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.