The story of your life

I told you the other day that I really enjoyed reading Parenting From the Inside Out.  Daniel Siegel, the author of the book, said that being able to tell your own life story in a coherent way is a skill shared by the majority of emotionally healthy adults.  We’ve all got tough stuff that happened in the past, some harder than others.  But being able to make sense of it all in our own minds is a huge factor in emotional resilience.  You being able to tell the coherent story of your own life also makes it much more likely that your child will grow up emotionally stable.

I’ve thought about that a lot in relation to our adopted kids.  Too often major changes happened in our kids’ lives at times when they weren’t old enough to process what was going on.  That’s why it’s so important for us as parents to help them make sense of their own story, to go over it now and then with them so that they can process it in increasingly more mature ways, and to make it clear that we’re there to help talk through things and  try to answer any questions that they have.

My girls and I recently watched an amazing documentary that was a really neat opportunity for us to do some talking about their own lives, and for them to also just quietly take in the fact that many, many kids in the world wrestle with adoption and culture issues.  The movie is called Somewhere Between and tells the stories of several girls who were adopted from China as babies and toddlers and are now in their teens.  Several of the girls were able to go back on homeland trips to China to find out more of their story.  One even got to meet her first family.  It is a great, well-done documentary, available on Netflix.  If you’ve been looking for an interesting organic way to talk to your child about adoption issues and help them process their own life story, I highly recommend this movie.


Our sons’ 2009 Korea Homeland Trip  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9


  1. This sounds like an amazing movie for all to watch. Will call library today to order. Another movie you may like is ‘Smile’, the story focused around Operation Smile. It is a very raw movie which will touch many emotions of the watcher but have you coming away thinking of ways to help and/or thankful for what you have. I am always thrilled when I watch this movie of all the possibilities and opportunities available for our young people and the many ways they are able to help worldwide and it reawakens in me the hope I have in our young people across the country.

  2. Grangramma says:

    This made me cry ….remembering Mya and Ryland’s homecoming from Korea. I am Jen’s mom and thought you would like our friend’s blog on her family. She has a biological son and a daughter from Ethiopia. She just started this blog.

  3. I have never thought of it this way (or these words), but what a great concept – being able to tell your story. This has been an ongoing issue with our adopted children. One doesn’t remember his past and often feels like he doesn’t “have” a story. One has some more traumatic events that she recalls, but with the recollection of a young mind – so who knows what actually did happen. All these memories, lack thereof, or misshapen memories haunt them in some fashion. But we just continue to work through them…

  4. I would really like to see that documentary. I’ll have to see if the library has it as we cancelled our netflix recently! I was bummed that it is not available on instant download. Sounds like a good one!

  5. Kallie says: “Somewhere Between” documentary is also available to rent or purchase on iTunes -I particularly wanted to mention that to the commenter who just cancelled her Netflix. My husband and I watched that documentary as part of our adoption training, and I’d hate for anyone who wishes to see it to miss out.”