Kazi, I totally relate to this. I so often am confused about whether something going on with my daughter (or heck, with me also!) is adoption related or just a "normal" kid stage.
My daughter doesn't have food issues (she's the kid most willing to try new foods and loves broccoli), but she has separation issues when I leave (even when she's with dad) and sometimes when my husband leaves also. And she also has fears of climbing and similar that most kids her age seem not to (maybe because she didn't have an opportunity to use her large muscles to walk or crawl till 14 months when we adopted her). Now, are these adoption issues or not?
Well, my feeling is that they probably are, but also may be part of her base personality. And to some extent it doesn't matter. I mean, of COURSE it matters, but it also isn't important to figure it out completely. You often can't really pick apart the reasons for something. Whatever the reason we need to sensitively support our children where they are, and for who they are, and to be the best they can become.
I really like Sunny's answer. A lot of the times things are adoption issues -- or at least partly adoption issues. And regardless of their genesis, "love her up, and reassure her" is the perfect answer.
Sometimes it is helpful for me to think about things as being adoption related, because I think then I can be extra sensitive to some issues and deal with some of them a bit proactively. Even if much of the issue is not related to adoption, I figure it doesn't hurt to parent sensitively and proactively.
But you know what, I just wouldn't discuss this stuff with the people who think you are "making mountains out of molehills" that much. I think these are probably people who don't know much about adoption, and who think there is no loss involved and your daughter is a "blank slate," and that you should just treat your daughter as if she was not adopted and has no issues. And they are wrong! So you should ignore them and just not talk about parenting with them. I mean if they are your husband or your daughter's teacher, then you may have to, but otherwise just keep your own counsel and parent the best way you know how. Your instinct is that these issues are adoption related, and you are probably right, and certainly being extra reassuring to your daughter will not hurt a thing. So just don't worry too much about what others think about it.
ETA: I know you know this, but another thing to be sensitive to is racial issues. Starting around kindergarten age there may be racial teasing. And because our kids are adopted transracially, adoption will come into it also. This is the place where I think it IS important to explictly deal with the race and adoption issues, because they have been brought up by others as such. I recommend the W*I*S*E Up Powerbook. I recently got it and it is great for empowering our kids to deal with these kinds of issues. Good luck!
((((Freckle Face)))) You know, that is great advice to just ask your kids! Duh! <grin>
Actually, I have been doing that also, and I really do think it works, even at 3 or 4. When my daughter seems sad or angry or fearful in a way that is unusual for her or all out of proportion to the situation, I try to ask her if she knows why. And sometimes if it seems likely I will suggest reasons. For instance if she is completely distraught when her Daddy goes to work I will ask if she thinks she is missing Daddy extra much because she is missing her parents in China also. And usually she will say yes and sob even harder, but she seems more consolable then. I say "that must be hard," and "are you missing them a lot?" and she will nod her head yes and snuggle up and let me comfort her in a way that she didn't before I asked. So I think it really helps her to get in touch with and understand and control her feelings.
The first time I asked something like this, I was a little worried I might be planting ideas in her head. I don't worry about that anymore. I'm pretty sure the feelings were already there, and even if they weren't right then, I know that for my daughter, being a person of intense feelings, tapping into the darker and scarier and sadder feelings at a safe time and place can be very cathartic. So even if adoption loss was not her surface thought right then, it wasn't all that far down, and bringing it to the light of day may help her to heal and integrate her loss into her self.