I’m not tooting my own horn. I mention it because those comments feel so unwarranted. We’re all good moms in our own ways, but the “good mom” pat on the back I sometimes receive seems to be born from our adoptive family status.
Usually I hear that, as I did recently, because of the fact that I try to make an effort to be sensitive to PunditGirl’s adoption and heritage issues. I don’t feel like that’s above and beyond the call — it’s just the thing that feels right.
I confided to another mom recently that I’m tackling a writing project I’ve wanted to do for a while that would put together some of the missing puzzle pieces for PunditGirl about the first year of her life — the part of her life we didn’t get to share and that is a mystery.
Suffice it to say that, as with other children adopted from China, there’s not a lot we know with any certainty about the first year of her life.
We do our best to incorporate her Chinese culture and heritage into our lives — PunditGirl attends Chinese Saturday school and we don’t shy away from answering her questions about China and why she’s not still there with her first family.
But I really can’t help cringing when people tell me “I’m such a good mother” because of those things, like somehow these efforts make me saintly or uber-praiseworthy.
I’m not doing these things to win any sort of Mother of the Year contest — there are plenty of things I do wrong that I know I certainly wouldn’t win, place, or show in that contest.
We just do what we think is best for PunditGirl and hope that those are the right decisions.
We could be off the mark.
Maybe it would be better for her to be playing soccer on Saturday mornings than learning that “Wo ai ni” means “I love you” in Chinese.
Maybe it would be better if I left the information about her past stay buried.
Maybe it’s not always a good thing to dig in the dirt.
But I probably won’t know the answers to those questions for a long time, if ever.
So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and holding my breath, and hoping that, in the end, PunditGirl will be OK with the decisions we’ve made to keep our hearts open to China.