Blitzen said this to me one evening this week during a particularly emotional discussion. And by discussion, I mean Blitzen was crying and yelling and I was trying to figure what the heck was going on.
When Blitzen said that several things went through my mind:
Does she mean we’re trying to separate her from her family and make her part of our family?
Does she mean that we want some of her behaviors to change and that we are asking her to take more responsibility for herself and her place within our family and that is uncomfortable and unpleasant?
Or does she mean that we are trying to make her more like us? If I am being honest about that, by more like us, I probably mean more white. Andrew and I are aware of our whiteness just as Blitzen is and we know that she feels a cultural disconnect in our home. It is hard to know exactly how to approach this - how to understand her experiences both inside and outside of our home, how to relate to the way that she is seeing the world and moving through it as a person of color.
Blitzen asks us a lot about our culture – what is our culture, what is our history, where do we come from, who do we connect to. So I know that she is thinking about this quite often, trying to figure out how it all fits together – what is the same, what is different and what the differences mean.
There is a lot that I want to say on this topic but I am having trouble articulating it. So I will stop here with a reminder to myself to be mindful and to keep thinking about this and attempting to articulate my feelings and thoughts and work on finding ways to discuss it openly with Blitzen.