May 2, 2008

Transracial Adoption: Talking about our extended families' response.

When we began adopting transracially, our families were very alarmed, and they didn’t hesitate to tell us. They were concerned about us being naive and unrealistic. About our ‘perfect’ one-boy-one-girl family being rocked so hard that it would be destroyed. They pointed out that with college expenses rising we couldn’t educate more than two -- and most of all they stressed the fact that we were not black and therefore couldn’t parent kids who were!]
Not everyone was actually against us adopting, but there were sure a lot of concerns being voiced and it made me sad and unsure for a season.

DorthyBodewithherchildrenThat was 8 years, 6 adoptions and one pregnancy ago. Now when we talk about adopting again they shake their heads and say “I don’t understand you,” or “aren’t there other families waiting?” Or the one that makes my teeth grate “You know, you are exasperating the problem by adopting them.” Really? So not adopting will solve the situation? (Notice the amazing restraint I am showing here by not going into a personal tirade even as I type those last few words.)

My husband and I have been hinting for the past few months that we are looking forward to updating our homestudy soon. This provides another opportunity for the negative comments to flare up, as well as a chance for the positive to surface. I am the mom of kids from three different ethnic heritages, and I want to encourage you who are getting the negative from the world: I want to tell you that the positive from God is stronger. My children are beautiful; from lightest to darkest they are exactly who and what and where God has planned them to be. For those of you who are being harmed by negative words today, may you be blessed with a thick skin against the comments based on others' fears -- and a thin and tender skin to receive the blessings and encouragements that will also come. Welcome to the journey!

0 comments on “Transracial Adoption: Talking about our extended families' response.”

  1. Thanks so much for this encouraging post. We are in the process of adopting again and we too have felt the wag of fingers at our thoughts of adopting across racial lines with an African American child. It was so timely to read your words and to know that the Lord is using your experience to minister to those of us just starting out. Good word about our skin being thin and tender to the Lord.

  2. Thank you for such heartfelt honesty. The Lord continues to bless my heart through your words. We are in the adoption process for the second time and this time we are hoping to adopt across the racial lines. The first comments from some extended family members were less than encouraging. This made me feel quite insecure. As my husband and I have kept going to the Lord about it, our peace continues to be steadfast. An online community of support such as I feel from you helps more than I can express.

  3. Thank you for the words of encouragement. You are an inspiration! May God bless you in your obediance to Him!

  4. Thank you so much for your post. We are getting a little boy placed with us at the end of the month, and we are so excited. We are praying that all will go well so that we can adopt him. This is a county foster/adopt situation, and the little one is part Caucasian and part African American. I do worry a little about how he will be treated by some of our friends and family, but I know that for the most part, he will be genuinely loved and accepted...especially since we have been praying for him for so long!

  5. I want to express my sincerest gratitude for your honesty. I am overcome with emotion as I read your story and know I am not alone in my situation. I am coming to the realization that we will have friends and family who don't understand why we are doing what we are doing. Thank you for your encouragement to be tough when dealing with the critcism, but ever tender with the blessings God has given to us.

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