I’m going to say something that may be controversial these days: Feelings and experiences from everyone in the adoption triad matter. Adoptee voices should not be silenced. Birth family voices should not be silenced. And adoptive parents should not be silenced. Everyone in the triad should be able to express the love, heartache, and difficulty in adoption.
There’s a great trend right now of amplifying the voices of transracial adoptees. There are several amazing adults who are sharing their experiences as transracial adoptees, including what it’s like to be a person of color in a white family, what their parents got right, and how they could have been supported better growing up. I am so grateful for this vulnerability, that these experiences are being shared, and that parents like me can learn from their stories.
A few adult transracial adoptees to learn from
These are just a few of the women of color I follow and learn from who are adult transracial adoptees:
Torie Dimartile: wreckageandwonder.com
Hannah Matthews: hannahjmatthews.com
Angela Tucker: angelatucker.com
But I see adoptive parents misinterpreting what many of adult adoptees are trying to do. They aren’t bashing their parents. Instead, these incredible women and most of the adult adoptees I follow are using their platforms as a way to connect with other adoptees and to educate us adoptive parents as to how we can support our children. And I will listen to these voices and learn from them over and over and over again.
No one said parenthood was easy.
Being a parent is the most selfless act you can do. Regardless of how you became a parent, you are entrusted to love, care for, and keep your child safe. They depend on you. Love is unconditional and selfless. And one way I love my girls is by learning from people who look like them, who have experience growing up black in a white family, and listening to how they could have been better supported growing up.
Don’t get me wrong. Adoption is tough for us adoptive parents. It’s not easy having to be your child’s therapist, coach, cheerleader, doctor, teacher, chef, advocate and all the things all at once. But that’s parenting. Regardless of you become a parent, you are expected to support and love your child in whatever way they need.
Do your experiences, feelings, emotions, and thoughts matter as a parent? Absolutely! Do you still need to take care of yourself? You better believe it! If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t care for anyone else. But being a parent means that you give your child the support they need, even though it can be exhausting, aggravating, frustrating and maddening.
Let’s support our children, even though it means you will make mistakes. Let’s love our children the best we can, through our faults and all. And let’s stop judging persons of color. Instead, us parents who have adopted transracially need to sit back and listen to what adult adoptees have to say. We could learn a thing or two from them.
In May 2017, Chris and I became parents to our three daughters. We are forever learning how to best support our three black daughters as we navigate life as a transracial family through adoption.
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