Monday, September 27, 2010

Kissing the diversisty dream goodbye.

Although the school district web page lists prices for preschool, all of their spots are reserved and taken by subsidized students. According to the enrollment person, they usually end up with one paying child in each classroom. All spots are filled for this school year and they have over a hundred children in their waiting lists. P and I are both terribly disappointed because exposure to diversity is important to us. SS is not the usual U.S. Chinese adoptee, who comes into a home with two Caucasian parents and sometimes Caucasian siblings. But we at least have other options, and that is something we would not have had in the area we used to live in (where JJ remains).

I remember my coworkers lamenting the lack of daycare spots available to paying parents. One of the juvenile court lawyers (County Counsel) was in the same boat as us. She is Caucasian (redhead, freckles and ivory skin), her husband is Peruvian (beautiful dark skin, eyes and hair), and they have the most beautiful little girl, a cafe au lait cutie. Like us, the parents wanted their daughter to be exposed to diversity, but all the daycare spots were taken. I recall her frustration at having to hire a nanny and she did not hide her displeasure at the situation (meaning that the girl could cuss/curse like a merchant marine). It wasn't about the money, it was about the opportunity her daughter was denied due to her parents' education and income.

The kicker is that although they were both educated they also had sizable student loans, law school is not cheap. And that is where P and I fall, we are not wealthy by any means. I worked some unbelievable overtime hours to save the funds to bring SS home. There was no baby shower, everything we had for SS was paid for by us. Abu is still upset because she wanted to buy SS's room furniture but we declined. We wanted to bring SS home with no strings attached, and right now can make difficult choices with a clean conscience. Even with only P working we are nowhere near qualifying for a subsidy. So SS gets stuck in the middle, and it is sometimes incredibly frustrating, especially when all you want to do is expose your child to diversity. P said that SS will be bringing diversity to her preschool. Not sure I am OK with that and it is yet another sign that this is not our permanent home. Two years and SS will be eligible for the K-5 Mandarin immersion program. I wonder if we will make it.

P and I were going over the application for the Mandarin program and had a good laugh. There is a disclaimer about how misrepresentations of the child's background will result in dismissal. WTF? What is there to lie about with a 5 year old? Since we are 12, P and I came up with several scenarios that would get SS in trouble. "At 3 1/2 years old, SS became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. We kept it quiet due to concerns about Child Protective Services intervention. We were also concerned about hurting the feelings of the 15 year old who thinks he is hot stuff and holds the current record. The locals wanted to keep SS as head Sherpa, an honor never before offered to an outsider. We declined because we missed the little bugger and wanted to bring her home." The sad part is that there are parents out there who would do crazy stuff to give their kids an edge. I learned a valuable lesson a long time ago. JJ's IQ is off the charts, yet he is not the slightest bit interested in academics. After that experience I would rather have a hard worker than a bright child. We won't be embellishing SS's accomplishments on her school application.

Saturday morning SS grabbed her broom, made it a mike and got down to sing.

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