This Race Thing Is Hard

In the next week or so we have to make a decision on what races we are willing to adopt. It’s a life decision we never even contemplated making, but here we are and holy crap is it a hard decision!

We have to choose specific races like Hispanic, African American, Asian, Native American, Caucasian, Caucasian-Hispanic, Caucasian-African American, Caucasian-Asian, Caucasian-Native American, etc.  I feel like we’ve walked into a grocery store and are staring at all the types of apples and being told we have to pick the best one forever and ever, and there is no going back.  Maybe today I feel like a royal gala apple, but tomorrow a granny smith apples might be my preference.  But this decision simply isn’t that easy because we aren’t talking about apples.  We are talking about real life human beings who should in now way ever be chosen like a grocery item!

A few months ago I wrote about our initial thoughts on race and adoption, and our minds have not stopped churning since. All the questions I raised then, are still spiraling in our minds, the only difference is that now we have to make a decision and we feel no closer to an answer  As many of you know, we over analyze everything. We research, we discuss, we debate, we think logically, we try to factor in emotion, etc. What we know for certain is that the more open we are on race, the quicker we will get a child. What we also know is that for us, this decision is bigger than expediting the adoption process. We need to be confident that whatever we decide is the right decision for our family.

Further, what we’ve discovered about race and adoption is that it is one of the most complex adoption topics that has no clear cut answers. There are just so many potential outcomes and we have absolutely no certainty on what will happen as life unfolds. And, to make the decision even more complex, because every family created through adoption is so diverse and unique there seems to be very little good advice available to help us make an informed decision.

In working through this decision, we have begun analyzing the consequences of race through a few different lenses:

  1. The adoptive parents.
  2. The adoptee (the child).
  3. Our family as a transracial family.
Photo Source: Adapted from Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Adapted from Office.com Clip Art

Our thoughts on becoming adoptive parents in a transracial family:

  • MPB and I firmly believe in equal rights and opportunities for all people regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  • We firmly believe we have the emotional and intellectual capacity to deal with negative judgement in a respective and constructive way, as adults who can turn negative situations into an educational opportunity for others.
  • As two very white individuals, living in a very white neighbourhood, in a very white city, we have never experienced any sort of racism directed at us. The closest we can get to being a minority is when we travel internationally and are the minority race. However, we face typical tourist type pressures, but have never felt any negativity based on our race.
  • Will we be able to adequately help a child understand racism and discrimination based solely on their skin colour? We have never experienced it and have no way to understand the extent of the wounds that it can create, so can we really provide the best help for a child? We can read books, but there is no way we can truly appreciate the extent of the consequences.
  • How do we practically teach a child to respect police and authority, and yet know that based purely on their race they must be very careful in any interaction they have? (Just think about the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to understand what I mean).

Here are our thoughts on race as they pertain to the adopted child:

  • Our child, regardless of the specific race and ethnicity, will be raised in a predominantly white culture because that is what we know and are exposed to. We can and would make an effort to promote a link to their heritage, but we know that it will not be overly strong given where we live and who we interact with. Will this result in long term negative (and positive) personal consequences for a child being raised under these circumstances?  How do we support a child in building a unique identity that reflects their individual heritage and their adopted culture?
  • Will a child be comfortable coming home after school and telling us about any race based struggles they experience as one of the few children of a different colour? We do realize that more often than not children do not come home and tell their parents everything, but racial discrimination is a pretty big deal and we would want to help them deal with it and not quietly internalize this struggle.
  • How will our child internalize events like those currently unfolding in Ferguson and New York? How do we help them understand these events, when we do not even understand them? How do we help a child understand
  • How do we teach a child that skin colour doesn’t matter when practically they are likely to face discrimination based on their skin colour?
  • Adoption in and of itself will already complicate a child’s life. Should we complicate there life more by adding a race element to it?

And lastly, our thoughts on our future family if we become a transracial family:

  • Will our extended family be accepting of a child of another colour? We suspect not all member of our family will be. How do we explain to a child that a particular family member has chosen not to be part of our family? How do we explain to a child that love transcends race when some of their own family exhibit the exact opposite approach?
  • If we choose to check the boxes which result in a child of colour, we will become the poster family for adoption. There will be no avoiding looks and questions in public for the rest of our lives – positive and negative. Ultimately, is this something we want? Is this a positive situation for everyone involved?
Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

I know regardless of how families are created – adoption, natural, IVF, surrogacy, etc., there are no crystal balls that can predict the future. Life can and will be harsh from time to time. Life will throw unexpected struggles at the most innocent of people. I know I cannot control everything (but I still do love to try). Yet, I also firmly believe that we are active participants in our own lives, and every single decision we make will impact the future. This is one of the biggest decisions we have faced recently, and it’s hard!

So what do we do? How do we make this decision that will result in the best possible outcome for everyone involved? (This is a mostly rhetorical question that I do not actually expect an answer to. I know we need to determine what is best for us and our future family).

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82 Comments on “This Race Thing Is Hard

  1. I’m a black woman of Caribbean descent and I’m very glad that you and your partner are considering all of the consequences (both positive and negative) of adopting of child of color into a predominately white area. I don’t have any advice or experience with this, but I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Any child will benefit from a mother like you 🙂

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  2. This is a very important and interesting topic. I can understand how it would be very difficult. In my younger years (much much younger) I became really interested in the idea of adoption of a whole “fruit basket” of races, because to me all I saw was the beauty of each race, and how rich all the cultures were on an individual basis. At that time I didn’t stop to think of the child’s perspective. There definitely (and very unfortunately) are a lot of issues to deal with that may come up in our white world, that we may or may not be prepared for. I wish you all the best in making your choices and I look forward to reading what everyone has to say. Xx

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and your personal thoughts. For us, trying to think about it from the child’s perspective has probably resulted in a lot of our indecision and worry. We are confident that we, the adults, can handle it. But, it’s so much harder when we are thinking about children who’s personalities we cannot even begin to imagine and so we have no idea how they will react to the situation and how our decision this week will influence their entire life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is really well written and I appreciate all of the facets of this decision you have to consider. Since I have not been in this position, my advice may be trivial, but I hope you follow your hearts. Sometimes logic can only do so much, but deep down, we know what’s right for us and that’s important. Wishing you all the very best with this very difficult decision! ❤

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    • Thank you so much for your thoughts. I do think you are right, at some point we are going to have to stop trying to apply logic to a situation that does not have a simple answer. Ultimately, we will have to find and then listen to what our hearts are saying.

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  4. I have no advice, but seeing as how well-thought out this post alone is, I would have all the confidence that you could raise – effectively, lovingly – anyone who came into your home, regardless of skin color. As much as we like to pretend we live in a post-racial society (well, at least here in the USofA), we really, really don’t. Race does matter. And it does effect things. But going into this with eyes open, you’ve already got a leg up. Good luck choosing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for such an honest and thoughtful comment! Mr. MPB and I agree with you that racism is real and alive today, even if people don’t want to see it. It will effect things, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. Ultimately we still do not have the answer, but we will get there eventually…I hope. 🙂

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  5. Too much to think about. But as long as your child is not a criminal who just robbed a convenience store, assaulted the proprietor, and tried to disarm a police officer, then your kid won’t be shot by a police officer. I suppose you’ve seen the liberal news coverage painting him as “an unarmed black teenager”–minus the video of him robbing the convenience store and the physical evidence of his autopsy that showed he attacked the officer.

    However, they might be profiled and harassed as a black teenager in an affluent all-white neighborhood *in the Midwest*. I thought Canada was far more progressive than that–but that’s based on the interracial Canadian couples I see on HGTV.

    Guess you can’t trust the media.

    I’m sure you’ll make the best decision for your family. XO

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    • I do think that in respect to race, Canada is probably more progressive then the USA. However, that said, by no means do we live in a perfect society and racism absolutely does occur in our City and our Country.
      Thank you for your encouragement. I do believe when we finally make our decision we will make the decision that is best for our family.

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    • Canadian cities are much more accepting than small towns. My own husband was raised in an only white community and never even had any ethic children in his school with the exception of Aboriginal descent. On the other hand, I grew up outside of Toronto and was exposed to multiculturalism from a very young age. It’s getting better across Canada (and is nothing compared to some areas of the US), but racism does still exist.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This may be a stupid question, but does racism and discrimination run as rampant in Canada as it seems to here in America? It just seems like Canadians are a little more civilized and a little more open minded as a whole compared to the US. Whatever you decide…go with your heart and it won’t be wrong! I know whatever child you are Blessed with is going to be one very lucky little one!!!

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    • In Canada there seem to be higher proportions of non-whites in the police forces, but any non-white I’ve known has dealt with discrimination from even those who claim to not be at all prejudiced. I grew up in a small, west coast (very white + several first nations communities) Canadian town and have lived in Montreal (big mix of cultures) for over a decade. It has improved, from what I (very white) have seen, but it’s far from equal. I think (uneducated guess) it may also seem less severe in Canada in the same sense that religion and politics are less extreme here.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with g2the4thpower. Racism absolutely does exist in Canada, and in my city in particular. That said, I believe it is less severe here then in the USA. I have no data to back that up, but it sure seems to be the perception. In fact, we are told that one of the things that makes Canadian adoptive parents so attractive to American birth mothers is the perception of less extreme racism (and free health care too).
      Also, as always thank you so much for your encouragement. We just need to figure out what our hearts are saying. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I struggled with this as well when we were seriously looking into adoption. I know without a doubt that we will love our child regardless of color, but I constantly kept coming back to the question of is that enough? Is it fair to bring a child of a different race into our very white lives? I appreciate this post and the thought that you’ve put into it–I asked myself most of these questions at the beginning of the year. It doesn’t seem like there is a right answer–there is just a path you choose and the way you handle the consequences (good and bad) of that decision.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I a grateful to learn that we are not the only ones who have struggled to answer this question.
      I think you are right, there are no right answers, and what will matter in the end is simply how we choose to handle the difficult situations that arise.

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  8. I don’t know what is right for you. However, my white lesbian mother and her white partner adopted a black baby in a country where racism is still rife, if no longer institutionalized. My sister has not only had to deal with transracial adoption but having two moms as well. She is now 13 and is intelligent and funny and confident and as a family we have had many wonderful and interesting experiences that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. For me personally, race would not be a factor but it does require a lot of open and honest communication… With the child but also with friends/ family/ schools etc. it’s a wonderful lesson for everyone who comes into our lives about accepting differences.

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  9. As I noted on my own blog, there isn’t a right answer and sadly it isn’t just a simple, “if you don’t raise a criminal then you won’t have a problem” solution/scenario; such a vantage is a naive and overly simplistic distillation of a complex situation around race or child rearing in general. Here’s the thing a lot of folks don’t realize is that White is also a race–all of it is socially constructed, particularly here in the US. In my professional work it stuns me how little awareness there is around White identity and racial development, the absence of which helps to underpin privilege that we see and also complicates some of the decision making.

    Ultimately, here’s my two cents whatever your decision–be deliberate about exposing yourself and your kids (whatever hue) to a diverse world, not just travel, but literature, music, culture etc. While your environment may appear very homogenous, it probably is less so that you think once you make a deliberate choice to seek out the other. This stretch is something we all have a responsibility to do whatever the color of our kids. This stretch is uncomfortable but essential to our own development and to the creation of the desired inclusive living environment. Think about where the resources will be for day to day living (hair care for example!).

    Your kiddo will be blessed, but adoption has many, many layers of “stuff.” Muddling through it is a balancing act of epic proportions. Sometimes you have to let the analytics go, though, and just step on out there. Whatever your choice, you’ll make it work. 🙂

    Hit me up on email–would love to chat offline. Got some recommended readings for ya!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you. It was your your blog post and our conversation that encouraged me to sit down and write this post. 🙂
      I think you make a few very good points. First, you are right, so often many of us do not think of white as a culture in itself. I know until recently, while deliberately thinking about race and adoption, I had not overtly thought about what it means to be white in my community.
      Second, you are not the first person to make reference to something as seemingly simple as hair care. If we adopt a different race, any other race other then white, we will be making a decision to embrace a different lifestyle then what we are used to. We will stretch and bend and learn to think in different ways, as will our friends and extended family. That has some pretty cool possibilities!
      And also, you are so absolutely right, sometimes we do have to step away from the analytics. This is something that is incredibly hard for Mr. MPB and I to do. We love data, we love learning and we love to research and we both take a lot of comfort in knowledge. But, this also means we struggle when there are no concrete answers and we sometimes neglect the human emotion side of things and forget to trust our instincts and just step.
      Thank you again, and I will absolutely send you an email.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. When we decided to become foster parents (foster to adopt) we were asked what races we were willing to foster and possibly adopt in the long run. We thought about it for a bit, but not much because ultimately children are a blessing. We figured when we get there, we’ll deal with it. The stares? Neither of us really give two shits about peoples judgement of us. The thing we were concerned about the MOST was what the reaction of our families would be. We think our parents had more reservations about others people’s judgment than anything else. But they didn’t care either way. MAybe it’s different with children in foster care because you know that most of them are coming from really horrible situations that you can’t help but love them because you know what they have been through. No child should have to go through that. I think we are used to to the stares as a bi-racial lesbian couple. Me and my very hispanic features (dark eyes, curly hair, brown skin) and Callie and her very German self (red hair, piercing green eyes). We are just sort of used to it. We also live in a suburb about 20 minutes outside of NYC which is really diverse (approx. 50% white, 20% black, 20% latino, 7% asian, 3% mixed where about half of the population is between 25-35). We never paid much attention to that. Also looking at it culturally, most of the people now a days that are, lets say african american, are very Americanized, and who’s culture is that of the average american. Those kids arent going to suddely be celebrating Kwanza, ya know. It’s a lot to think about, but if your heart yearns for children, it doesn’t matter what shape, race, gender, gender identity they come with. It’s love that creates a family..all that other stuff is just that…stuff….

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your honest perspective and personal experience. The extended family stuff is a pretty big deal for us, as we expect some major push back from a few family members about our decision to adopt and having a child of another race will not ease there concerns. That said, we know we need to make the decision that is right for us, and not our extended family who can and will make their own choices on how they accept and handle this decision.
      Also, part of me wishes that we lived in a more diverse community where a child of a different race then us would have others to relate to. But of course our reality is that we don’t and we honestly have no intentions of moving.
      Thank you again again for sharing and giving me so much to think about.

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  11. Wow, this is just so tough.

    I live in a giant, super diverse city that is not majority white, I would argue one of the best places for an interracial adoption. Even then, I’ve seen the issues with adoptions from China, and with my own family’s multi-racial grab bag of children/step-children/grandchildren that don’t always look like or have the names of a parent. Even here, where this is common, it can be an issue.

    Even if it isn’t necessarily negative, it will always be “different” in a mostly homogenous environment. Obviously, some kids would be able to handle being different better than others. My own experiences as a minority child shaped my impression of this experience to be character building and mostly positive, but that is my personality and also maybe my tame environment that I know could have been far worse. The problem is you don’t know how bad it will be, and you don’t know the personality of this kid and whether he will be able to handle it.

    I don’t envy this decision. Keep writing. There is wisdom in seeking help and in writing what you have to choose. I am rooting for your family!

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    • “The problem is you don’t know how bad it will be, and you don’t know the personality of this kid and whether he will be able to handle it.” You said this perfectly. If we had the crystal ball which could tell us the answer to both of these, then the decision would be simple.
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and encouragement.

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  12. As a birthparent, I rejected any profile of a family seeking only a white baby (even though my baby would be/is white). Echoing what AdoptiveBlackMom said, I wanted to know my child would have diverse experiences and grow up in a family that encouraged her to be open-minded and inclusive. Just my two cents from the birth parent perspective!

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    • Thanks for sharing this – I can appreciate and understand the importance of wanting a child to be raised in an open-minded and inclusive family. I find your perspective as a birth mother (and as a nice person) very interesting, and am always happy to learn from your perspective.

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  13. This is a really well thought out post. While I am not currently pursing adoption I can appreciate how hard this decision would be to make. What really struck me was the part about your extended family. I am a step parent to a child that looks just like me. Not only are we the same race, but I get comments on a weekly basis from people who know he is my step son about how much we look alike. However, it has taken years for my extended family to start to accept him as part of the family. I have been this child’s parent for 5 years and even my parents and my brother are just starting to send him birthday cards. While I am not his mother I provide for him and spend 90% of the time I am not working with him. He is my child and a part of my family, and its been so hard to not have my family accept him in the way that I would expect. I literally cannot imagine how hard it would be to have a family member not accept my adopted child based on race, and in parts of my family that would be a real possibility unfortunately. Whatever decision you make I know it will not be made lightly. All of the things you have spoken about have serious implications on your life as well as the child’s life. I have no idea what I would do.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Honestly, one of our biggest concerns is some of our extended family. We expect a few people to have a very difficult time with us choosing to adopt, which will only be exacerbated if we adopt a child of a different race. While ultimately it our choice, and it is unfortunate, it is a factor that we cannot simply just ignore. It is such an important factor that we cannot turn our backs to the reality of it all.

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  14. I think you have done a great job highlighting the concerns. Baffled by the ‘just don’t raise a criminal comment’ on many levels but moving on.. I think you and your husband sound ideal for any child to thrive. I think there is no question you would figure it out and make it work. That being said- my advice is to make a decision that just feels right to you both. Although being so thoughtful is smart- I also think it can cloud what our gut tells us. Wishing you peace on this journey. Xo

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      • I know yours was! Sorry- was referring to the previous comment too. Totally agreed with your comment. Sorry- should have taken a deep breath and stayed out of it. I just find this topic hard to be quiet on when people seem so openly hateful and naive. Much love.

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    • Thank you both for this dialogue. I completely, gull heartedly agree that the the issue at hand in Ferguson is a lot more complicated then just don’t raise a criminal.
      And thank you for your advice to do what feels right for us – If we could just figure out what our feelings are telling us then it would be easy 🙂

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  15. I am really glad you shared you. I think it’s something many think about but don’t want to say it for fear of being labeled a “racist”. My husband his Latino, so I guess I feel blessed that if we end up adopting, we can “go brown” and not worry so much! (That’s meant light heartedly and funny) I can tell how much you care, you’re going to be excellent parents.

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    • Thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragement. I absolutely understand what you mean about being able to choose another race without opening yourself and the child up to additional life challenges. That is definitely not our circumstance, but it sure would make this decision a bit easier.

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  16. So many good questions to ask yourself. It’s awesome that you actually take the time to think these things through and look at the long term results/consequences/outcomes/whatever and don’t just look at the here and now. I don’t really have any advice for you, since it’s such a personal situation and decision. So I will stick to my norm it seems whenever I comment on your posts: you need to do what is best for you and your family. (Meaning you/hubby/kids) If you feel that together you can all deal with interracial situations, then go for it! If you feel that a child would better benefit from being raised in the same ethnic household that somewhat matches where they came from, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Seems there are no clear cut answers, and you just have to do what you feel is best for everyone. I hope you’re able to come to a decision together without too much turmoil, and just know that in the end you’re still doing the very best you can for everyone involved. ❤

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    • You are so right, there are no clear cut answers. There is no right or wrong, so long as the decision is being made from a place of love and awareness.
      Thank you so much for your encouragement as we work to come to a decision over the next week. Truthfully, part of me is excited to have the decision part done so we can move onto focusing on the next step. 🙂

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  17. If only what happened in Ferguson was as simple as the one commenter thinks it is. Wow. Sounds like my parents!

    I think it’s terrific that you’re thinking about how you’d handle explaining recent events to your adopted African-American child, and how to raise them to trust the police but not cross paths with them. It’s a tough situation, and one that I would not have considered when we were thinking of adopting. Now though? Recent events could change what boxes I’d select on those forms. I’m white and I don’t trust the police a whole lot… I can’t imagine how I’d teach a non-white child how to trust them. As I read your list, that item shot up to the top of my mental list of concerns.

    You both are so thoughtful. Your baby will be very lucky to find you soon!

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    • Thank you so much for your thoughts. I honestly haven’t given it too much thought about how to handle trusting/respecting police until the recent events in Ferguson and NY. It’s a perspective that bothers me immensely and yet I recognize just how important it is in our decision.
      Also, I agree there is nothing simple about what happened in Ferguson and what happens to many individuals on a daily basis due to the colour of their skin.

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  18. I’m going to ramble a little bit, but stay with me. I’ll have a point eventually.

    I’m mixed– half Puerto Rican and half White though I look White (as in my skin tone is super pasty.) For better or worse I blend in, so people freely share racists comments with me because they think I am “one of them.” (Oh so awkward…)

    When I was a kid, these comments upset me so much. As a human, obviously. But specifically when I’d have to choose between standing up for myself, or just staying silent.

    This was so much harder than it sounds. I wanted to fit in (because most kids do), and then someone would point out that I didn’t in the meanest, nastiest way possible.

    My parents were amazing at helping me navigate this. They taught me how to tackle ignorance head on and how to be a strong person– irrespective of my race.They taught me that what mattered most was that I was surrounded by people who love and care for me.

    When I was considering adoption, I decided I would adopt a child of any race precisely because I wanted to teach them this. Yes, you may have to step outside your own experience with race. But you know a whole lot about strength and love. These are by far the most important qualities.

    Obviously there are some HUGE differences between my personal story, and your own set of decisions. As with anything IF-related, I firmly believe that you do what is right for you, and tell the haters to shove it.

    Just don’t doubt for one minute that you can do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Yours is a perspective that we simply do not understand, but it is so important to us in this decision because it will likely be similar to our child’s experiences. I know everyone will internalize these types of interactions in their own way, and therefore the interactions will leave different impacts. I admire you and your parents for teaching you how to tackle the ignorance, and I also appreciate that your parent’s played a role in all of this. You give me hope, and for that I am every so grateful.

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      • Any time. 😉 It isn’t that it won’t be hard, but then again who said parenting was ever easy, even under the most charmed circumstances? As long as you have an open heart and a fighting spirit, you and your family will be FINE.

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  19. I agree that this decision needs to be made based on what would be the best match for you two, and for the child, even if it means that it takes longer for you to be matched. Being a woman of colour born and raised on the west coast of Canada in the early 80’s, I certainly faced racism growing up. I still encounter overt racism whenever I venture outside of the main metropolitan cities, and systemically through jokes and stereotypes (sadly mostly from my in-laws and co-workers). My mother is mixed Caucasian/Chinese and growing up, I always envied her paler skin and Caucasian features, as I could see the privilege it afforded her, and felt too ashamed to share this with her.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience growing up facing racism and your feelings about your mothers paler skin. I wonder if we adopt a child of any different race if that’s something they will often feel about us, their parents. I would hope not, but I can appreciate where these emotions and feelings would come from. Also, I really appreciate the distinction you raised between metropolitan cities and more rural areas – I hadn’t thought about it until your comment, but it really doesn’t surprise me unfortunately. And of course, we have family members who live in rural towns and do spend time in smaller towns. Just one more element for us to consider.
      Thank you my friend.

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  20. I don’t have much experience with adoption so don’t have any stories or pearls of wisdom. I do think that some of these questions are almost universal to a degree; I have wondered – if I have a child, how would I explain Ferguson to him/her? How to make sure that I raise a child that doesn’t see tragedies like Ferguson and New and think “They had it coming, it’s their own fault” or the like. You’d like to think that setting a good example and teaching them right from wrong is enough, but there are so many factors and experiences outside the home that you can’t control. I don’t envy having to deal with all these questions and decisions, but I believe you will make the decision that is right for you and Mr. MPB and that you will be great parents.

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    • I think you raise a very good point, a lot of our questions and thoughts are universal, or at least they should be. And maybe, just maybe, if we all did this we would have less events like Furgeson occurring in the first place.
      Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

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  21. I love how thoroughly you have explored every angle (at least every one I could think of!) of this question, and with such thoughtfulness and foresight. My husband and I just started having these conversations in a serious manner, not a “someday” manner, and it was HARD. There are so many things to consider, and it sounds like you are thoughtfully and compassionately examining every ripple that could come out from that checkbox. For us, I felt comfortable saying yes to an African American baby, but my husband made some good points. Like you, we live in a pretty white community. While I grew up in an incredibly diverse community in downstate NY, that has changed. We have African American acquaintances, but no friends, no community that would reflect background and culture of origin back to our child. I hadn’t thought of that aspect. We do have good friends who are Asian and Hispanic, and so that has influenced our not-yet-concrete-check-the-box conversations. Amazing all that has to be considered… I wish you so much luck and peace in coming to your decisions and wading through all the grids and paperwork that open all of this serious thought. You will be amazing, compassionate parents for having thought so thoroughly of all the possible consequences of these choices. And I agree, it does feel like a grocery cart..very surreal. My best to you!

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    • First, thank you so much for sharing that you are actively struggling with these conversations and decisions as well. The grocery cart feeling greatly troubles me and for the most part I am despising this part of the process because I am so uncomfortable with the shopping list approach (I’m not sure if there is a better approach, but I do know I’m not a fan of this one).
      Anyways, it sounds like your husband and Mr. MPB are very similar in their line of thinking. At times it has annoyed me, but more then anything I am thankful for his critical thinking on the subject to force my own. These questions and concerns are all so valid and important as we attempt to make a decision.
      Thank you again and all the best to you as well!

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  22. This is a big decision, and you have explored the considerations thoroughly. Whatever race your baby is, s/he is so lucky to have you guys for parents.

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  23. I had to read this post several times to take it all in. You have a remarkable talent for distilling and presenting information. We grappled with these questions recently while going through the foster application process. Ultimately we decided that we were comfortable with all races. That decision was made significantly easier given that we live in Upper Manhattan and our area is primarily African American and Latino. I have no doubt you’ll make a sound decision.

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    • Thank you, I will take your comment about my ability to distil and present information as a compliment. Maybe I should find a job related to that? 🙂
      Also, thank you so much for sharing your decision. I love hearing what other have gone through and how they have made a similar decision. Part of me wishes we lived in a more diverse place, I feel like that would really impact our decision. But alas, we live where we live and for a number of reasons that’s not about to change anytime soon.

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  24. I can understand your fears about how this would all effect a child, but even if you adopted a healthy white baby , there is no quarantees that this child would not have to face such issues…. perhaps a unknown disability, or an accident leaves this child with having to deal with ppls looks and comments,so getting a white child is still no absolute that this child will not have to deal with ppls uneducated, and rude comments. As for your family members not accepting a child’s color, I would think twice about wanting any child around them, no matter what the color, if they hold these views I would not want them around any child. When adoption was an option for me, someone asked me if a blue baby with purple poka dots was handed to me that minute what would I do, I said I would keep it, and help this child to navigate as best I could , willing to learn , how to help my child know he was one of us , that color , or physical isssues , or mental ones were not qualifiers , we are a family because we love each other, and we are in this together. I suppose you could also think of this like this , does having a child raised in a family of the same race , automatically mean that he will feel loved and that he belongs, there is no quaarentee of that either, I think you could adopt any child regardless of race, as you have the love and a willingness to learn, and to seek out those that can educate you…if not in your own neighborhood, than on line, I think would give any child the best chances at feeling connected and loved. ( I hope this has made sense, a bad migraine always messes up the brain for a while, hugs)

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting Lisa. I do agree with you about so many of the points you raised here. I didn’t mean to imply that race would be the only issue a child would face. Every child and in fact every human being, regardless of color, will face challenges in life. Rather in this post I was just discussing race as a particular issue, as we literally have to check off boxes that we will and will not accept. So, we have been thinking about the potential implications of race specifically.
      Also, as a migraine person myself, I really hope you are feeling better!

      Like

  25. Such difficult choices, but the way you are considering then do thoughtfully and carefully show what wonderful parents you’re going to be to any child x

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  26. Good on you for tackling such a sensitive topic. My strong personal viewpoint regarding if a family member wouldn’t like a child of another colour becoming part of the family, well, they wouldn’t be welcome in my house anymore anyway. A child who is raised with love and taught that skin colour doesn’t matter is what’s most important. Unfortunately racism exists and there is no way around it, but teaching our children that it really shouldn’t be should be prioritized on every parents agenda. Like with most issues children may bring home, this is just one you will worry about and one that you can overcome with honesty, respect and by providing support and comfort to your child.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We agree completely with you, if someone doesn’t accept our child because they are adopted and/or because they have a different skin color (both things that could happen with a few family members unfortunately), then they will effectively be making the decision to not be part of our lives.
      You are right about overcoming a lot of this with honesty, respect and providing support and comfort. I think that’s the job of every parent.

      Liked by 1 person

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  29. I just loved all the comments on this topic. I definitely found this one easier to answer than the substance abuse question. If we ever go down the road of adoption, race has never been a big issue in my mind, but I know we would face some challenges with my husband’s family. That being said, I also stand by the fact that I would not tolerate a lack of acceptance of my child. Love defies all boundaries or pre-conceived notions taught my society. My child would be raised that same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing! I too stand by the fact that we will not tolerate anyone, family or friend or stranger who does not accept our child either because they are adopted or because they are of a different race. It simply isn’t an option in our minds.

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  30. I have been meaning to comment on this all week and have been so busy and exhausted in the evenings and haven’t had a chance! I just wanted to say that I think it’s so great that you and Mr. MPB are considering this so carefully. I can’t help believing that you will conquer these issues as you grow your family no matter which boxes you chose because you’re taking the time to really think this through now. It’s true that you can’t predict every issue that may come up and racism is a very real and terrible issue, but you will definitely show your future child/children so much love that hopefully it will balance out any struggles he or she/they may have and help you all cope with anything that may come up. Sending you lots of love and strength to you guys as you work through this. There is no right or wrong answer but what feels right to the two of you.

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    • Thank you so much for your encouragement! We do hope that the love that will occur within our family will outweigh any potential negatives that our child faces whether it be as a result of race, adoption or “normal” children bullies.
      I hope you are doing well – I am so looking forward to your next update as you are getting so close now. 🙂

      Like

      • I have been meaning to update all week and just have been to busy during the day and then too tired tat night o write anything coherent but I will post something soon. I’m thinking I’ll post after my next appt on Monday. Baby and I are good though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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