awareness. but at whose expense?

A recent photo essay, "Things said to or about my adopted daughters..." has been making the Internet rounds, and I've had a handful of friends ask what I think about it.

Kim, mother to two Chinese-born daughters, compiled questions and comments she and her daughters have heard regarding the make-up of their family. They include comments about race, loss of first/birth family, adoption, medical needs, and more. The photos (posted on Kim's public facebook page) show her daughters holding a whiteboard with each question/comment written. Countless media outlets have also published the photos.

Some adoptive parents are applauding her efforts. Yes! People need to realize that these comments are rude, uncalled for, and very real to our families. Some adoptive parents have appreciated the powerful images that highlight the hurtful comments made to adopted children and their families and are posting the links to the photos in order to raise awareness and in hopes of preventing others from making the same comments or asking the same questions.

It's easy to see that these photos are a powerful illustration of how words hurt, and as a child of Caucasian parents, I heard some of these same comments and questions. I can understand this mom's motivation in wanting to get the word out. There is no doubt that these photos will bring about teachable moments.

Though Kim states that she asked the daughters if they were up for these photos and reports that the girls were all for it, I look into the eyes of Kim's daughters and see themso very publicly displayed.

Even if the girls were asked for their consent, can they fully realize the implications of these photos? Is it true that any children of these ages may just be doing what feels right in the moment and may be pleasing their parents or just going along with the flow? Do the girls know that these photos are being seen around the world?

No kid can understand the virtual highways of the world wide web. Heck, many adults don't realize the implications of uploading their photos to social media.

I just wonder.

Could these very same photos be used somehow to tease these girls (and other children)?

Will the girls tomorrow or two weeks from now or four years from now want these photos deleted?

Will the girls realize that there is no way to "delete" photos that have been posted on countless websites and that they will be stored in Google Images forever?

What are your thoughts?

Smart mom who is raising awareness of the ignorance and rudeness?

Or misguided mom who is raising awareness... but at her daughters' expense?


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