A vast majority of foster and adoptive families are multi-racial. But, in this day and age, our culture still has many divides when it comes to race. How do you raise a multi-racial family in the middle of it?
In 2002 we were thrust into parenthood, seemingly overnight. We knew our daughter was on the way, we just didn’t know when. Then suddenly, poof…she was here. While we didn’t receive massively offensive comments for being two white people, in white suburbia, with a black daughter, we did have well-meaning people say things that were not-so-well-meaning (at least it seemed this way). We feared the future. We questioned, “How can we raise our baby in a world that is so misunderstanding and divided?”
This past week my children came home from school repeating political rhetoric they no doubt heard from classmates at school. Instead of counter with our opinion, we chose to have a conversation about it.
I can’t scroll through my Facebook feed without seeing it. Trump is refusing access to Syrian refugees. Trump wants to build a wall on the boarder of the United States and Mexico. Trump wants to use tax-payer’s money to do so. Trump is misunderstood. Trump is the anti-Christ. Give Trump a chance. Here’s what Trump’s executive order really means. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….and blah! I just want to see what people are up to on Facebook! Is that too much to ask?
Over the years, we’ve been asked how our children feel about being a part of a multi-racial family, and how they’ve adjusted. Our conversation always points back to the importance of your community.
When we became a multi-racial family, we considered the toll it might take on our children and on us. We weighed the scenarios as did our children’s birth parents. In the end, we partnered with our children’s birth parents in making the best decision we could. Our children needed a family and we already deeply loved and cared for one another. We did not ignore the color of their skin but we also didn’t make skin color the ultimate identifier of our family.