Excluding Inclusion: Our Shopping Search

August 30th, 2009

Somewhat inspired by the theme of issues related to race as blogged by Mandy W and Robyn C recently, I would like to introduce my story of the search for the newborn Hispanic Cabbage Patch Doll. No, really. I have a story that actually does aptly fit that description. But while this blog doesn't touch on the same issues discussed by Mandy and Robyn, it does discuss some of the implications of the inclusion/exclusion conundrum. Prior to the birth of Bear in 2006 and long before the idea of actually moving forth with adoption flew onto our family radar, I always envisioned a home full of toys, namely dolls in this context, bearing representations of different races. Yet once Bear was born… [more]

Validating Racial Identity

June 27th, 2008
Categories: Biracial, Transracial

I’ve mentioned that our homeschooling schedule becomes slightly more relaxed during the summer months. We tend to lots of reading for the various summer reading programs. For one such program, my oldest son read The Jacket, by Andrew Clements. The book centers on a Caucasian boy who accuses an African-American boy of stealing a jacket. When it’s revealed this accusation is in error, it causes the boy to rethink his beliefs about race and color, and examine his own prejudices. I asked my son about this book. He was able to summarize the plot for me, and give me basic information about the book. However, when I asked him more detailed questions about the meaning of the book, he gave technically correct answers, but didn’t seem to… [more]

New Report on Adoption and Race Released Today

May 27th, 2008
Categories: Transracial

A report released today by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute suggests that minority children are not best served by what they term a “color-blind approach.” Citing statistics that show over 50% of children waiting to be adopted are children of color, the Institute recommends the Multi-ethnic Placement Act be amended to include race as a factor to be considered when placing children for adoption. This is an adoption “hot-button” issue, emotionally charged, and with serious ramifications. On the one hand, no one disputes the fact that there are children now, who need stable homes now, regardless of the color represented in that home. The argument is that stability, of any flavor or stripe, is better than abuse or neglect, and this is true. However, as a bi-racial… [more]

They Shouldn’t Allow Blacks in Here

April 5th, 2008

It was bound to happen. We can all pretend that racism is a thing of the past, yet we know in our hearts that it isn’t. We were told during transracial adoption training that it would happen and that we needed to prepare our children for it. Of course, we didn’t think it would really happen to us. It may be especially difficult for those of us raised in Midwest, middleclass, suburbia to accept. We were never exposed to racism growing up because we weren’t exposed to people of other races enough to say so. My high school had three blacks in attendance and two of them were actually biracial. I guess I am a little more prepared than my friend was today for negative comments… [more]

Poofy Hair – AA Hair Care for Adoptive Families

April 8th, 2007
Categories: Transracial

girls“I have poofy hair. It’s hard to comb out. When you go swimming, it’s really hard to comb out.” These are statements that my daughter wished to share today. In this photo, she is third from left, clearly the child with the poofy hair. Nicole is a biracial 10yr old girl with gorgeous medium brown skin. She has a great amount of tight, curly, frizzy hair. Her preferred styling method is the giant pony tail or "cocoa puff". Adoptive mom has pale and pasty skin. She has straight, medium brown hair. Clearly, mom had no intimate knowledge of working with “cocoa puff” hair prior to this adoption. Adoptive mom (me) picked up 7yr old Nicole and brought her home to live forever.On the first night, I sent Nicole to shower… [more]

Cultural Awareness: An Everyday Life Experience (part 2)

April 5th, 2007
Categories: Transracial

ethiopian childrenContinued from part one. A trip through the social studies section of our teacher supply store this afternoon left me with a renewed awareness of cultural differences. Do I expect there to be a plethora of information about every single country inside of one teacher supply store? Of course not. Would it be nice if there were readily available resources that included Ethiopia (not such an “oddball country” that it doesn’t deserve at least a reference)? Sure. Was my true disappointment that the available resources (with current copyright dates) did not have truly accurate information to share with school aged children? Absolutely. My Ethiopian-born daughter feels “different enough”. If she could occasionally run across routine… [more]

Cultural Awareness: An Everyday Life Experience

April 5th, 2007
Categories: Transracial

ethiopian childrenThis afternoon, I found myself at a teacher supply store to search for math books for some of my home schooled girls. I had three teenaged kids with me, including Helen who arrived to America from Ethiopia two years ago. After we’d found the needed math books, we looked around the rest of the store. Caroline found some great art books. Ryan wandered off and amused himself playing Blokus while he waited. Helen and I, after reminding each other that “we don’t believe in science”, skipped the science section and looked through the “social studies” section instead. Naturally, the books about Africa or books about “Traveling Through World Cultures” drew her in. What I noticed, browsing alongside her… [more]

Remembering Russia

October 26th, 2006
Categories: Transracial

I purchased this Language Little Anna Doll for my daughters Birthday. It’s a tad pricey for a doll but I really thought it was a great idea. She speaks both Russian & English. Several people asked why I got it? Why would I pay so much for a doll? Why was I trying to teach her to speak Russian? I guess I got it because it is a way to show her we respect her culture. She is Russian. I hold Russia dear to my heart because my family was created there. Imagine giving birth in a country other than your own, wouldn’t you always remember it? Imagine spending a month in another country and at the same time you are about to become a… [more]