I have friendships with several families who happen to be white and have happily adopted African American children. This past summer I met a wonderful mother by chance at our local swimming pool. What struck me was her warm smile and how much she cared for all of her children.
She and her husband had adopted two beautiful boys from Haiti. She was drawn to my energy and asked me about my thoughts on our community and whether I thought her children would be accepted here. This led me to think of 4 important lessons and some helpful advice to transracial adoptive families.
1) Family is not always blood. As the saying goes, an adopted child was born in your heart. No matter the journey that you took to achieve the best job of motherhood, you’ve earned it. Loyalty is key to your child. It simply doesn’t matter and you don’t need to justify that to a complete stranger. Say it loud and proud, “This is my child.”
2) Acknowledge your child’s identity as different than yours and embrace it. You don’t need to be an expert in black history or African culture to recognize your son or daughter’s heritage. Your child should be celebrated as your child first and the rest will fall into place.
3) Have empathy. Understand their struggles are yours too. Any parent can understand the pain of a child that feels rejected or bullied. Yes their struggles will be tough but you need to advocate for your child no matter what.
4) Confidence is key. Always tell your child how much they are loved every day. Always encourage your child to be confident in who they are and to know that they are beautiful.
I found a great resource on the Circle of Moms Blog that lists the Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Parents. There are some really touching stories to read about transracial adoptive families. #ontheblog #transracialfamilies