Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic Pride

Yesterday was a big day for China. As the torch lit signifying the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games, China turned a corner. The world watched as the stereotypical Chinese regime incorporated an impressive display of solidarity, tradition, and hope for the future into what will likely be one of the most memorable opening ceremonies in the history of the Games.

I watched the opening ceremony with fellow waiting adoptive parents, some toting children already back home from China, and one Chinese National who recently immigrated here to the U.S. All of our faces were touched with pride as we watched, knowing that a tiny bit of China has already burrowed its way into each of our hearts, if not yet our homes.

So, it caught me by surprise to hear that some adoptive parents are "boycotting" the Olympics. Many of them are bitter that so much money, time, and media attention has been spent on something other than processing China's orphaned children through the system and into their waiting arms. I understand their feelings of hopelessness and frustration at a system that promised the hope of parenthood in approximately 18 months and now dangles 48 months as an elusive carrot.

Nonetheless, that kind of ire masks the wave of positive change the Olympics have brought to China, politically, socially and environmentally. I'm certain that the Games will cost me months (if not years) of additional time waiting for our referral. But, I'm also hopeful that the forward momentum initiated by these Olympics will carry through to the future of China and its children - a future that my daughter will eventually be born into.

I'm hopeful that in the spirit of the Olympic Games, those waiting parents can find a way to set their bitterness at China and the CCAA aside. At the end of the day, teaching our internationally adopted children to be proud of where they came from is the responsibility of every parent. If the LED scroll pages turning and the silk costumed dancers twirling and the 2008 tai chi performers swaying in perfect synchronicity didn't move you to feel the tiniest sense of pride that you get to be a part of it all some day - albeit a some day much further in the distance than you thought - then please step to the side now. It is a privilege to adopt one of China's daughters. May we honor it as such.


Blogger Kay Bratt said...

Great post and awesome point of view---


4:32 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Amen. I couldn't have said it better. Quite honestly, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel until I saw the opening ceremonies. How could you not be awed by that?

Of course, I have detached so much from feeling anything too much during these last years, so as not to hurt so much, so it's hard to get REALLY excited about China yet. Still, I want to get a DVD of the opening ceremonies to share with our daughter someday.

(Update: we've been matched with a boy from Vietnam, but have been waiting over two months for final approval to travel. What a mess Vietnam adoption is!)

7:38 PM  

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