Thursday, February 10, 2011

Married White Couple seeks Black Friends

Okay, so a question has been weighing on my mind.

Is it fair to adopt one black child into a white family with bio children only? I don't know...

Is it better for that child to have a white family than no family at all? I would hope so...

So, I think to myself that it will be fine as long as we surround this child with others that he can relate to... S/he needs peers and adults that they can look up to and that can council us on hair and skin issues etc. While I am master at research on the inernet, I cannot provide the knowledge of the experience of being black in a white world. That is something that only a black person would truly understand. I try... I really do. I read about this every night. But I know it will not cut it.

We live in a small town. There are 2 biracial (black/caucasian) children in our school. 2! I love this school though and my other children attend and love it as well. I know that the public school would likely have more diversity. However, the reason I choose this school was because it lacks any bully nonsense. It is a really close knit, religious school. I digress. The point is that we do not have any "black" friends. There are a few African adopted children in town whom's Mom's I know (and hope to get to know better) - but I honestly do not know one African Canadian adult!... in fact I can't ever recall seeing a black female adult in town.

I know that it would only be better for a child to grow up with someone else they can relate to. Someone adopted, someone black... A sibling perhaps? However, at what point can we extend this? 2 kids are expensive, never mind 3. 4 would mean that vacations would now be limited to driving distances, as airfare and accomodation is not feasible for a family of 6. 4 would mean that all activities would have to be cut down to 1 each/ term. 4 simply means a lot of things that we can no longer have and it also means that our time will now be divided by 4. Where do the scales tip... with the loss of so many things for our children on one side but the gain of 2 siblings on the other? I'm not sure, but my heart is heavy for the poor child who feels singled out everytime he looks at the family portrait.

I have said this before, and have tried not to give it too much thought - as I know it's highly unlikely. Twins would be the easiest scenario to adding 2 siblings to the equation. Twins mean the same homework tasks, the same pick up and drop off times, the same activities at the same time, sharing a bedroom etc... it really would just make everything easier than having 2 sibling of different ages. So for now my thoughts remain - 1 or twins... and in the interim, we need to locate a more diverse group of friends!


Anonymous said...

My husband and I are adopting from the Congo also and as an African-American, I just wanted to say I appreciate your honesty. I am so glad you see the need to develop relationships with "Black" people for you and for your daughter. I really like that their are so many transracial adoptions but I hope that "white" parents of Black children approach it with your humility. I don't want to give a you a quick-fix solution but I just want to encourage you to seek out relationships with Black women, continue this journey to find good "Black" role models for your daughter. 

We can learn a lot from each other. (Too bad I'm in North Carolina)

Denise said...

Hey! Stumbled on your blog through my own (Pressing In) and this post caught my eye. This is something we have wrestled with since our daughter came home 3 years ago. I wondered at the balance of feeling like I was stalking people because of their skin color but really wanting to put myself out there to make friendships that would benefit our daughter (and of course us as a family as well). It takes time, but finally we feel we have some more diversity in our friendships. It has taken us really putting ourselves out there, and lots of praying... and now that my daughter is a very outgoing 3 year old with no personal boundaries at all, she is the one to initiate conversations with other black people! I love it :) She already (at barely 3) recognizes the difference in skin color and seems to seek out people who look like her. Good luck as you work this out in your own family.