Apr. 2nd, 2012

wickedcherub: (Default)
Went round to my In Laws last night for dinner because I can't stand the smell of any food at the moment, so no cooking for me. Thank god for Adam's entire family being within a 5 minute drive from our house. I have such respect for those people who go through pregnancy and motherhood alone.

Speaking of Adam's entire family, I saw a book lying on the buffet there and it was the entire Dearing family tree from 1820-1989. Photos, descriptions, everything. I was quite overwhelmed. I looked through it and none of the hundreds and hundreds of people in this book were 'special' in any way, they were/are all farmers and labourers (though there was one school principal!) and yet here they were, special and remembered because they are a part of our family. I had fun finding all the different euphemisms for 'housewife'. Apparently my mother in law is a 'domestic engineer' no joke :D
Some of the descriptions got a bit 'dating service' like 'Irene is doing a degree in Bible Study (or whatever). She has an infectious exuberance, a never-say-die attitude and loves kittens'.

All these branches of the family tree in England, Canada, America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It was astonishing. Even more so because it was pre-Internet!

It made me feel like I had a hole in my abdomen though. Adam already has his 110 immediate family members living within a 20km radius of our house. I have one uncle and one aunt. The rest are in Vietnam. I had a great number of family friends at our wedding (probably 110!), people whom I've known my entire life, but they have their own families, they're not *my* family.

And now Adam had a connection to all these hundreds of people, he has connections and roots and history and I'm just... floating. I feel like I have appeared out of thin air.

I also can't start hunting down family history either. There are no records or photos past my grandmother. My surname is something like the third most common one. I think my maternal grandfather's surname is just the colloquial term for 'Chinese' because they immigrated from China.

I do know that I have two great grandfathers who had four wives each. Apparently I'm descended from the 'big wife' from both sides :p Maybe my Dad will know. I'll ask him when he gets back from his holiday and I'll write down everything he knows about our family. He's good like that.

I also get this desperate feeling when it comes to Liam. Because of the size and proximity to Adam's family (and also the sheer 'whiteness' of where we live) it feels like Adam's traditions and rituals (like Christmas and Easter etc) are bigger and more important than the ones I grew up with. I want him to relate to being Vietnamese. I want him to look forward to Lunar New Year with the same fervor as Christmas.

I want him to know where I come from but sometimes it's difficult because I don't even know. Luckily for me Adam loves going to visit my family in Vietnam and it's not expensive, so we'll probably have many family trips there. That's always a good start.

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wickedcherub

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