Wednesday, November 3, 2010

catch up on blogging (National Adoption Month)

As I mentioned earlier, Tigger became ill and so yesterday was spent making her feel better and involved sick day from work and daycare as well as much cuddling and hugging. 

Yesterday I was going to blog about Transracial adoption....didn't get a chance to.  Not sure that my thoughts ever materialized but I'm also the person that if I don't write down everything that is in my brain when I think of it, sometimes it never happens.  So here is my pathetic attempt to write down some ideas that I had and put them together here. 

First of all, what is Transracial adoption?  A basic definition is as follows:  Transracial adoption is the placement of infants and children of one race with parents of another race.  I am completely like an infant in this area of knowledge as I haven't been at this for too long.  After all Tigger is only a year old and cute to boot so some of the more complex issues probably will not surface until later on in life.  While the most common family of transracial adoption happens to be black children in Caucasian families and Asian children with Caucasian families, there are other combinations.  Even Tigger and I are unique as Tigger is multiracial and then got stuck with a loud Cuban family as well so I'm sure we're a fun combo and not the norm.  I was thinking out loud the other day (apparently to myself as I don't have a spouse) that with all the information there is for transracial adoptive families...stuff like honoring culture, incorporating culture into your life, fighting racism head on, there is no neat little check box for children like Tigger that definitely have two or three cultures/race aspects to deal with...I mean what does it all mean?  will this really affect our life?  do I incorporate all 3 races in order to fulfill some expectation either  my own or the adoption world or PACT?  It's a lot to think about and sometimes a lot to ponder. 

In all honesty sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking about it; mainly all the ways in which I can royally screw up my kid.  So what do I do?  Do I bust out the Asian dinner one day while listening to Gospel music and the Beach boys?  Does that earn my 3 check marks of incorporating culture?  Do I ignore and just rely on conversation just naturally flowing?  I asked this question with my online support buddies and got the best and simplest answer.  Are you ready for it? Love your kid, incorporate toys/dolls that resemble her, and build her up by telling her how beautiful she is....oh well that's easy...of course the harder part may come later or maybe not, but in adoption it's just another piece of the puzzle, another part of the spider web that combines into a beautiful design. 

I hope I do my daughter justice.  I hope that my actions and words will naturally build up her self esteem and give her the sense of confidence everyone should have.  I want her to be proud of who she is....all of it (even the part of belonging now to a Cuban family as well), I hope we don't run into situations that I've heard about from my buddies online (horrible racism), but if we do, I hope for grace and candor and a spirit of not backing down...why? because I believe we are all worthy of respect, I believe we are all God's children, and I believe that Transracial families are a beautiful reminder of how wonderful differences can be. 

For better thoughts than mine, please visit a couple of these blogs that I read: 
A nickles worth of common sense
Adoption Talk

And some articles /websites related to educating about Transracial adoption:
14 ways to focus on culture
5 ways to talk to your kids about racism
PACT
Talking to Young Children about Race

2 comments:

Jellybean Mama said...

Thanks for visiting me! I thought I'd come check you out, and found this interesting since I was just thinking about it earlier in the week. If I'd ended up going the adoption route, I had my heart set on saving a little Asian girl (but, sadly, most Asian locations are now closed), and I often thought about how I would have to work extra hard to make sure to include cultural factors/influences in her upbringing.

Here's the thing though - I look at my Asian friends who were born in the US, and you know what? They sure as heck don't do a lot of Asian culture stuff with their kids. Nor do my black friends constantly fret about imparting black heritage. So what was I so worried about?

I wasn't going anywhere with this, really, just that I don't think you should be all that concerned that Tigger is missing out. Although Beach Boys and some Thai sounds like an interesting mix.

DannieA said...

*giggle* about the beach boys and thai sounds.

I know, there's so much information out there...so many opinions and navigating to see what works for your family is just interesting....anyways I'm a follower of your blog now, so can't wait to hear about Vegas :)