Many questions arise when a family adopts children from different ethnic backgrounds. Rose Kent and her husband have a bustling blended tribe of six children whose ages span 12 years.
She wrote a book, Kimchi & Calamari, which is a funny coming of age tale of an adopted Korean boy in an Italian family. Her adopted children inspired the book's narrative!
The Beginnings of a Transracial Adoption
The father of Rose's biological children was part Korean, so choosing to adopt children from Korea came naturally to them. Their biological children were nine and seven years old when they decided to adopt, and the kids were excited. Rose admits that she went into it all a little bit naively. She didn't step back and think about the choice to become a transracial family. She jumped into it with both feet.
Connor was four months old, and Teresa was eight months old when Rose and her husband adopted them. Both babies had just bonded with their caretakers in Korea, so it was a rocky adjustment in the beginning. Each child had to adjust to unfamiliar food, climate, language, and a brand-new family.
Rose's biological daughter, Kelly, was extremely excited about Connor coming and had begged to share her room when the baby came. Connor proceeded to cry and cry and cry all night for weeks. Kelly acted like she was okay with it. However, one morning, Rose walked into the room and there was an anonymous note on the crib: "Go back to Korea."
Rose quickly realized that letting the two share a room and caused this rift between the siblings!
Tell Their Story
It's normal for adopted kids to ask about where they came from, and want to know about their biological families. Turning their past into a bedtime story is a great way to teach them in a way that lets you guide the narrative to show them how special they are.
If you adopt a child when he or she is older, you likely won't have any photos of them as a baby. So, make sure to take as many photographs as you can when you go to pick up your child for the first time. Doing so will allow you to have photos to show your child their story of joining your family.
Give your children all the details that you possibly can when you tell their adoption story. For example, Connor came from Pusan, a community right on the water in Korea. Rose doesn't have many details about his birth family, but she can tell him his love for seafood comes from being born by the ocean.
Work whatever tidbits you have into their stories. Adopted children enjoy details, no matter what their ages. It's so important to share with them what you can!