Advice From A Parent on Adopting Outside Of Your Race

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         With Love There Is No Color 

 

There is so much controversy going on, and has been going on about race. This topic is such a hard pill to swallow because there is so much that can be said within this topic. I will be going more in depth about race and my opinion later to come. However, todays post is not about who is right or wrong, it’s not about the negative things stemming from all the racial tension in the world. Today’s story however, is a story of hope and of love. A story that will hopefully inspire, and shine light to the fact that not every white person dislikes blacks and not every black person dislikes whites. This is a larger picture wrapped within such an innocent, and profound story.
Have you ever asked yourself, or even had someone wonder what it would be like to have someone in your immediate family outside of your race? Have you ever looked at couples that were raising a baby with a different skin tone and asked yourself questions about it?
Well, I decided to touch basis on this subject, not only out of my own curiosity but also out of admiration. I myself, being bi-racial with a white mother and black father, kind of understand what it feels like to be loved by two different races. But, that is not the same as for instance being black with a white family, or white with a black family.
I was always curious just on how if at all it was different. I never questioned in a way that was judgmental, but in a way that was loving and seeking understanding.
I got my chance to do this, when I randomly went to the library one day, and just so happened to see an interesting family. As, I begin to observe, I notice that from what I could see this family consisted of a dad (white), a son ( white), and a daughter (black). This intrigued me so much, that I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to put that curiosity to the test. I, although a little nervous on how he would respond, went up to the father and asked If I could interview him. He, at first seemed shocked and a little hesitant, I would have been to If some random lady came up to me and asked me to be interviewed out of nowhere lol.
Surprisingly, though after I explained a little of why, he was opened to speaking with me and answering questions. I really loved, being able to ask as many questions as possible. I also loved just seeing this handsome little boy, and this beautiful little girl interact. It really put life in perspective to me, about the issues of race. I then begin to think about the fact that no one is born with hate for a different race in their hearts, they are taught that through the environments around them.
As, I begin to dig deep into questions I realized that there is more to things than meets the eye. I found out that the reason for this precious girl being in this family was because she was adopted into this family. So of course, knowing that the reason for this sweet black baby girl was because she was adopted in begin to spark many other questions. Follow along below with the questions that I asked.
(No names are being used for confidentiality)

Q1. Where are you from?
– A1. “I am from New Mexico where I lived on a Navaho Reservation, and my wife is rom Mississippi”.
Q2: Growing up did you ever experience racism in or outside of the home?
-A2. “I saw racism from white people towards Native Americans. It wasn’t noticeable all the time, but when it was noticeable it consisted of things such as mockery, shunning, and people wouldn’t shop at Kmart because a lot of Native Americans worked there. I was in Jr high when I begin to notice racism. My family consisted of 5 kids, my mother and father, who were open to adopt any race of child.”
Q3: What was the reason for adopting outside of your race, and was the process long?
A3: “Wanting, to have just have more children was the reason for adoption. Your chances are higher to get a child when you’re open to any race when you are trying to adopt. “
Q4: Is this the first black child you have adopted or fostered before?
A4: “No, we have fostered 7-8 black children in our home; however we have adopted her and her sister. We had her since she was a baby, because we had her sister already it was easier for her to go up for adoption quicker. This could have been a longer process, but every case is different.”
Q5: Have you experienced a lot of racism with being white with a black daughter, and what can you say is the hardest thing for you to adjust to?
A5:” We experienced more in the south in Mississippi, than we have here in Missouri. We have actually had the opposite of racism in Missouri, just a lot of people giving advice.” The hardest thing to get adjusted to is the adoption process, all of the training, and meetings that you have to go to in order to actually adopt a child.”
Q6: What advice do you get the most? Do you understand black culture and do you have a plan to teach her anything about her heritage?
A6: “We get a lot of advice on hair and skin, he says laughing.” We do not know very much about black culture and still trying to figure out how to teach her about her heritage. But, in order to adopt outside of your race, you have to go to training where they talk about telling the kids about their original backgrounds, in order for them to be healthy. We also plan to get more socially diverse so that we can learn more.”
Q7: How will you face the issue of teaching her about racism and hardships she may face because of her race?
A7: “No plans, but we know we have to do it. We are not worried about it until she gets old enough to understand. Her older sister who is black and is 6 years old, we talk a little bit about it in a way that is age appropriate, very settle stuff.”
Q8: How does your son who is white respond to her, how do they interact?
A8:” They are pretty tight, they share the same room, go to classes together. They bump head from time to time like any brother and sister does but they can’t see the difference in skin. “
Q9: “What is some advice you would give people for adopting outside of their race?
A8: “I would give no advice; the classes will help train you. Be open.”

Here are some additional comments that the father wanted to add to the story that he emailed me:

Here are a few comments, for what they are worth.

1. My daughter has 2 older sisters. They are 3 and 6 years old.

2. 8 of the 14 children we fostered are black. 3 of 14 we’ve adopted.

3.  The reservation I grew up on is called the Navajo Nation.

4.  Despite racism issues, our family was/is welcomed and befriended in both communities in Mississippi and Missouri . Columbia, especially so.

5.  Most of what I know of black culture was gained at college via friends, teammates and classmates. Since my ( wife) grew up in the deep south, that is her source.

There was a lot that I took in from this family, and would love to get more in depth with adoption in the future. However, I am more so focusing on the beauty of knowing that it is possible to love outside of your own race. It is possible to parent someone that doesn’t have the same skin tone as you, and give that person the mother and or father that they need. This story just screams hope for the future, in knowing that how we bring up our children regardless of race will be our future for this world. So, let’s start today with loving and caring for someone regardless of their race. Because you never know if that love you show could change, save, or be someone’s life one day.

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