Sunday, August 06, 2006

Some thoughts on a sunny day...

I called this blog "butterfly kisses and 100 good wishes" because of the night time rituals that my family practiced when I was a child. Please see the May 21st archive for that post. So, today after putting together secret pal gifts, researching areas of China where children have just been referred from and immersing myself in the whole "Chinese adoption experience" I realized that I was being very ethnocentric.

Momentarily, I panicked. What if butterflies mean something horrible in the Chinese culture. I have purchased many items with butterflies on them; fabric, children's toys and last but not least, calling this blog 'butterfly kisses". I know that I have seen numerous butterflies on different pieces of Chinese artwork, so they must mean something!! So I went on a search to see what they mean in Chinese culture. Much to my relief, butterflies are associated with joy. Wow, I was very lucky here but this is how I feel when I see my little yellow butterfly - full of joy. The Pin Yin at the top of the page says "Butterfly". Isn't it beautiful!!

This exercise just reminded me of all of the changes coming and how we will need to wrap our minds around working with our daughter who comes from a different culture. I often joke that I was only able to understand Shawn (he was born in Guyana and moved to Canada when he was 6 years old) after I took a course in Caribbean Culture at University for my anthropology degree. So, all joking aside, after we have our daughter's referral, you won't find me without a book or article about her specific cultural area. I want to know the practices that she is used to and if her birth family had been able to have her as a part of their family, what they would have given her from their culture. Shawn is making a video library of everything Chinese that is on television so that we can show these to Isabel and learn together.
So, now we are aware, we will be working towards learning more about our wonderful daughter's incredible birth country and history.


Connie said...

You two are going to be awesome parents. It's great that you want to understand Isabel's birth culture and realize how important that is :0)

Janet said...

No kidding! The Chinese culture is so different from ours! Challenging but so fun to learn about! Keep reading!
Janet T.

P.S- our daughter's name is Isabelle too, just spelled differently. Love the name!

Kay/Hanazono said...

Good for you for wanting to try to integrate your child's birth culture into your daily lives. I'm not sure how large the Asian community is where you live, but that is another resource to help your daughter develop her culural identity. There has been a big discussion of this over at American Family lately if you want to check it out :)

Mommy-To-Channing said...

You guys are great!! I know by the time you have Isabel in your arms you will be well educated on the Chinese culture. Maybe a few trips to Van to China Town....Maybe I'll meet you there!!!
I find it fascinating to read about China....I'm sooo excited to have China in my "blood" now!!!