The "mirrors and windows" technique is used as a means of communication when you are reflecting on your own culture/yourself (mirror) or discovering a new culture/seeing beyond yourself (window). Believe it or not, reading Bound by Donna Jo Napoli through the lens of being an Asian American adoptee mirrored so many things in my modern, American life.
I immediately feel a connection with Xing Xing (prounced Shing Shing) on a few levels. I, too, was separated from my biological mother and father and now get to live out my life's journey without them physically present to guide me. I, too, am Asian and enjoyed the setting in China (see previous post). And as an adoptee, I can sometimes feel like the misfit of the family - accepted and taken care of...yet I can never BE of the same physical, genetic material as the rest of my family. Don't get me wrong - I did have commendable adoptive parents who loved me and raised me with plenty of love and guidance. And my siblings are great, too - I AM their sister. But I still have a sense of kinship with a traditional Cinderella story.
Xing Xing is a wonderfully resilient character (a trait that I see in lots of adoptees/stepchildren). She holds on to her talents of writing poetry and Chinese calligraphy: gifts that were encouraged by her father, when he was still alive. I truly believe that everyone is born with gifts/talents that are locked within. It just takes the right people and circumstances to unlock these talents, much like a puzzle box or a combination lock. Not that the combination has to be good people or great circumstances. For Xing Xing, it is in the face of adversity and hardships that her talents are able to shine.
"To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest" - Anonymous
Thanks, Ms. Napoli, for providing a mirror for me through a Chinese Cinderella story.