Wednesday, May 11, 2011

huh?

so I listened to a podcast today of transracial adoption.  Everything I ever read or hear about transracial adoption errs on the side of negative.  This topic was about how we cannot be "color blind" and we do need to raise our children differently than we would if we had our own biological children.
I am addressing color blind first.  What is the speakers definition of color blind?  Of course we can't pretend that our children are the same color as us. Duh!   However, by drawing attention to that fact and telling kids to expect to be treated differently is insane to me.  That is keeping racism and prejudices alive.  Yes, our children might experience incidents of racism but by telling them to plan on it,  aren't you creating racism in their minds? As well as inadvertently suggesting that they themselves are not good enough. lesser than individuals because they are adopted transracially?  Shouldn't we be promoting how much these parents wanted them?  If and when the incidents occur, address the issues then.  I don't believe in being Naive but I don't believe in helping to create a problem either.  Every person I have heard on radio and TV that were supposedly raised transracially always have a sob story.  But I personally, have spoken to black teenagers and adults who feel lucky to have been adopted.  Why are their stories never told publicly?
which brings me to my next issue.  Why does no one bring up where these children would be if they weren't adopted?  Is being raised in foster care or by a mother that is 13, 14, 15 or 16  and does not have the proper education or maturity or most likely finances  to parent really considered better than being adopted by parents of another race who love these children dearly and most cases waited years to get the opportunity to be parents?  It was stated that now 40% of adoptions are transracial.  I would think with statistics like that things should be bound to get better.  It isn't so odd to have parents of  a different race.
Now as far as raising these children differently than we would our biological children.. may I ask why?  When they are adopted they are legally our children.  When they are adopted as infants they don't know or understand another culture.  Why should we create a culture different than ours?  When someone of German descent adopts  a child of Irish descent no one suggests that they must start doing Irish jigs in their home to make than child feel more comfortable.  Why don't we let these children determine for themselves who and what they want to be?  Teach them with love.  Teach them to be honest, hard working, caring individuals.  Yes, we will make mistakes. our kids might hate us at times but guess what? biological parents have struggles with their kids too.  Did we forget that?  That is why no one says parenting is easy.. adopted, adopted transracially or biological no one can make the calls of how your children will turn out.  Let's not assume we can.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

Thank you! We're planning on adopting a couple of kids and have talked about this subject. My husband doesn't feel he missed out on his Comanche culture b/c he had his own cultural experience being raised by his mom and step-dad(who adopted he and his brother so they call him dad). He wondered if kids of other backgrounds or races would feel they missed out of their biological culture. We feel the same way you do, they have the culture of their parents, just as they would if they were biological. The emphasis should be on how much they're loved and wanted! How grateful their parents are to have them in their family!

Marche said...

Stephanie, this gave me chills! All I can say is AMEN! I love reading your blog, I love seeing the love you have for YOUR children and they love they have for you, I cried listening to the little on sing that song by Bruno Mars, his amazing! <3

LC said...

Lots to talk about!
My good friend was raised by a young single mom. She had a very hard childhood. As an adult, she can't help but wonder what kind of life she would have had,if given the opportunity of being adopted.

On the other side I have a couple of friends who have adopted kids from Haiti--literally rescuing them from child slave labor.
Most challenging experience of their lives but of course their biggest blessing--as I'm sure you totally know!!!
I really admire all of you who open your hearts and give other kids the chance at a better life!
That is just going to bless generations.

Diana said...

Transracial adoptions don't bother me at all. I'm excited lots of kids that would've had a hard go at it are getting a better shot at success -- no matter what area of the world they come from. The only transracial thing that does bother me from time to time is transracial marriages where they have been raised in VERY different cultures. Even a lot of people raised in the states but by their biological parents that are still strongly tied to their own country's cultures and traditions I think have severe cultural diversities. In the case of your children, an interracial marriage wouldn't bother me because they have been raised with the same cultures and traditions as you and Landan. I just think marriages that tie together very diverse cultures face more challenges to stay compatible (because pleasing family and in-laws, whether it should be a part of the marriage equation or not, totally is). Not that it can't be done because I do know happy interracial couples...I just know it's much harder... and confirmed by those people I know. And I just hate in the times where marriages are failing for all kinds of reasons to have one more reason to fail. My roommate from college marriage is transracial. She's very happy, but does admit they face some issues with dealing with different cultures from time to time. But I guess Tyson and I were both Utah-ites and still have different traditions too. So basically I'm talking about EXTREME cultural differences.

Holy tangent. Anyway....I'm proud of you when you air your feelings and I totally agree with you. Your children may research and grasp onto their biological culture later on in life, but they have been taught by you the best principles of life and the traditions you hold dear to your heart. Whether they came through your body or the body of a 15 year black teenager.... they were meant to be your babies and I know you wouldn't view it or treat them any differently because of them being locationally challenged inutero....

Allison said...

agree. well said!

Sher said...

This is obviously something you feel strongly about. Good post.