Dealing with Biracial Adoptive Situation
My husband, an African American
(great-grandfather white, much Indian, but prefers to call himself a "strong black male") and myself a Caucasian (my father almost all Seminole Indian
and my mother mostly French and English - but I look very white) adopted our 3-year-old daughter when she was 3 weeks old. We had been married
14 years before our daughter was born.
We have stronger family ties to the black community than with my white family members (even though I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters). When we are together, everyone assumes that our daughter is not adopted. But, hey, let my daughter and I go anywhere together and we'll just say, I am so accustomed to being stared and drilled that I'm more surprised than not when my daughter and I are treated as a normal family.
It really kills me that people want to know so much about my daughter's birthmother. Of course, they always say her mother. I have to honestly think hard about that because those nights when you are up with your child while she is sick or has pneumonia or all those missed workdays because of ear infections. My husband is never asked those questions.
I would gladly change the color of my skin to match that of my husbands and my daughters so that I would not be received as the villain by all races. The whites think that you have abandoned them, the blacks are ashamed that some other race has to help raise their children. "That black pride". Other races feel pity because they think you would have preferred a white child over your black child and don't really get it that THIS IS YOUR CHILD. You are not pretending to love someone else's child.
I have had women, mostly black, follow me around in the store offering advice on how to raise my child. My husband doesn't understand my hostility towards this matter. The last time a very close neighbor of mine, she's Ethiopian, asked me "did I know her mother". I tried to be cordial and tell her that I was my daughter's mother. She kept probing. I told her that I had information on my daughter's birthmother and when the time came, if she were interested in looking for her or that side of her heritage, I would in fact help her. I know I will probably need help a therapist or something or a support group, but it's the right thing to do.
Also, legally, my daughter is considered biracial
because of my husband and I. I always refer to my daughter as African American. I don't want to take that heritage or culture away from her. She will go through a lot of changes in her lifetime and I think the best way to handle things is just to be up front and deal with things as they arise and not waiting for the perfect time. There is never a perfect time for this situation. I won't lie. It's gonna be hard as hell, but I love my daughter as my husband does and we want what's best for her.
I think as Americans, if I were from another country my advice would simply be "get over it". We need to all love one another and respect
ourselves. Lord knows we spend enough time in church during the week. Have we not learned anything. If God would have made us to all look alike, it would be easy for us to love each other. The lesson he wants us to get out of all of this is that we all have to love one another.
White folks need to get a life and learn that they are not better or worse off than any other group. Black folks need not think that all white people are the same and try to ignore ignorant people of any race.
There is almost another race/culture of people out there that is developing. What is important to understand is that we are all mixed. There have been numerous reports of persons that may look and identify with one race, but actually have another race in them. You never know who may be in the closet. In the next century that we are approaching, there is not going to be room for racism. If American's do not get a grip on this thing, we are going to suffer dearly. We are a global nation now and other cultures are excelling way beyond us. As our children grow and go off to college, we want to prepare them. You cannot do that by clinging to those old ideas of "pride in culture". Go to any church in the South on a Sunday at 12:00 and you'll see "the white church" with only white people and the "black church" with only black people. Everyone is praising God, yes one God. But they leave that church and what do they see in the real world, families like my own and they are so filled with rage, yes both black and white. This kind of anger is within both the races.
I could go on and on. The thing for me to remember and as I deal with this is simply to put aside those negative influences and remember that my daughter is my daughter. No one is going to take that away from me. The love I feel for her is genuine. I'm not pretending. I accept her differences as I have accepted my husband's differences for the last 17 years. I respect and love and cherish those differences. I'm certain glad that I'm not in a culture where everyone looks the same (how boring) and things are decided for me. We certainly would not have this kind of prejudice would we. I'm glad that I do not live in a society where adopted children are looked upon as heathens as most other cultures other than ours do. They burn all records of their passed and in some countries, homeless children are killed for tourisms sake.
I also think as Americans we need something to complain about. In most countries people are worrying about survival. They don't have time to worry about whose the Mom or parents, looking different, trying not to lose the color of their skin. Maybe that is God's plan for bringing us all together, is to make us have to struggle a little bit. Sound's crazy maybe, but people just need to get over it.