This week I mail off the last letter and photo updates to the biological mother of my three- and four-year-old daughters. It is the end of a sweet season in my life. I have been writing letters and taking photos with Aris (not her real name) in mind for the past 4 years. She has received more mail from me than any of my own family members and this is the last time I have her name written on my calendar as a milestone in the girl’s lives.
One thing that stands out with Aris and the other birth parents we are linked with through our children, is that none of them has been overly concerned that we are White or about how we are going to teach our children Black culture. We hear fears about it from the larger adoption community, from strangers on the street, and through the media. But never has it been a prominent issue for the African American families (birth parents, grand parents, sisters and cousins) we have met during the adoptive process. When they choose to entrust us with their children they are each looking for something different, but never has it been our ability to raise those children as Black. Or maybe it has, and those birth parents have not chosen to place a child with us. In those situations we may never know the underlying reasons, but the issue was never brought up so I have nothing but speculation to work with.
I believe that the women who bore my 6 adopted blessings were looking for families to love and enjoy their children. They wanted adoptive parents who felt called to protect, treasure and accept their children. This was much more important to them than our ability to teach the children about being Black. I see the halo of birth parents that surround our family as a beautiful testimony of God’s drawing people from every tribe and tongue into fellowship. I am reminded often not to neglect or to overemphasize the color of our skin or the origin of our ancestors. But rather, to celebrate each of our unique identities in Christ staying far away from any idols we have built regarding racial identities.