Before adopting O I had these grand ideas of how I would keep HIS culture alive. I studied Estonia. I read everything I could get my hands on. I talked to Estonians too. I wanted to know the dynamics of the country, what the people thought and felt. Heck, I even painted his room in 2 colors of the Estonian flag. As Americans, we have such a strong sense of country and pride, and I wanted to know exactly why they did too. I wanted to give that to Oskar. O kept his Eesti language much longer than most adopted kids his age. I made him speak it. When he forgot it, I tried to make him remember. I let him watch Eesti movies and videos. Each day I reminded him of who he was and the country he came from.
I tried really hard to raise an Estonian/American son. I had to try. I TOOK him from his country, so I tried to let him keep what he could of it. In the end, it was all in vain. My 6 year old son told me recently he is not Eesti; he is American. Don't mistake that phrase for him not having pride in his birthplace. He does! He loves Estonia, and he he calls it 'my Estonia'. He wants to go back there to visit, and he gets so happy when I show him pictures. However, he knows where he belongs. He knows America means family, acceptance, and a future. He just did not have that in Estonia.
I used to have these dreams before we adopted. I was afraid that his mother would show up when we went to Estonia and want to take him home. I was scared to death. All the while I knew that if she would of straightened herself up, I could never say no. I would have helped her take care of him financially. As grateful as I am for my son, I did not want to take him from his birthplace, but I wanted him to live and have a family, and no one in Estonia was willing to make that happen. It hurt then, and it hurts now, and I know so many will never understand that. I was the last resort. My son was placed in the orphanage 2 weeks after birth(first two weeks were in the hospital), and no one came for him until I did.
My son doesn't understand very much about adoption. O is a take it or leave it kind of guy. I ask him lots of questions, and I do try to explain many things, but O....tells me to get over it. If I call him Eesti, he reminds me he is not anymore. I can't tell you how many times he told me he waited too long for me. He actually says that. He tells me he needed me, and I wasn't there. He also asks why it took me so long to find him. He is not mad though; he found peace a long time ago. I explain, and he says okay and goes off to play. He mentions things, but he lets me know that he still loves me even though it took us too long to find each other. As quickly as he wonders why, he remembers sometimes there just aren't any good answers. When I get sad about it, he hugs me and tells me he loves me.
In everything though, Oskar is joyful. He is so much smarter than I am. He knows that if you look behind you, most likely you can't see what is in front of you. My son has asked me not to call him Estonian anymore, so I will honor his wishes. He wishes to only speak English too, so he will do that as well. I always said this was his life, and I'm just here to guide him. Please don't think though that we are being disrespectful. O WAS an Estonian; he just isn't anymore. He loves where he came from, but he was only there for 5 years, he will be here for much longer. This is HIS AMERICA, and he wants to be as much a part of it as he can be, so he has decided to let go of the past.
I imagine 6 years old is just about the right time a little boy starts thinking about what he wants to be. O doesn't ask for very much, and most of the time he is willing to be whatever I ask of him if he can. He loves nothing more than to see his mommy happy. He would seriously stand on his head if he thought it would please me. So for him to push this issue, I figure it must be pretty important to him. My son wants to get married when he is 20, adopt 13 children from Estonia and have 1 biological child, he wants a fast car with shiny spinning rims, wants a pirate birthday party, and yes, he just wants to be an American. I think I can handle all of that ;)