March 26, 2008

Transracial Adoptive Parenting: Even 'The Talk' is affected

It’s been a long week, with more than the usual adoption issues to deal with and more than the expected number of stares and comments from strangers. I sat down on Tuesday to have the ‘Where Babies Come From,’ discussion with my three oldest kids and realized that even there I have to think through and pray over what I teach. We have always discussed the fact that some of our babies were carried in my body and some were placed into my arms after they were born. No problem, everyone in the family gets that one. Just like they understand the basic ideas of genetics and why we have so many different skin tones in the family.

This week we started in on the conception part of the discussion and I found myself stalled at the reality of what my teaching about abstinence might emotionally mean to my adopted children who were all conceived out of marriage. I actually had to stop the lesson because I realized that I needed to speak intentionally so that I didn’t give the wrong messages to my children about their births being a ‘mistake’ or a ‘problem’ while at the same time not endorsing premarital intimacy. When we adopted I never thought about how these basic things would affect our daily lives. Who thinks about pre-teen abstinence talks when adopting a baby or child? Not me! Thank you, God, for revealing these things to me slowly so I can catch up and have plenty of time to pray over them!

0 comments on “Transracial Adoptive Parenting: Even 'The Talk' is affected”

  1. Thanks, Dorothy! This is no small opportunity to make much of the grace and wisdom of God. As I was driving my daughter to school this morning, I was thinking about how we adoptive parents may use this particular issue to turn our adoptive children's minds and hearts not merely to consider the circumstances of their conception but primarily the good that our all-wise and gracious God has brought and is bringing out of it.

    Three bibical characters came to mind: Tamar (Gen. 38; Matt. 1:3), Rahab the prostitute (Josh. 2:1 and Matt. 1:5), and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11 and Matt. 1:6). All three women are listed in the geneaology of Jesus the Messiah. Matthew lists Tamar but doesn't mention anything about the story of her pregnancy. Everyone in Matthew's intended audience would have been well aware of the circumstances of her pregancy, though. He lists Rahab but doesn't say anything about her pre-Boaz past. But, again, everyone reading his Gospel would have been well aware of it.

    But with Bathsheba Matthew writes, "And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah" (1:6). Matthew puts it out there for all to read; and in so doing He shines a spotlight on the wonderful thing God brought out of these situations, namely, Jesus, the one who came to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). One of the things that I think is incredible about Matthew's presentation of Jesus' geneology is that there's no attempt at cover-up. One lesson Matthew's geneaology teaches us is that when God's grace and mercy is at work, there's no need for cover-up. These situations become an opportunity to make much of Jesus, who not only can sympathize with our sordid past because of his geneaological past, but also works for our great good (and the great good of others) through them. This is good news.

    Thanks, Dorothy, for your transparent sharing. It has served me well this morning as it provided me with the opportunity to rehearse the gospel in a way I would not have today otherwise.

  2. HI Dorothy,

    This is a great story. I am trying to find out what type of support exists for families that adopt transracially.

    Do you have any information?

    Thanks, Brandi

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