Thursday, April 9, 2015

Interracial Adoption: Does it take a village?

Does it take a village in interracial adoption?...

Before Sam came home, I had grand dreams.  I had this beautiful, wide-eyed baby coming home to join our family.  Everyone ooo'd and awed over his pictures because -frankly- he is that stinkin cute!

Did race cross my mind?

Sure.  Of course BUT... he's not really black - he's Haitian, not African American.  He will have been raised by white parents.  He's my son and my love will protect him from prejudice.  He will see enough persons of color around and will be fine in our setting. 

[OK, stick with me here because Sam hasn't been the only one who has been on a steep learning curve this year!!!  I didn't really say these things but, in hindsight, I wonder about my mindset.]

Boy, was I ignorant and fooling myself!!

What I have come to learn is that I need help.  My husband and I, alone, cannot raise this child to be a successful, well rounded, black man.

I need a village!!

Because in a few years, when Sam walks down the street or enters a store, people will not see my son.  In reality I, as a white woman that has only lived in my suburbia, know diddly squat about being a black person or, more importantly, how to raise this precious child with his beautiful skin and dark eyes into an adult that knows how to interact in our world.  In just those few short years, my little toddler will be growing into a man.  Strangers will stop ooo-ing and aweing over him and start averting their eyes to avoid eye contact.  Store clerks may follow him in stores as he shops.  Police officers may misjudge his actions.

This is reality.  I must learn how to prepare him for it.  We owe it to Sam and to our family to try and gather as much knowledge as we can.

Good gracious, how in the world am I going to do that??!!

I'm going to try to create my village!  I will need to reach out to those new and old friends that have a lot more experience than I do.  I dream of creating a small/home group with families that will be on the same learning curve through life as we are on.  Books and Facebook pages with this topic will be a great source too.

Any further suggestions on how to build our village?  Books?  Groups?

1 comment:

On My Mind said...

I have followed your story since you were trying to bring Sam home. I have no answers for you, but your blog post peaked my interest and I had to read it. I myself am the mom of 2 biracial children. This is a problem not just for people who decide to adopt, but also us that give birth to them. I fight everyday with the same issues. How am I going to raise these children in this world. I like you, want to protect them and love them and keep them safe. I am 100% afraid of everything that lies ahead of them. Everything that they will have to face. The looks, the hate people will have for them simply because of their skin color, the discrimination...all of it. I don't pretend to know what to do, or how to handle it when they come home after it's happened. I will continue to follow your blog and hope that you and others that comment will be able to help me with this too.