“I can feel how supported I am, and even when things aren’t perfect, I see my kids accepting more and more how very loved they are.” These are the words one WACAP mom shared after returning home from a WACAP family camp.
A teen, who’d been adopted from India as a child, explains the feeling this way: “It’s nice,” he says,” … to not be judged, or looked at in a weird way because your family is white and you don’t fit in with them. Everyone is diverse and understands that family isn’t about the color of your skin or even blood, but the love that they have for you and you have for them.”
Why consider adoption, heritage, and family camps?
We often hear from families who attend family/heritage camps and activities together that their children feel more “normal,” talking with and spending time with so many other diverse families, and with children adopted from different countries. Many children become quickly (or immediately) comfortable, their parents share, and their kids seem to get a little confidence boost, which helps them engage with others successfully.
Behind it all …
A key aspect to this success is the support and participation of multiple family members, and when possible, the whole family.
Simply put, even if they have questions, kids want to fit in and need to be included, not separated from their family’s interest and participation because of their own background and culture. Heritage/family camps in particular can be excellent opportunities for parents and their children, biological and adopted, to build connections and grow together. As kids grow older, they may tend to move on to a separate path, independently learning about their culture and history, but the key will be that they’ve grown up with a family celebrating and supporting who they are.
Listing shared with permission. Compiled by Adoption Today/Fostering Families Today Magazine. February 2017 Magazine Issue.