Ouch

Friday, April 30, 2010

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Me (looking awful & tired after a long day) and my sweetie-pie cooking in our matching aprons from Kate Landers.

Okay, well, I did not expect that some people would actually be mad that I posted those links the other day. I was surprised, bummed (and a little hurt) to receive a few angry e-mails and comments (that were asked not to be published). I did not mean to offend anyone. I just think it is always helpful to understand various perspectives. That is what leads to informed decisions. None of us has all the answers.

And thank you to those who were glad to see another perspective even if they disagreed with it. That was my intent--- exposure not persuasion.

Here is my take... When I did marriage counseling I would never devise a plan for a couple until I heard from both the husband and the wife. That is how I view parenting my internationally adopted daughter. I know my perspective on it all. But reading/hearing the perspective of adopted adults (and they are all different) might better equip me to handle things that may or may not come up. That is it...simple enough.

Last week Kate asked me if Will and Harry grew in my tummy. I said, "Yes, they did." I will be honest. I wanted to leave it there but I knew that I should say more. I knew that Kate was testing the waters. Deep down, I knew she was seeing how I would react to these questions. I very nonchalantly added that she grew in another Mommy's tummy in China. I did not get teary or sad. I wanted her to see and to know that she can always ask or bring up anything like this and I will always be there to listen, answer and comfort her. I wanted to extend the conversation to give her permission and a safe place to ask the questions. Part of that came from reading books and blogs about what adoptees wish their parents knew.

I want to teach her that it is okay to ask the questions. If I wait for her lead, she might never feel comfortable. I have to create an environment where it is comfortable for her to express her feelings and ask questions.

So all I wanted to do was point to another perspective. I never imagined that would upset a few people.



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My little chef. She loves to help us cook.

68 comments:

  1. Kim, so sorry to hear about the comments from the last post. I was moved by the last post and her story. I think in life we should always look at other points of view, even if we don't agree with them. Please continue to post your thoughts and feelings, it's what I respect most about you!

    Love the matching aprons, cutest head and sous chef's out there :) Enjoy the weekend!

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  2. Kim, I thought the post was very thought provoking and insightful. Not offensive at all. you know you can't please everyone all the time. Your blog reaches a lot of people and it brings a lot of joy, encouragement and inspiration to readers.

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  3. I think as adoptive parents we need to keep an open mind and an open dialogue. I think sharing articles or blogs like that one and sharing different viewpoints and opinions is always a good thing. If not for reading others' opinions, I might not have thought of certain ideas or thoughts that my daughters may have now or in the future. I am sorry that you received negative comments for something you published on YOUR blog!! Anyway, I love your matching aprons. What a cute print and of course, monogrammed! Your little kitchen helper is adorable!!

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  4. I am like you, in that, I enjoy hearing all different perspectives. I have big news on my blog. I LOVE YOUR HAIR BY THE WAY!!! xoxox

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  5. that is too bad. that makes me sad for the children of those people. they have a long road ahead of them. perspective is in the eye of the beholder and as AP'S does it really matter what "OUR" perspective is? I would say not- if we really care about how our kids fare. I think theirs is the only perspective that matters in their story. oh well. i am sure some will be mad at me too. c'est la vie. Thanks again, kim, thoughts that matter don't come easily.

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  6. I think you are a wonderful mother who is looking at all views and perspectives to make sure your precious daughter continues to grow and love in your family.

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  7. Kim,
    I really appreciated the links and the points of view from another's perspective. I bookmarked them, so that I can revisit them easily. Thank you for sharing them.

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  8. I actually meant to comment yesterday and say that I was very appreciative of your other post. I love hearing different perspectives and deciding how we will proceed with our own daughter some day. This wait is good for something...I'm learning alot from parents who are going down this path before us. Thank you for always being so open and willing to share!
    Julie

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  9. I think that there are a lot of adoptive parents who have never thought twice about celebrating their "gotcha" days or what calling this day by the name *gotcha* could mean to the child. People don't want to *feel* like someone is pointing out that they are doing something wrong in their parenting.

    I'm very greatful to other adoptive parents (especially Tonggu Momma) who have opened my eyes to adult adoptees blogs... and to consider varied points of view on subjects like this.

    Sorry that you got some boos from people that want to bury their heads in the sand and not listen to other views.

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  10. This is YOUR blog. You are allowed to YOUR opinion. If you do not want to do a Gotcha Day- who cares. If you do want to do a Gotcha Day- who cares. That is between you and your family. You know what is best.

    I can't believe someone wrote you mean comments. If I don't agree while reading someone elses site, I don't write mean or negative comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    This is the third or forth blog (in just about 2-3 few months) where I have read that people wrote negitive comments and upset the owner of the blog. Why? I don't understand why. I would never write something on the computer that I could not say in person. There was even a morning show (ABC I think) about blogs and how people write mean things on them. Again, why? I just don't get it.

    Sharyn

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  11. I am so sorry that people took offense to your previous post. But I for one am grateful for reading it. I thought this post was particularly insightful, so much so that I brought it up to my husband as food for thought for how we handle things.

    There will always be people that take offense to differing opinions but you have provided some very insightful information to many of us. And if it helps even just one person parent their child in a manner that best suits their child's needs then I would consider it a hugely successful post! :)

    Many thanks,
    Cindy

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  12. So sorry you received any negative feedback from the links you shared. I, for one, enjoyed reading both of them during my planning time yesterday. So often, I find that every time I read a blog or article from an adult adoptee, I go away with a new, fresh perspective and it always makes me think.
    Don't worry about the negative...focus on the positive, like how darn cute Kate is and how adorable y'alls aprons are :)

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  13. Adorable aprons! We have two little chefs at our house too!

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  14. I was not offended at all. After reading her blog for several hours, I got a glimpse of adoption from the adoptee perspective. I think it was very insightful, truthfully raw and very poignant. Although she doesn't speak for ALL adoptees, I think she shed light of some emotional battles that adoptees struggle with daily. Thank you Kim for the link to Melissa's blog.

    PS The aprons are just precious!!!

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  15. Don't you dare apologize on your blog!! I loved the links and it was not because we agree, but because it validated out feelings and what we hope we are able to communicate and allow hayden to communicate about her adoption.

    We can't change how parents parented IA kids 30 years but we can certainly do better today. We have to do better.... We owe it to our kids to do better!!!

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  16. Wow. I have to say, it is disappointing to hear that fellow AP's took offence to that post. I honestly don't get it. I SO appreciate perspective from all points. It doesn't mean I will take every bit and make it my own...everything is read and taken with a grain of salt. But if we really care to learn beyond the fluff and stuff...then we will 'hear out' all sides without 'reacting' in a negative way. You take some and you leave some. And I can honestly say that as a Christian, some points of view were a little heavy... but overall, most inciteful. I became a follower, just so that I can continue to read from Melissa's perspective and pray for wisdom to raise Khloe in the way that God would want me to. And I KNOW that keeping our communication doors open with our children, is exactly what He wants us to do! You have much wisdom, Kim...and I am GRATEFUL that you weren't afraid to post about this. Thank you!!

    Hugs,
    Tanya

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  17. Not everyone thinks the same and you can't please everyone.. this is your blog and your thoughts.. I think that if you don't like something then you don't comment..
    but that is my personal opinion..
    LOVE the aprons and love the post..
    Love you my friend....
    Hugs..

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  18. I honestly don't understand why getting angry with you about her posts!. The girl was talking about her personal experience, about her need to meet her Korean parents (although I felt that at moments she was pretty tough on her adoptive parents) and something was wrong. I don't know.
    I was adopted by a family member and for a long time I was upset with my biological parents for rejecting me. Many years later I let go of those feelings and even though I love them, for me my mom is my adoptive mom. The one who taught me to walk, to talk, the one who was with me when I was scared in the night or when I was sick. Parents for me are the ones who raise you, give you love and take care of your needs. Adoptive parents don't have the responsability of loving you but they do and for that they deserve our respect and love in return. Hurting them by saying certain things might have been the reason some people got angry. Now, that shows a need to deal with the real issues at home and with their adopted kids.
    My adoptive mom is the best!!!! She gave me a place to call home

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  19. Ugh, that's what upsets me about blogging. Its too easy to say purposfully hurtful and snarky remarks and hide behind the computer. I hold so much in because I'm rather sensitive and have cried from nasty comments on more than one occassion. Sad!

    On another note, my mother was adopted. I don't think you're a regular reader of my blog (and lately I'm not even a regular blogger!) But I talk about my mother sometimes under Monster Mondays. She has never really felt love for me. Ever. I am very convinced that it is in great part due to being adopted at age 3 and never really discussing it. She remembers being in an orphanage but lived in an era where you didn't discuss such things. So just letting Kate know she is allowed to talk is such a blessing for her! Secrets haunt. As the saying goes, the truth will set you free. And if other wish to parent differently, I'm sure they too are doing the right thing for their families. But it is so refreshing to know you are open in your family!

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  20. Gosh do I hate mean comments. I'm so sorry... you are an amazing person and a wonderful mom. In the end, that is ALL that matters... except for maybe those adorable aprons you are both wearing!!!

    XOXO Jessica

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  21. I also like hearing different perspectives. We need to be prepared to answer these questions. I am sorry you got emails that weren't supportive of this. We can't please everyone....and that's ok too....you are entitled to your opinion and this is your blog!

    Have a good weekend.
    Hugs...
    Steffie

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  22. I'm sorry that you had negative comments. I think your post was important and I agree that we need to better understand our children's experiences from their perspectives. In fact, it is crucial to helping them grow and develop in healthy ways. We all learn through dialogue and I appreciate you sharing these links allowing us to start the dialogue that will help us all be more thoughtful, empathetic, and caring parents.

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  23. By the way, the two of you look terrific in those darling aprons!

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  24. Kim,

    I have been thinking about this a lot. I've been thinking that for many APs they come to adoption after losses themselves: loss through miscarriage, the death of a child, or the loss of a dream of having biological children. I would hope that their own experience with loss would make it easier to relate to the losses that their adopted child has felt. We are all broken people in some way and God has a way of making things new and redeeming these situations. I hope that as I parent my adopted daughter that I can always be humble and sensitive. Thank you for posting. There have been many thought-provoking blog entries around lately!

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  25. LOVE those aprons! You and Kate are too cute! I think your outlook to see different perspectives is great.

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  26. You girls are adorable in your matching aprons!

    Don't forget we WILL be persecuted and in this world we WILL have trouble! Even if it's not our intent to. Keep your face lifted UP!

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  27. OK, I want those aprons! Where did you get them?!

    Kim,

    We can't in our world be close minded. I want to let you know that as a person waiting and waiting to adopt I found your previous post thought provoking and I am appreciate.

    Lea
    xo

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  28. Kim, I actually was thrilled to read her posts. I even bookmarked her blog so I could go back and read more. I appreciated her honesty and I thought it was great to hear her perspective.

    We have always openly talked about the fact that Ellie was adopted from China. When she was really little instead of calling something "pretty" she would call it "chinese". She is so proud of being Chinese. We never make a big deal on her gotcha day but we always try to celebrate Chinese New Year. I try more to focus on celebrating her heritage. Thats just my humble opinion and I truly believe everyone has to do what right for them.

    Love your matching aprons! Soooo cute! : )

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  29. While our twins were adopted domestically, your link and the other perspective was VERY insightful and equipping!
    THANK YOU!
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
    Kim
    P.S. You two are gorgeous in your aprons!

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  30. I read the perspective of the adult adoptee and found it to be very thought provoking. I appreciate the viewpoint from someone who has had this experience. We are traveling to China this summer to bring our daughter home and I want to be as sensitive to her needs and emotions as possible. Thank you for providing food for thought.

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  31. Adorable pictures!!

    Nothing wrong with seeing lots and lots of perspectives on a topic!! I think the most telling part of her article was when she talked about how her parents didn't talk to her much about the adoption... It was a different generation. It's good to talk. Good, bad, and ugly.

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  32. I am not an AP but a mother of two biological boys. We have many dear couple friends who have adopted infants, internationally and through the foster care system. All of these parents love their children deeply and want only what is best for them. The perspective of AA should be extremely valuable since the parents have not lived the experience and lack that perspective. Just being a parent, adoption aside, I have taken away from these discussions that our children need to have the atmosphere to express how they feel and not be afraid that expressing those feelings will crush the parent's happiness. I think most pain adults carry are from things they felt they couldn't express earlier in life, whether it be abandonment, abuse, etc. I want to be the soft place my family can land and know nothing can steal our Joy. Our love is bigger than any pain, it comes from our heavenly Father.

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  33. Kim I can't believe you got nasty comments...all you did was produce a few articles for AP to view...no where did I read that this was your belief and they should follow suit...you keep doing what your doing and don't worry about other people. No one is forced to read blogs. I for one thank you for the articles. I love to read on adoption and to view others opinions...I find it healthy.
    Now on to the aprons!!! I love them!!!! I need them!!! ok, want them!!! And you two look adorable!!!
    And what were you cooking????? Anything you want to share????

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  34. What really hits home with me is how terribly sad most children look the first few days or weeks after they are adopted. Months later, many look like different kids. One AP asked her daughter how she felt on that day, showing her a picture, and she said, "I felt scared right there." The articles provided much food for thought.

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  35. Love these pictures!and you look gorgeous! And very brave...getting through this... tired and a little persecuted. I read one of the links but could not get to the other. I wanted to thank you for spurring me on to talk and read to Bailey (I mostly find myself so hestitant and fearful to get on the subject) I asked her about that time, you will recall that she froze up for three days, she said, "I loved giving you my heart>" I was blown away! Where did she even get that wordage!?! So it turned into a very sweet conversation that I, at least will always remember. Thanks Kim. I have said it before but will tell you again how important I think your blog is and hope you keep going strong in all you do and hopefully realize that what you already do every day is huge, so you can relax about trying for more. ( Other things will come to fill you life when there is more room. I wish I could have known and felt that ten years ago).

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  36. You just keep on doing what you're doing Kim! You're a WONDERFUL mama and don't allow people you don't know to steal your JOY :)
    I know the feeling, I've had a few 'ouch-y' moments this week... praying that you're feeling better!

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  37. Love the aprons and think that's one lovely mama cooking with her little girl.

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  38. Kim,
    I love your blog and your willingness to openly share your thoughts on adoption. These type of entries make me think.
    As a result, I asked my nearly eight year old daughter what she thought about that day that she was first placed in my arms. What should we call it? Does she want to celebrate it? If so, how? She said, She thinks we should call it "Meeting Day" and yes we should celebrate with a mommy and me day. I think as our children get old enough to truly communicate we can ask them what they want and how they want to remember special days. Keep the dialogue open and let them own their journey.

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  39. I agree with everyone. I don't think you should appologize for what you put on your blog. Its your right to do what you wish.

    And I don't know why any parent who has adopted any child would not want to hear the view point of adult adoptees. This could be the view point of their own child in the future. Whether its worrisome or not, its important as parents that we try to understand our children. Its more worriesome to me that anyone would not want to understand.

    Take care.

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  40. Kim, I love your blog, I love your thoughtful insight. I appreciate that you are open minded on parenting and always willing to learn. Thank you for the info and so that others can make informed choices for themselves.
    On another note, I am so sad that people feel they have the right to critize someone else's personal feelings....especially in their personal space. Why leave a message...why not just leave if you don't agreee?
    I love your and Kate's matching aprons.
    This world is so full of hate...I wish people would try to build up rather than knocking down....
    You are such a good woman and a friend.
    Norah

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  41. Kim, I think you are not only an excellent momma, but an excellent adoptive momma. Because mommas who adopt are required more than most to step outside of their comfort zones and listen to different perspectives.

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  42. Hi Kim... I loved the perspective you guided me to. Coincidentally (maybe not ;) Libby was drifting to sleep that night, and began talking about her parents in China. This rarely happens, but this time, I asked her if she ever feels sad or scared about being adopted. It felt like the right thing to do, and I believe it was. We had a very frank conversation, and I realized that there is more that she might want to talk about. I try to gauge the success of my interactions with my children by whether I feel closer to a child after a conversation, even an unpleasant conversation. I DID feel closer to Libby after asking her about any negative feelings she might have. I am very grateful for your link. I read the information with an open heart. After 24 years of rearing children, I feel pretty confident as a parent most of the time, but I found information that I haven't considered before.

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  43. for the record, i think YOU are awesome
    you have one of the most generous encouraging gracious hearts!

    love ya'lls aprons
    too cute

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  44. I have been reading her blog for a short time now and I have even commented because I felt a connection with someone who understood the emotional problems my two little ones are having and who could help me.

    I have been a parent for 26 years....but only 5 years as an adoptive mom....I need all of the advice and help that I can get. I am proud of you for stepping out and posting those because even if AP's don't want to read this type of things right now.....at some point in their adopted child's life they will need to learn how to handle their loss and grief.

    Lottie has horrible anger issues. Yesterday in a complete meltdown, I picked her up while she was thrashing and kicking and I whispered in her ear that no matter what.....no matter what she does....I am never going to leave her and I will always be her Mommy. She just stopped...completely stopped and looked at me and put her thumb in her mouth and just nestled in my lap. Maybe that is what she has needed to hear during those times of anger. I tell her those things every day but not during that time. Okay...I am just rambling but you know that I support you and love you and that sweet Kate is just so precious in that apron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  45. I can't imagine how anyone could think that broadening your perspective to be the best parent you can could be a bad thing! Yall are darling in your matching monogrammed aprons! The picture of preppy momma and daughter!

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  46. Kim...thank you for the comment about the baseball pics...it means alot coming from you!! xoxo

    I love the pic of you and Kate in your matching aprons. I too have had lots to ponder after your post...thanks for th insight! xoxo

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  47. I guess some people have never heard their mothers say "If you cannot say anything nice, then don't say anything at all"!!! Everyone has an opinion, that is what we are all about. We share, if we like it we embrace it, if not, we move on to something else. Reading your post and the post of others has caused me to stop and think, it has given me food for thought. Will I express what I choose to do?? Not sure!!! I for one do FIRMLY believe that we were put on our adoption journey by God and I have enough faith in MY God to know that He will empower me to raise our sweet little girl to be confident in herself as a person who is adopted, who is from China, who has brown eyes, who has dark skin who on the outside is so different than her parents or her older sister, however in SO MANY ways is just like us. Your skin color, eye shape, hair color, ethnicity, birth, etc. in no way define who you are as a person!!!! Yes D is adopted, she does not look like us, but she IS our daughter and that open diaglogue between AP and the adopted child from the get go is the most imporant thing in setting them on a path to security of who they are!!! Thanks again for putting it out there, sorry you were dogged by some rude people!!!

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  48. I'm so sorry people get ugly! I thought it was innocent myself....I actually really enjoyed reading those links, espically since we just got our referral and I'm starting to question how best to parent my 4th child (first adopted) So thank you for giving something to think about:) I always love reading your blog!
    Hugs,
    Kim

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  49. You're right. It's not about agreeing or being the original thinker of the idea. It's about realizing different perspectives.

    Realizing: acknowlegement that the feelings are real. I pity the parents who do not want the most information available to them.

    Is it fear that makes them so angry and defensive? As Yoda said, "“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    It's not about us as parents; it's about our children as individuals. have to throw in another popular quote: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."

    Thank you for sharing the links.

    Our LL is six months younger than Kate, so these topics are coming. They are already in her head as she talks about her SWI aunties in her photos. I appreciate all the perspectives offered because there is no way to predict how our children will process their experiences.

    You were in my thoughts since this morning when I saw the news that Dr. Greenspan had passed away. Your floortime posts about playing with Kate stuck with me. We had to show LL how to play in the beginning, but what a joy it is to sit and be absorbed in her ideas now. She is "on to me" in knowing that if she says "Let's play," or "I show you something," that I will drop anything and come to her.

    Oh, and darling aprons for sharing happiness in the kitchen =)

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  50. Sorry for the ouches and hurts. Appreciate the perspective. Just catching up, but thank you.

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  51. Kim - I found your blog through... oh gee, I don't know, somebody. Can't keep track. But glad I did, because it's refreshing to see that you, and many of your commenters above, have open minds. Personally I've been chastised for being too angry and not angry enough, by both AP and adult adoptees. But what really makes me angry? When someone as articulate, insightful, and open as Melissa (@Yoonsblur) is criticized for speaking her heart. As if her experience is wrong. Shame on anyone who criticized YOU for considering HER voice. And thank you for being open minded to do so! ~Raina

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  52. Count me among those who were glad you provided those links and another point of view. I'm sorry you received some cranky responses.

    My daughter is a bit hesitant to talk about her birth parents and situation, but I try to bring it up when appropriate and she feels better after chatting about it. You're doing a great job -- it's hard being a mom, isn't it!

    By the way -- you two look so cute! Wish I looked half that good when I was tired! :)

    Hope you have a great week!

    Janet

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  53. Hello sweet friend,

    First I need to say, I LOVE that first picture!! I think you both look beautiful!!! I love that you were cooking in your cute aprons!

    Secondly, if we always stay in our box, we never see the sun! It is important to step out, take risks, try to walk in others' shoes. If we always agreed on everything, life would be so much less than it is. I appreciate your willingness to pop the top off the box and to be an encourager to ALL parents :)

    Be encouraged today, Kim! Hope it is not a rainy day there like it is here.

    Love,
    Heather

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  54. Melissa is an awesome blogger.

    I can't believe (according to Tonggumomma) that some adoptive parents think her blog is "angry."

    That's just ridiculous. Melissa's writing has got to be some of the most eloquent, graceful styles I have seen.

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  55. Communication is a subtle dance. You can lead the way as you did by being open and begining the conversation about loss and adoption.
    You can take the easy road of just not mentioning it and waiting for a child to get up the courage to broach a big scarey subject.
    ( might never happen)

    You can take the route of active avoidence. Those gotcha days and the message that adoption is only good, and there is nothing else to say. Your child will easily pick up on that that it is not to be discussed.
    They can learn to stuff those feelings deep inside. Where they learn that it is them that is bad and wrong and alone for having them. They can learn to have that shell, happy, complacent or angry, empty.

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  56. New to your blog from TM's blog. I read through many of your posts and I can see why TM would call you "sweet Kim". :) Honestly, the posts you linked to are so important for AP's to read. Thank you for linking to them on your blog. For all of our chidren's sakes, it's so important.

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  57. I feel your post came from wisdom, compassion and love. We can all take and leave what we want. It's your blog and you should be able to share from your heart what might and might now be accepted by evryone. I love your posts, I love your photos and all your kids are just breathtaking. Kate would seriously get away with ANYTHING in my house! Just want to kiss her dimpled cheeks up!
    Mary

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  58. I always enjoy and value your posts. How darling are those aprons!
    Terri

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  59. These photos are just gorgeous. :) I read the posts before, connected from Tonggu Momma's blog. I thought they were so good, and I am saddened that some folks were not nice to you because of those posts. (The posts really made me re-think our own adoption day, and from now on we are taking it the way DD wants it, whatever that may be. We have 3 more months to figure that out, until our "day.")

    Again, so sorry!! I do enjoy your blog.

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  60. PS--we've started talking to Luci a lot this past year, bringing up things because I know it's on her mind, anyways. She is 5. A really good book, I'm sure you have it already, "Parenting your Internationally Adopted Child" is very helpful with starting conversations and how to help your child. We've had the same specific conversation about Luci's brothers growing in my belly but Luci grew in her China Mama's belly. It is just matter-of-fact to her, but when others hear the conversations we have, they are sometimes taken aback. "You talk to her about that?!" Of course! It's her history, she needs to know it.

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  61. The first thing I thought of when I read this post was the song "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to", only change the words to "It's my blog and I'll post what I want to."

    It never ceases to amaze me that people get angry over someone's own opinion on their own blog.

    ~Lynn

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  62. Kim,
    You are precious. Know this.
    And I know your heart in the right place.

    Lovin those aprons and your sweet faces!

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  63. Sorry to hear about the negative comments. I appreciated the take. I don't know how I feel about it, still considering. But it was good to hear a perspective on it.

    Also, LOVE the matching aprons! Simply adorable!

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  64. I'm so sorry to hear about that! Some people are rude. Bright side, you and your daughter look great in matching aprens! Your daughter is adorable!!
    http://silknsequins.blogspot.com/

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  65. KIM
    sO SORRY THAT YOU HAD NEGATIVE FEED BACK NASTY COMMENTS!
    Ome people just have to be UGLY!
    If they do ot agree keep it all to themselves! I think you did great on the blog!
    LOVE the APRONS!
    hugs!

    Cindy Lou

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  66. I missed your original post on this but thanks to your post about the negative reaction you received, I went back and found it and have just spent quite a bit of time reading Melissa's story. Much of what she says would have never occurred to me, but it certainly makes sense and is something everyone should be aware of. I have no doubt that your candor and honesty with Kate will strengthen your relationship and be extremely beneficial to her as she grows up. I really appreciate your bringing Melissa and her story to your readers' attention.

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Thank you for your kindness.