Our family of 5

Our family of 5

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Adoption Talk Thursdays: Transracial Adoption Thoughts

My mind is spinning and I feel a little bit like my face is stinging from a hard slap. I think it was a needed slap and the type of sting to open my eyes and my mind.  I didn't realize that there has existed such controversy over the issue of transracial adoption.  I have personally never seen why it would even be an issue. I decided to read a book called, "In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories."  This book, although painful to read at times, has been eye opening and challenging.  I found this book while perusing blogs of families who have adopted children of other races. I know that I personally do not struggle with racism or feeling superior to any other human being, but this book gave me many other perspectives that I had not previously considered. In Part 2, of this book, they are actually interviewing many young adults who were of different races and adopted into white families.  I haven't finished reading it yet, but I am enjoying learning through their experiences and reading their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives.  The book also addresses concerns I have thought about as Little A grows older, such as how it will feel to her to be surrounded by white people much of her childhood, or how she will be accepted by other blacks. From all the reviews, it sounded like it was a "must-read" type of book. Here is a link to the book:

I feel like this would be a good book for anyone to read, but especially if you are considering doing a transracial adoption or if you have already done one. For us, we didn't go out seeking a child of a race different than our own. We just left things open and Little A's birth mom chose our family.  Little A is a gift from God, and we also believe God chose her for our family.   I have always viewed people as people.....just unique in the outer appearances.  I completely look past color of skin, because after all, don't we all have different shades, tones, and colors??  After reading this book, though, I realized that could be a somewhat naive statement.

Reading this book stretched me to think beyond my own perspective. For one thing, maybe I have never had a problem with racism, but it isn't necessarily right for me to just brush it off and think it doesn't matter.  I realized after reading this book, that I will never fully know what it is like to walk in Little A's shoes.  I will never know what it feels like to look completely different than your entire family, your friends, and community.  I will have no idea what it would feel like to go through identity issues as a teenager, not only as an adoptee, but also being from a different race.  Through it all, though, I do believe that God is greater than all that, and I know that He has a special plan for Little A's life.  I know that He will give us the wisdom and direction with how to handle different issues as they come up.  I am thankful for the fresh perspective from this book, though.  I am encouraged to be Little A's advocate through her entire life.  I am encouraged to let Little A pursue her heritage and culture as she desires.  I don't want to just pretend like we are all exactly the same in our family, because we are not.  But at the same time, Little A is fully our beloved child!!    I desire to raise Little A to know how loved and special she is, by both her birthmom and by us.  I desire for her to know how much Jesus loves her.  I want to help her in the best way possible as she develops her own identity.  I want her to have friends and role models who look like her. I am searching my heart and praying for God to provide these things.  I think it will be challenging at times as she grows older, but completely attainable.

The most encouraging thing I have read from the book is that all of the adoptees (they were all adopted into families of different race than themselves) ultimately agreed that being placed in a loving family was the best thing that could have happened to them.  They have all agreed that while it might have been nice to be in a family of same color, it wasn't the most important thing at all.  They all expressed love and appreciation for their adoptive parents.  I am most of all clinging to the fact, that I can tell Little A someday about my adoption too...........that I became a daughter of God through the work of His Son, Jesus, on the cross.  I know that there are going to be obstacles and challenges...........but I also know that God has a plan in the life of our family.  I am trusting Him to provide us with friends, resources, whatever we might need to help Little A grow and develop in a way that is meaningful to her and shows her how much she is loved, cherished and special.   Reading this book was helpful, but I am thankful my greatest council comes from God's Word.

Does anyone know of any other good books regarding transracial adoption?  What about transracial adoption from a biblical perspective?

We love you so much, Little A!!  You are beautiful :)

1 comment:

  1. She is so beautiful and so loved!! Sometimes I get nervous to even read books like that because my fantasy world that I think exists were these things aren't issues seems easier. BUT, good for you for learning and educating yourself on these things. I'm sure it will be so beneficial to A and you in the long run.
    I'm going to have to read this book as we continue to foster.
    Thanks for your words, Sarah. They are always full of wisdom.