, if anyone's read Karen's blog on a regular basis, those issues have been talked about.  But I know a bunch of blogs of potential adoptive parents who don't talk about or seem to think about those issues, and bloggers who might benefit from a little lecture like that.

And, once again, if the commenter thought it was so important, perhaps the commenter should have had the courage of her/his convictions, and put his/her name out there.  I personally despise anonymous commenters; I will always put my internet nom de plume on my comments.

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posted by Kate @ 8/27/2006 10:13:00 AM  
  • At 8/27/2006 11:58:00 AM, Blogger Vinegar Martini said…

    In a way, the fact you can't assign a trait or habit to Dotter's birth parents creates more of an individual in Dotter. She's just "her" - not "her mother" or "her father" and whatever social skills she'll develop are a reflection on your parenting rather than biology.

    Just let her be "her". The rest will follow.

  • At 8/27/2006 12:59:00 PM, Anonymous chicagomama said…

    We have conversations in our house where we bring up casually that Z. must get her smile from her birth mother, or that when she is being funny that someone in her first family must have teh best sense of humor.
    It is not so much that I don't want her to be 'her' - but I also don't want her to think that she somehow sprung fully formed from Zeus's forehead eitehr.
    It is a balancing act in our house to talk about all parts of Z.'s family when talking about the traits and characteristics that she shows.
    I think the hardest part is that none of us know yet if what we are doing is the right thing for our child(ren). We do our best and hopefully we leave the door open wide enough for our children to talk to us as they get old enough to really process their feelings about these issues and the balance between their life and family before us and the life now with us.
    ok, I've probably rambled enough...interesting points.

  • At 8/30/2006 04:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anocat said…

    Heck, I have two kids that I gave birth to and I have no idea where all their traits come from! Yeah, sometimes I can see bits that we might have made but who knows if it's nature or nurture that created THAT temper (like DH), THAT love of reading (like me) or THAT ease of making friends instantly (neither)? Oh, and one of mine is developing a disturbing liking for horses. There's absolutely no horsiness in either my family or DHs so where on earth could that have come from? Same place as the dotter's I guess!

    Kids come into the world as the people they are and we parents just have to learn to live with that.


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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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