Children Adopted Into a Family of a Different Race
This world is a little mixed up right now. In some places, racism has seemingly decreased but in other areas, not so much. Back in 1955, racial segregation was at its peak when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus. Life didn’t change as quickly for African Americans as it should have but it did BEGIN to change their lives for the better. Despite all these changes, there is still SO much racial hate in America. Raising a child of another race (whether they are Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, etc) also brings its own challenges.
Our Adoption Story
For those who follow my blog closely, you already know that we adopted our daughter after fostering her for over two years. She is now almost six years old and is beginning to notice that she is different than we are. Unfortunately, not all of the “noticing” has come strictly from her being old enough to SEE the difference. We have had little comments made to us since the day she came into our care.
We adopted both of our boys at birth. They are caucasian. We did not intentionally “pick a caucasian child”, that is just how it worked out. No one ever looked at our family and said, “You must have adopted”, “Are you babysitting?”, “Where is their ‘real’ mom?” or “Is your husband Hispanic”. Those are all questions we get on a fairly regular basis from strangers at the grocery store or people at the park when we are with our daughter. She is pointed out for being “different”. The shock on the faces of the curious minds when we tell them all three of our children are adopted. They don’t expect to hear that my boys are also adopted because my oldest looks just like my husband and my other son… well, he is caucasian as well.
When we are used to her differences in the color of her skin, her jet black hair (when I am blonde), and her big dark brown eyes, we forget that she is even adopted.
We are big advocates on making our children’s adoptions as a normal conversation in our home and even with others. Some would say that might make them feel they are “different” or they may feel we are pointing out that they “weren’t wanted”. You see, that is the exact opposite. Now that my son is 16 and more mature, we have asked him questions about his adoption and all the feelings that go with it. He has told us that by us making his adoption a topic of conversation and so open, that it shows others that their adoption is a GOOD thing. When you keep real quiet about certain topics, kids will sense that you are ashamed. We are far from ashamed that they are adopted. WE GOT TO PICK OUR KIDS….. that in itself shows just how special and wanted they are. We didn’t get stuck with them. We didn’t HAVE to take them. We CHOSE to because we loved THEM! Despite their differences, their flaws, and their situations, we wanted THEM!
Conversation is all age appropriate of course. With our boys, if we sense they have some new questions about their adoption, we may take them for a ride in the car or a walk in the park to let them ask away. With our daughter, she is usually brushing my hair and asking questions about why my hair is different than hers. When I go in to check on her, she will start asking questions. Giving children hands-on activities to keep them from feeling like the focus is not directed towards them, makes it easier to talk.
Often, she is playing with her baby dolls and pointing out the differences in one baby doll compared to the other and then comparing how she and I are different.
I try to make sure that when I buy baby dolls for her that I mix up the race of the baby dolls. I love how Adora dolls now have “Adoption Babies”. The babies have different skin tones and eye colors.
We have one from Adora called the “Precious” Adoption Baby Doll. It has a medium skin tone just like my daughter and brown eyes (My daughter is Guatemalan and El Salvadorian). The adoption baby dolls from Adora even have details such as real looking fingernails!
We also have the Bath Time Baby Unicorn who has a light skin tone and blue eyes just like my daughter’s best friend. She plays with them as if they are best friends and sometimes even sisters. I love seeing her playing and making sure that even though they have different skin tones and different colored eyes, they still love each other in her world. She loves taking this particular baby in the bath with her since it has a quick dry body and comes all set in her bathing suit! Oh, and the unicorn theme is just perfect for my daughter. She loves ANYTHING unicorn related!
She loves to take her dolls on walks. I often find her strolling through the house pretending she is going to the store with one of her baby dolls in her Zig Zag Medium Shade Umbrella from Adora. It can easily be folded up and set in a smaller space to store when she isn’t “on the go”.
She goes back and forth in the bedroom to feed the baby with her Magic Sippy Cup. I remember thinking these were so cool when I was a little girl. I love that she plays with the same type of toys! She is doing more than just learning about the difference in skin colors. She is learning how to care, love, and nurture babies of all races. I LOVE it!