Mom Kim Kelley-Wagner has created a photo series showcasing some of the hurtful things she and her two daughters have heard after she adopted her two beautiful Chinese daughters. She writes on Facebook:
“I have tried to explain to my daughters that people do not say these things to be mean, they say them out of ignorance, which is why I am sharing some of them. Words are powerful, they can become tools or weapons, choose to use them wisely.”
Kelley-Wagner said the experience was eye-opening and a positive one, and that they received generally supportive feedback.
“Most of the feedback was positive and supportive, however, there was a fair amount of backlash from the adoption community, some disagreed on our method of approaching this problem and accused me of exploiting my children. I explained within the project that it was my eldest daughter’s idea and a project we worked on together. My younger daughter was not originally supposed to be involved, as she was so young, but she felt left out when we started shooting photos and argued that she had been spoken to in this way as well and wanted to participate, so she was included. I let them remember what was said to themselves.
“Though the criticism to my parenting was hurtful, it wasn’t/isn’t important. All that matters is what my children think and feel. For them the project was cathartic and they were proud of it. Ultimately my oldest daughter, now seventeen, continued her activism and is active in our community. She has even won a college scholarship recently for her service to the local community. I believe that this early experience in forming opinion and having an impact made a strong impression on her.”
Words are powerful, they can become tools or weapons, choose to use them wisely.