Some Differences Have Their Similaries

by hhart2 on November 24, 2013 - 1:47pm

Being adopted into a family can be a hard obstacle for some kids to overcome. As a baby, being adopted into a family and being raised by that family makes that person a part of that family. Just because they fit in with their families they still stand out in the American culture.  Biologically speaking that person may be different, but the way he or she grew up makes he or she culturally and somewhat morally the same. In the documentary Somewhere Between (2011) by Linda Goldstein Knowlton four adopted girls give insight to their lives and the experiences dealing with their adoption. Throughout the movie the girls explain how they dealt with their differences among other kids and the obstacles that overcame.

 

    Along with the four other girls Haley was born in China. Haley was adopted at a really young age and did not know who her parents were, or where exactly she came from. She was brought up in America by and American family and raised by American traditions. While Haley may have acted, talked, and interacted the same as her friends and classmates she didn’t exactly look the same as them. Throughout the documentary Haley is on a quest to find her real family and figure out where, and who she came from. Surprisingly she found her biological parents and after getting in contact with them set up a meeting. Before she met them she had to get an interpreter because her biological family couldn’t speak English. When she met her parents and family she started to see the different norms by which her family is accustomed to. As they came into the room in the hotel they wouldn’t take off their jackets because where they are from it is respectful to keep their jackets on when inside. Similarities in the way they looked were noticed right away but by the way they acted it was very easy to tell that they were both from very different places. The way her father and mother acted were very different from the ways her American parents normally act. They were grabbing and stoking their hands through her hair and hugged her multiple times. While Haley probably did expect to see a lot of differences between her and her biological family she seemed a little over whelmed by the whole situation.  

        When Haley made the trip back to China to where she came she experienced how she could have grown up if she wasn’t adopted. Upon her arrival the whole town gathered to greet her because it was a very big deal, and actually very rare for a child in China who was given up for adoption to find her biological parents.  When she got to the house you could tell that it was located in a run down village and the house was very small. Her mom had a big dinner made for her in celebration of her arrival with all the different foods of their culture. I found it very interesting to see that although we might be a while away, a big family dinner is something that exists in both cultures. As Haley got take in where she came from I think she got to realize how grateful she actually was for her parents giving her up for adoption. Her parents explained in the hotel that they didn’t give her up because they didn’t love her but only because they loved her. Getting her out of that culture and into a new one was best for her survival.

    By Haley getting adopted from an American family she potentially got the gift of life. By going out of her way and putting an effort towards trying to find her family she got the chance to see to completely different cultures and experience the differences and similarities between them. 

Comments

I find it very interesting to see how our culture in our country is different from others.For us when we act or do simple tasks its our norms and values that drive us to do what we do but when we see someone from another culture or country act the way they were grown,we are in shock.Its interesting to see people grow up in different country and see them be basically themselves.For us it might be a shock to see them be themselves for instance when you said Haley's biological parents didnt take their jackets off that for me shows how much of a gap exists between our culture and their culture.Its interesting to know all the cultures that we have in our world and how people are raised differently in every country and i think this is what makes our world so interesting.

I also found this movie to be insightful and informational on the lives of adopted babies from other countries. For people like me who were born into the family of which they are blood related, it is hard to understand how adopted people feel like. My only connection to adoption is my cousin. This relates to what you say about the movie in your post because you pointed out how the girls do not look like their family. My uncle is full Seneca Native American so he has darker skin and therefore his biological son was born with the darker skin, dark hair, and brown eyes traits. My adopted cousin is white, has blond hair, and blue eyes so she might feel slightly similar to Haley in this way because she looks different than her family. However, Haley is from another country, which sets her apart from her family even more. It was interesting to see, as you pointed out, that Haley developed all American aspects of culture and social behavior. So really, even if family and parents are a different race from their children, the place they are raised and how they are raised really makes a child who they are. This film and your post points out the differences in race and culture and also shows the positives of adoption.

Your post brought up very interesting points that someone may not notice right away while watching this film. It makes someone think how crazy chance is and that if Haley was never adopted into an American family, she would be a different person. Sure, she would look exactly the same, but she would be socialized in a completely different culture, with different norms and expectations. Haley would probably have a different outlook on life and herself if she grew up in China. People shouldn't make assumptions about someone's culture based on the way they look, because as shown with Haley's example, she looks Chinese, but certainly doesn't follow the Chinese culture. It's interesting to think about how someone would be a completely different person due to the area they were raised in.

I feel that you evaluated on the film in great detail. I enjoyed reading your review. I never really thought about what adoptees from other countries went through prior to the film. I don't know why, but I just thought they lead a normal life and I didn't question anything about them either. I just thought that no one would even question them. I found the movie to be a great movie to give people an insight on the lives of adopted people. I have an adopted family member and she isn’t seen different or treated different. She looks like the rest of us in our eyes but she may not look like that to others. I never paid attention to if she’s different or not because frankly she’s family so that never mattered. After seeing the film, it made me wonder how people outside the family judged her. It made me think about what she might be dealing with outside of the household. I enjoyed reading this review though.Great Job :-P

Great film review. Before watching the film, I never really even thought about what being adopted would be like. I never realized how hard and confusing their lives could be. Growing up in the U.S. Haley got a chance to live a life that she may not have had the chance to live in China. It is definitely interesting to see what she could have grown up like, and what she actually looked like. This is a great review and everyone should be educated on what life is like for adoptees.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

This was a great post! i also found this movie to be very personal and insightful as to how these adopted children feel. your post is spot on and perfect because it brings to the attention issues that we wouldn't really ever consider. many kids who are not adopted have a hard time understanding how adopted kids feel. Children that are adopted are placed in a family not by their choice and have no other decision but to adapt to their new lives. it's sad that some girls, much like Haley in this film, are made fun of just because they look different. they cant help they are this way. its quite interesting to think that if a child was never adopted by a family they would be a completely different person that they are today.

I believe you did a very good job in bringing up the main points of the film! I couldn't agree more with the main points you described in the film. I'm an adopted child like the four girls in the film and was adopted at a very young age, and never got to meet my birth parents, like Haley. I can most certaintly relate to the statement you made about standing out in American culture, even if you fit in with their home family. Like Haley, even though I talked, acted and interacted with my classmates the same, I looked different from them. Although it was difficult, I was able to overcome my uncomfortable feelings and embrace who I am. I like how you mentioned she was able to see and experience both cultures, because it really shows how different, yet the same, the norms and ways of people of two different cultures in two different worlds.

i found your post very interesting and it brought up a lot of points that i didn't realize in the movie when i first watched it. i find it really amazing how different some cultures really are. the fact that Haley was raised by an american family, but is chinese, and so different from her biological family in the sense of how she talks and acts. i never realize how hard it would be for an adopted chinese girl to grow up in an american culture, but this movie really made that clear. having the sense that you do fit in because you talk the same and act the same, but looking so different from everyone must have been very hard growing up. but this movie was very insightful and inspiring, i dont know if i would have had to courage to meet my biological parents like Haley did. very good post!

I really like the title of your post especially, because it seems to me like it has more than one meaning. Part of it is how even though the girls are in different scenarios, they still all share certain things in common, and another part of it is that American and Chinese culture are very different in many ways, but still have some similarities, like what you mentioned with the big celebratory dinner. My best friend was adopted from China as a baby, and this film cast more light on the issue and it was a great exploration of the next step for the girls that were in the movie. When we were younger, I remember I would ask my friend where her dad was, because I really had no clue that it could be a sensitive issue, being so young. My friend would sometimes have a hard time explaining things to me, but she did tell me a lot about her feelings about her birth parents, and this was something that I felt the movie went into more detail with. I think your post does a good job of explaining how the movie delves into this issue and deals with what these girls are going through.

Anyone who adopts has his or her own reasoning behind choosing to adopt. For some it is infertility while others just want to give a child a better life than what they are used to. Since I am not adopted I would not know what life is really like living with an adoptive family. I totally agree with your statement that even though they are not biologically related the family culturally raised them, so they are almost the same. When you raise a child, you teach the child the social norms of your culture so they know what is acceptable from what is not. If Haley was never adopted she would still be the same person but her perspective on life would be different had she still lived in China. I personally know people that are adopted and from what I’ve learned from them they seem to be fine. However, I couldn’t imagine what life would be like for someone that is adopted into a family that does not look like them. For instance, my mom’s friend adopted a little boy from Ethiopia and she is Caucasian so from the outside view, it is evident that she is not the biological mother. I would assume that when he gets older and mentions his mother people would assume that his mother is Ethiopian instead of Caucasian. I feel like when people adopt outside of their race it creates more social problems when the child gets older and has to explain to people that the person that looks nothing like them is their mother. This relates to how Haley must feels since she does not resemble her adoptive family. Overall, you did an excellent job on giving the reader enough information in order to understand your point of view.

This was a fantastic post that brought up a lot of good points. While watching the movie it was amazing to see how people in the girls own adoptive parents' community reacted to them, for example in the hair salon when the adoptive mother told another customer that her girls were adopted from asia when they were babies, the women still spoke to them as if they were ignorant to the english language, this just goes to show how superficial humans can sometimes be, we are taught that if we look different then we must be different. I can relate this to a situation in my life, I met a girl from ghana on campus, and since then she has become a close friend, however I still find myself asking if she knows about certain things like Pizza Hut and Beyonce. I'm just beginning to realize that no matter how we look or where we come from, there will always be common ground. I think that the Movie really put that message across well.

I agree with your post. Sometimes it is hard for people to understand that just because someone may look different to the "typical American" on the outside doesn't mean that they are any less American then you and I. this is seen in the video when the girls are in the hair salon and the women's says well aren't you lucky. Why is Haley lucky? If she is lucky then aren't we all lucky to be living in America. I can relate to this because I have friends from back home who are adopted and people are always doing the little things and treating them different then they would treat anyone else. Even teachers and parents give unnecessary special attention to kids who have a different story then you and I. My friend has actually said to me that she just wants to be treated like everyone else.

I think this is a very well written post! I agree with many of the points you have made about adoption and how the four girls must feel about their situations. As wrong as it is to say, it seems that in society if an individual looks noticeably different than the others he/she is surrounded with, they will be treated much differently, often times not in a good way. Though the girls were adopted at young ages, raised by American families, and practice traditional American culture, they still look Chinese and it will always be clear that they are not truly “American”. It is interesting because I have two friends that were adopted from China as babies, and they constantly say that the only thing Chinese about them is their physical appearance. In a way, it is good that they were able to comfortably adapt to American culture with ease. On the other hand, though, sometimes they wish that they had more cultural ties to their Asian heritage. Regardless, cultural adaptation is a prevalent occurrence when it comes to adoption. Great post!

This film is the perfect example in regards of showing how different cultures can really be. China and America are two totally different places in the world. I think it is very interesting that Haley decided that she wanted to meet her biological parents. It is also very interesting to see how different she is from them, even though they are her roots. It's amazing how much growing up in one place as opposed to another can determine how someone acts and views life. Haley was very lucky in finding who her biological parents are but I also think she is lucky because she is able to make connections to two totally different cultures.

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