Friday, February 6, 2009

Si Parla Italiano

I have been trying to remember what my thoughts were about being a mother as a younger person. I know I was excited about getting married someday and having a family. When I was in high school and college I never thought I would be a stay at home mom. I always defended working moms because my mother worked full time, and I turned out okay. I went to my aunt's after school and have many great memories of spending time over there. My father owned his own business so he had the flexibility to dress me and give me breakfast before he went to the office. That was important to me, flexibility with child care. And, I wanted to find a caretaker that I knew well and felt very comfortable with.
I looked forward to was teaching my babies Italian. I am Irish but have a love for foreign language and am very fond of the beautiful language of Italian. My BA is in Foreign Language and Literature and I spent a semester abroad in both Siena, Italy and Granada, Spain. I always planned on teaching my kids Italian from a very young age.
This was one dream that I focused on losing as we questioned whether we would have children at all. I don't get to use my language skills very much, and I really looked at my future kids as a way to enjoy it again and teach them an invaluable skill.
The other thing that hurt (it sounds silly now) was that we wanted to name our children Irish names. When we decided to adopt, we didn't know if it would be weird to name a Korean or Guatamalen baby a very Irish name. I thought maybe we should name them something that was closer to their heritage. These were our pre-IVF days when we were still confident we would conceive. When we decided to adopt and found out we were having a boy, we agreed to see if our baby looked like a so and so. When we saw his pictures at 5 months old, the name we picked out was such an appropriate name. Maybe it was closure for us due to the ability to fulfill our dreams of parenthood and the plans we had laid out for four years.
So now as I teach Luv Bug a few phrases and words here and there in Italian, I beam with pride. We say "andiamo" (let's go), vieni qua (come here), merenda (snack). And, as his English explodes and he really starts talking, we can begin to introduce more Italian. I have no idea exactly how to teach a baby another language, but I am trying. Mommy has to study up a little bit, I'm rusty with my vocabulary. When he is old enough, we will introduce him to the Korean classes. I plan on taking them too. If he has no interest, then we won't continue, but I hope his exposure to other languages at a young age will make him interested in learning his native language.
I am so proud of my beautiful Korean boy with the Irish name that speaks Italian.

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