My daughter's identity as an adopted child

Pastor Jimmy Bartz talks about his experiences as an adoptive dad and how he discusses his daughter's adoption with her
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My daughter's identity as an adopted child

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How has my daughter dealt with her identity as an adopted child? Most people who haven't lived around the experience of adoption might think that a child learns that he or she was adopted at some point in the past and lives with that reality for the rest of their lives. But in my experience, we engage adoption as a family at every developmental level. We began telling the story very early to our daughter. And I should also say that our daughter is ethnically different than we are, so there's an obvious sign to the community at large that she's adopted. But we began talking about our trip to China and what a great experience that was, and reading stories about that. and then as she grew older, we talked about the realities of the situation in China that allowed her to be put up for adoption. That in China, many families because of the way that they achieve income and security in the future, they need boys and not girls. And girls get put up for adoption. And we had a wonderful opportunity to go over to a different country and experience international adoption. And as she is genetically Chinese her Caucasian parents, American-born parents, have become Chinese through her experience. So each level of development that our daughter has met, we've had that conversation in a different way. She's 8 years old now. I expect at some point the consequences of adoption will be harder on her. And we'll engage that when it's time appropriate to engage it.

Pastor Jimmy Bartz talks about his experiences as an adoptive dad and how he discusses his daughter's adoption with her

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Jimmy Bartz

Priest

Jimmy is the founder and convener of Thad’s—a spiritual community meeting on Sunday mornings in The Writer’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica. An ordained Episcopal priest, Jimmy has spent most of his professional life leading communities in the work of making a love-spreading difference in the world that surrounds them.

His recent work includes studying the relationship between the outdoors and positive, psycho-spiritual health. When not in the office, he can be found in the ocean or in the mountains, usually with his wife, Cindy, or his two children, Jas and Jade.

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