Your Child’s Culture
For trans-racially adopted children, a key part of good self-esteem is a positive sense of ethnic identity. Chinese-adopted children do not have biological background information, so often their country and their heritage, takes the place psychologically, of the birthparents.
Parents who embrace their child’s heritage give the clear message that everything about the child is good and wonderful. Remember that your China adoption is the really the blending of two cultures, yours and your child’s. At Sunny Ridge we strongly encourage our families to work on instilling cultural pride and a positive cultural and racial identity in their children.
Fortunately, there is an ever-growing number of resources available to help families. From books to support groups, culture camps, courses in language and dance, and cultural celebrations. While children are very young, parents have the opportunity to plant the “seed of interest” in these types of experiences.
Your child’s culture of origin should be an ongoing, important part of your family’s life. We encourage parents to “fall in love” with the culture and celebrate it by their demeanor, actions, and behaviors. Children pick up on this and it will do much to foster positive cultural and racial identity.
At Sunny Ridge, we believe your travel to complete your adoption should include more than simply returning with your child. Rather, your journey to China should be an opportunity for you to absorb and experience Chinese culture, visit historic sites, and learn more about your child’s culture of origin. This experience, we hope, will be a stepping stone to a lifetime of learning and appreciation for your child’s culture. As your child grows, you can share your first journey to their homeland as a special time in both of your lives.
Families can expect to travel for a 17 day trip in China. At least one parent must travel to complete the adoption although we highly recommend both parents travel as this is a once in a lifetime experience. Sunny Ridge will provide an in-China translator/ guide so families can be assured they will have assistance while in China. Our Chinese staff will arrange for families in-China flights, hotels, transportation and tours.
Sunny Ridge also provides travel preparation meetings with detailed information about the trip. At these meetings, you learn about your itinerary, what to pack, and what to expect at the adoption-related appointments. Families generally travel within six months of being matched with a referral in our China Waiting Child Program.