Olympics instill pride in adoptees
Found this article while searching for adoptees in the Olympics. It’s a very short story on Chinese adoptees, their families and their views of the Olympics. I agree with the one parent who was careful in stating that while watching the Olympics in Beijing with her children was enlightening it isn’t necessarily something she can claim as helping them learn their culture. Which I think is a sentiment widely shared by several of the other parents in this article. I agree. It’s enlightening, but to say you are teaching your children Chinese culture by allowing them to stay up late and watch the Olympics is a bit of a stretch for me. But again it’s nice that these adoptees have someone to look up to in Corrie Lothrop. GS
Parents who adopted children from China are turning the Olympics into a celebration — with parades, tree plantings and potluck Chinese dinners around big flat-screen televisions.
Since 1991, about 68,000 children from China have been adopted by U.S. families, according to the State Department’s count of required visas. Many families of the mostly girl adoptees already were taking great pride in their histories through Chinese language classes and the celebration of Chinese festivals.
The Games, they say, are a natural extension.
“The Olympics are serving as just another springboard for her to see firsthand her native country,” said Katie Golembeski of New Milford, Conn., who has an 11-year-old daughter.
“We will be glued to the TV watching all of the events and are looking forward to seeing some of the background stories about China — customs, food, living conditions.”
Deb Capone of Southampton, N.Y., who has an 8-year-old girl, is hosting a parade of children from China and elsewhere around the world.
“We aren’t using the Olympics as a way to teach Chinese culture per se,” Capone said. “That said, the positive images of China and its people is very important to her, and she is feeling quite proud of being Chinese.”Betsy Vonk of Lawrence ville, Ga., and her two daughters, ages 12 and 9, took her daughters back to China two years ago and is hoping they see things on television that they saw when they were there.
“I think it’s a really great opportunity for our children to see China is a very positive light and feel good about that connection and their heritage,” she said.
While seeing their country is pretty cool, many of the kids are more excited about certain sports, such as gymnastics, diving and soccer, finding kinship with athletes like Corrie Lothrop, who was adopted from China and is an alternate for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.
“I asked my kids not too long ago who they were going to be rooting for,” Vonk said. “One of them said I’m rooting for the United States and China. Another one said, ‘Both, of course.’ ”