Families that adopt children from a different culture have an exciting opportunity to keep the kids connected to their region of birth as well as linked to their parents’ culture. Even when parents don’t know much about the child’s cultural origins, they can take steps to become familiar with it and help their children continue to identify with the culture of their ancestors and extended family relationships.
The parents and their adopted son or daughter can take a language class that often includes cultural elements of interest. Courses of this type may be offered at the local community center, high school, or college, or they may be available online for the family to enjoy together at home. Learning about the traditions and values of your little one’s native background can reveal a rich heritage of beliefs and practices that your family can continue to share in the years to come to help your child appreciate and continue to be part of his or her cultural origins.
Cooking and eating foods from an adopted child’s natural background can sustain a sense of familiarity for your new adoptee. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel any much of a distance to experience those delicious entrees and snacks that your child may remember or appreciate from his or her culture of origin. Check for local ethnic restaurants and grocery stores that specialize in the foods you are looking for. You might be able to find Caribbean food delivery, for example, or other special foods in your area.
Many communities in the United States sponsor ethnic celebrations yearly or on certain festival days to bring other cultures to local regions. Music, drama, films, and other kinds of cultural events are available so that everyone can learn to appreciate diverse cultural experiences and interests. Adopted children and their parents can learn experientially about their native region by attending these events and asking questions of the presenters and leaders.
In some areas, there are cultural centers developed by and devoted to people who belong, directly or indirectly, to a different culture. There are social clubs or culture centers operated by and for Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and many other religions, nationalities, races, and ethnicity. Most have resources available that teach about the culture and its people, which can be of great interest to adopted children as they grow old enough to understand them.
Adoptive parents can take advantage of options like these to keep their child connected to their original culture while adjusting to their new lifestyle and family.