Although you wouldn't know it from reading some websites [*cough, cough*], parenting is much more than buying gear and strollers. It's also decorating. And if you're adopting a kid from a foreign country, it means sprinkling token kitsch objects from his home country around the house. China? A dragon scroll. Ethiopia? Ebony animal figurines. Vietnam? Umm, a Vietnamese flag? Of course, you run the risk of people thinking you adopted him at Pier One Imports.
What to do, then? If you really love your Chinese daughter, you make BIG changes. You "put a Chinese scholar's rock next to an Andy Warhol painting" in her room, redo your entire living room in a Chinese garden theme, or feed her "bok choy grown especially for her in an East Hampton garden."
You know, maybe I'm just dense. Can someone explain how a tchotchke on a shelf or dressing up like Cossacks once a year translates into an integrated appreciation of a kid's culture? Is my kid going to grow up thinking we adopted her from Sweden because her rug is from IKEA?
Almost every example in the article sounds like a superficial, simplistic distortion of the kids' home countries via a distorted westernized lens. A serious commitment to cross-cultural childraising would, it seems to me, involve things like language, history, literature, and education. It'd mean forging ties with contemporary communities, both immigrant and in the home country, which could be a complex negotiation in itself.
International adoptee families may be their own distinct culture; Romanian and Cambodian kids who have more in common with each other than with their original countrymen. After all, what's more American than reducing an entire foreign culture to a lawn ornament?
Related: Close Encounters with a Home Barely Known (NY Times)