Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

What March 14th Means To Me

March 14th, jokingly referred to as “pi day” making reference to an alternative way the date can be written is similar to the way Pi is written, 3/14 or 3.14.

March 14th, my late grandfather’s birthday, which born in 1893, would make him 125 years old today.  Though I only knew him less than a year, I have been told what he meant to me.  And clearly, his legacy in my town where I grew up, had a major effect on me and many of the decisions (and how they are made).

March 14th, the birth date of one of my nieces.

March 14th, the day I became a dad.

Both of my daughters are adopted from China, a blessing that was not possible biologically or domestically.

The experience of travelling internationally to adopt was not only informative, but humbling.  Because I strongly believe in providing my daughters with as much information and history of their adoptions, the fact that I was able to experience and witness the regions that they came from, enables me to genuinely describe their origins.  But it also important to me that both of my daughters embrace their Chinese heritage and I do all that I can to provide them with such.  Of course, what they do as adults is entirely up to them, but as a parent, it is my responsibility to make sure they learn now.

What my daughters have been told so far has been on an age-appropriate basis as time goes by.  Neither has really had the term “abandoned” explained to them, a legal term in China to declare  a child eligible to be adopted.  There will be legal issues that they will need to prepare for as adults.  But one constant that has been done to the best of my ability, is to keep both of my daughters in touch with their “sisters”, other children that they were adopted with at the same time.

This group photo was the last photo of all ten daughters together, shortly before we left mainland China in 2014.  Inspired by the movie,  “The Joy Luck Club”, I felt it was important, that while each of our daughters would have parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, their fellow “sisters” were their only true connection to where they came from.

Over the prior days before this photo had been taken, we spent a lot of time with the girls, in many mini or group play dates.  The 1st anniversary of the adoption, we were able to get 9 out of the 10 families back together for a reunion, and though numbers have dwindled over the years (all kids have lives as they grow older, not just adopted ones), this date has always remained important to at least say “hi” to everyone, and wish everyone, “Happy Forever Day.”

Though these group reunions have dwindled, most of the families do still keep in touch with each other.  Better yet, our daughters are all now older, and this connection to each other becomes more important to them.  And by keeping in contact, it has made it easier for them to reach out to each other.

It is quickly approaching, but in just 3 and 4 years, they all will graduate from High School, most likely venture away from their parents, and then it will fall upon them, to continue the bond that we all have worked so hard to keep together, just like in “The Joy Luck Club.”

 

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