Posts Tagged ‘ domestic ’

Adoptive Mom Surprised by Rude Racial Comments

Monday, October 10th, 2011

When Memphis mom Nikki H.  and her husband Jacob adopted Joshua, nearly a year ago, she was met with some strange responses. She said, “People always look. Always. Some people have stopped to ask the oh-so-scary-because-what-if-I’m-wrong question, ‘Did you adopt him?’”

Many folks just openly stare rudely, Nikki said. “Both Jacob and I are white and Joshua is black. We became a multi-racial family when we adopted Joshua in March of 2010.”

 “He is our chubby, cheeky, talkative, mobile, crazy, wonderful, precious, beautiful son.”

The couple had immense family support throughout their adoption journey as well. “Our families have been the definition of acceptance and love throughout our adoption journey. Never once has the difference in race been an issue within our extended family. We are truly blessed. Joshua is loved fiercely by his grandparents, aunts and uncles.

But there are frequent occasions when education is necessary. Nikki said, “I had a friend ask me how tall his ‘real mom’ was and I replied, ‘I’m about 5’3.’ You see, I am his real mom. I don’t expect everyone to speak ‘adoption-ese’ but I don’t hesitate to correct them either.”

Nikki remembered, “The night we brought Joshua home, we invited only our parents and siblings to meet him. I remember just sitting there, soaking in the memories of each family member holding Joshua for the first time, cherishing him, kissing him, and telling him how much they have loved him even before they knew him.”

Today, Nikki would like to think that adults still stare at this little family simply because they are memorable — and beautiful. “We are memorable but in a good way.  We recently had a grocery store cashier remember us many months later because we do stand out in the crowd.  Standing out is not always a bad thing.”

Transracial adoption is most commonly defined as “the placement of infants and children of one race with parents of another race,” Nikki explained to me. “When the world looks at my family in the store, at the doctor’s office, or waiting in line for ice cream, they probably see a black little boy with a white mom and a white dad. But, when Jacob and I look at Joshua, we only and purely just Joshua, our son.”

Photo Credit: Nikki, age 27, husband  Jacob, age 29.  Joshua on the night they first held him!  

That is one lucky family right there. Thanks, Nikki, for filling me in on your beautiful life with little guy. Follow her for Joshua updates!

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Investigating the Foster Care Adoption Process

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Husband Darrin and I have received several rather profound “no” responses when it comes to international adoption. We’ve wanted to add an orphan toddler to our home, along with son Sam, 5, and our 100-pound pit bull, Blu.

(Can I use “orphan?” Is that PC? I’m learning so much about adoption jargon!)

Three helpful international agencies we interviewed checked within each country’s program  and explained that we are too old (we’re 45 and 46, respectively) and too poor (with too many health problems!) to score a perfect, healthy baby from China, Haiti, Ethiopia and a couple others.

Two of the three agencies did not want to waste our time, and they urged us to seek a domestic adoption working with a Los Angeles County foster-to-adopt program.  They suggested that becoming a foster family might be an efficient route to toddler adoption for us.

So…

While Sam was in summer camp this month, Darrin and I drove to a dimly lit, air-conditioned office in Culver City along with 60 or so other couples, singles and adults of every race, and filled out piles of paperwork.

We sat up front because we were running and those seats were open. Most of the hopeful adoptive families in the room were Latino and African American, and I wondered if the fact that husband Darrin and I are obviously Caucasian might send us to the back of the line.

We learned what it was like to become foster parents to an at-risk toddler within the county system, and the info was helpful but scary:

  • Most of the kids in the Los Angeles Country foster care system suffer some kind of special medical, emotional or educational need
  • Most are older and part of a sibling group
  • Many can no longer live with their birth families due to abuse and neglect

I’ll fill you in on more details on Friday, after I emotionally process our visit. I found it somewhat intimidating and the country speakers told us of the huge need for foster parents…  I copied this poem into my notes to calm myself down:

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.”

– Hodding Carter Jr.

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