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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The "Right" Child

One of the big questions we have as we begin this process is who are we hoping to bring into our family. I'd love to be one of those amazing people who are able to welcome any child regardless of their health, age, handicap, history, etc. But I know we are not there yet. Is it selfish to restrict our search to healthy babies? Probably. But we dream of experiencing the newborn stage. We dream of knowing and bonding with our child from the beginning. So for now, we will pursue domestic infant adoption. I have a feeling one day we will also be ready to build a home for an older child, but not yet.

Another factor we have to consider is race. It's unavoidable. Many, many more African American and biracial children need homes than white ones. The wait is often 6 months or less for an AA child, 2-4 years for a white one. We've discussed it and we personally have no problem at all adopting interracially. I know our families would fully welcome any child. But we really do worry about the child. The area we live in is predominately white, the schools are white, and as a result most of our friends are white. How would that make the child feel? What would their life be like here? We struggle with this and need to do a lot more research on the issue.


7 Comments
igna83
Frankly, I commend you for opening your hearts to adoption! As for the biracial option, that's an awesome decision, as well, though I can understand your concerns. Are you tied to the area where you live or could you relocate somewhere that's more diverse? In our area, we're lucky to be very culturally diverse--in Galvin's Pre-K classroom, there is a good mix of white, black, Indian, Asian and European children. We love it and so does he!

Good luck in your journey!
Angi   Wednesday, October 7, 2009
girlcarew
I think it's great that you are really considering all the options and what will realistically work for you. I would also reiterate Angi's question on whether you are tied to your area. Good luck!
girlcarew   Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Lionheart
A class mate of mine was the only african american girl in my class. She and her brother had been adopted by white parents. I never asked her if she struggled with it but I think she was well adjusted and wasn't particularly picked on for her race. Granted this is SoCal so maybe the racial issue was more mild than other regions. She went to college and I think she's dating a african american or biracial guy she met there. I think there are lots of resources for this type of thing, so maybe ask your adoption people for things to read or learn about it?

I applaud your adoption decision. My Mom and uncle are both adopted, from different bio-parents and both say it was the best thing that could have happened to them given the challenging circumstances they were born into.
Lionheart   Thursday, October 8, 2009
RAGrise
I can not begin to praise you for your open heart to this subject and be honest about the reality of what life really is when 'mixing races'. This decision really is a tough one. It is difficult to talk to friends and teachers, adminstrators about these sorts of things because everyone "hopes" to be accepting and puts on the "no problem" facade just to humor you. But speaking to these people, the people that will be interacting with your child and who will be reponsible for controlling the other kids who might be mean, would be my first step. I would ask how strongly they feel about tolerance, and how far they are willing to go for your child. Would your friends really accept that child?

You just have to trust your gut and be honest with yourself. There is no shame in chosing a white child over a bi-racial. I agree, it is unfair to bring a milato or black child into a an all white community (like where I grew up) and expect it to be a cake walk. But being aware of those difficulties and challenges are part of what drives your decision. Don't be ashamed of protecting a child from descrimination. Be proud that you are willing to be honest!!

Richie and I have discussed adopting a bi-racial child; we have no problems having a child that isnt' white; however, as sad as this is, we don't feel like his family would be accepting. I will spare you the details that lead us to that conclusion.
Richie & Ashley   Thursday, October 8, 2009
ppike
You know, it is extremely common to see racially mixed families these days (thank god!), not to mention children with two mommies or daddies, even in what seem to be very conservative locals. I would sure look into finding folks who were willing to share their stories with you.
pegi   Thursday, October 8, 2009
sandd
Pegi, you're right in that it has become much more common to see non-traditional families everywhere. We went on a little weekend trip to the Smokies this past weekend. There were families with small children EVERYWHERE and I was amazed to see how many of those families were multi-racial, cultural, etc. Very heartening.
We are tied to this area. We've bought our home and it truly feels like our permanent place so moving is not really something we're considering. I'm very sure the problem wouldn't be with the community's acceptance of the child. That's not a concern, I'm sure they would face very, very little or no discrimination here. I just worry about the child's personal feelings of "fitting in." Seems like being adopted would be enough of an identity challenge in the teenage years...then add race to the mix.
So yes, still a lot of learning to do on this subject. Ashley, you hit right on it that you really do have to deeply explore things like this both personally and with those who will be involved. We all know the quick politically correct answers in these situations, but sometimes those answers just aren't true.
sandd   Thursday, October 8, 2009
RAGrise
Sandd I'm so impressed by you with every blog and commment you make!! You are truly an inspiration.
Richie & Ashley   Thursday, October 8, 2009
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