What Matters Most

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I know many of y’all wish you could move into our neighborhood. I read your comments at Our Little Tongginator … the ones where you crack jokes about Mr. Rogers living down the road from us, or how we must be some lesser-known version of Sesame Street, or that the friendly atmosphere found in my neighborhood harks back to the fifties. And it’s all true.

Who can forget Disney Day?


Plus, how many streets actually have block parties these days, much less ones with deejays and bounce houses? And not many suburbanites actually have Fourth of July fireworks competitions, in the center of their cul-de-sac, complete with bottle rocket launchers.


Although that last one might not actually be a good thing. Heh.


The husband, the Tongginator and I adore our neighborhood because of our neighbors. We love that the Tongginator will wait with six other kindergarteners at the school bus stop. That’s a half a dozen five-year-olds within a block of our house, y’all, not to mention the four children beginning first grade as well. With such a wonderful, child-friendly neighborhood, people think we are crazy when we mention that we might not always live here.


But we aren’t crazy, y’all … we adopted transracially.


At some point, the very obvious lack of diversity in our town may bother the Tongginator. Right now it’s not an issue for her because our schedule allows us to drive elsewhere to achieve diversity. The Tongginator’s “bestest friends,” twins adopted from China, live about thirty minutes from us. The children from our Saturday Mandarin class are spread throughout our county. We attend Chinese church on a monthly basis. We even commuted to the next county over for preschool last year so that the Tongginator wouldn’t be the only minority child in her class. Every day at pre-k the Tongginator played with a biracial Korean-American boy, two girls who recently emigrated from Ethiopia, a first generation Indian-American girl and one boy who spoke only Spanish at home.


Next year, when she enters elementary school, the demographics drastically change.


When we attended kindergarten orientation a couple of months ago, seventy-three children arrived with parents in tow. Of those seventy-three children, I could count on one hand the number of minority students. Talk about startling. It doesn’t seem to bother the Tongginator at the moment, but how will she feel ten years from now, when she is fifteen? And even if it fails to bother the Tongginator, who’s to say how it will affect her future sister, the daughter we are waiting to adopt?


The husband and I can’t rule out moving, despite living on a lesser-known version of Sesame Street.


There IS hope, however, for this Never Wants To Ever Move Again Momma Because I’ve Already Moved Seventeen Times In My Life. We may never again have to box up our belongings because the Chinese adoptee demographic recently doubled in our neighborhood! Oh, yes it did. A little girl adopted from China, blog known as Flipper and just a few months younger than the Tongginator, moved in just ten houses down from ours. Not only that, but her family is Chinese-American, with her mom a Caucasian from the mid-west and her father a Chinese-American who emigrated from Hong Kong as a child. They have an older, biracial daughter named Fin.  What’s even better is that our two families have formed the beginnings of a friendship.


I realize that doubling from one to two won’t make that much of a difference statistically, but it may make all the difference to the Tongginator. And—to me—that’s what matters most.


Tonggu Momma loves living on a lesser-known version of Sesame Street, mostly because she likes to tell tales about the neighbors at her blog Our Little Tongginator.


Originally published on Grown in My Heart, an Adoption Network

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