Monday, November 22, 2010
I cooked plantains today for Molly's class. She did a persuasion paper on adoption, and being National Adoption Month, we joined her today (no pics allowed). For those who aren't haven't had them, plantains are a staple in most developing countries. They look like a long bananna but on the inside have the texture and taste of a sweet potato. With butter, sugar and cinnamon, they are yummy! I've gotten a lot of crazy reactions since becoming a Rwanda mama (for a zillion reasons). When I say I am cooking Rwandan chicken or discovering East Africa recipes, I get even more mixed responses. I don't really get why becuase when we chose international adoption, we knew that whatever country God led us to our children, that that country would be "ours." We are now Rwandan-Americans because our kids are. Doesn't that seem logical than that we would want to embrace the culture? There is a lot of newer research out there looking at children adopted into transracial families and long term well being. Overwhelmingly, the kids who were acknowledged that they were different had more self-confidence. So the "love sees no color" thing doesn't actually apply. In other words, if we always pretend that E and Zeke are exactly the same, if we don't talk about their differences or their Rwandan culture, that will encourage them to be ashamed of their obvious differences. "If mama and daddy never mention that I'm black maybe that's weird or maybe I shouldn't let others know where I'm from..." I think it's a tricky balance of treating adoptive children equally, but also differently, from biological siblings; and I may not be doing it right. But I do love research based evidence and plantains.