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!