Adopting children

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by JacksonsMom, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    Once we got older when i did the teen camps it was really obvious who was who. But when we were all young, same height, same hair style, same tan it was really difficult.

    I know I met one girl when I was a teen at the Dallas camp I went to who I SWORE had to be my real relative. She was a younger me. Same build, same face, same voice, same taste in music, we had a lot of the same clothes, same favorite movies, same sense of humor, our pets had the same names it honestly freaked me out. I think that was the last year I went.
     
  2. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    Oh I did not mean it in a bad way, I was actually trying to word it like you, it just came out in a bad way.
    I meant no harm in anyway.
    I definitely agree with your last sentence.
     
  3. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    I know, lol. I know it all comes from a good place... and I guess I understand wanting to help a child too, especially older ones who wouldn't otherwise get a home.
     
  4. AliciaD

    AliciaD On second thought...

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    If you (or really anyone) is considering adopting a child of color, they should seriously consider if they even have friends who are people of color. If you don't have friends, or relatives, or a lot of diversity then there are unique challenges to raising a child of color, and not raising them in whiteness. Operating in whiteness is based around the ideology that white is always right, that "good" hair is straight and "bad" hair is curly, that lighter skin is prettier than darker skin, etc it means not seeing or acknowledging white privilege, etc. Just a thought.
     
  5. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    That's asinine.

    That's like saying a single father can't raise a daughter because they are operating in maleness and won't be able to handle the issues the daughter can face if she goes into a math or science major/job.

    There are unique challenges but all those issues you listed are issues of bigotry and racism and not issues based on a white family raising a minority child.

    Also lighter skin isn't always prettier. I'm a race that is suppose to be tan and I see numerous white women who are darker than me on a daily basis.
     
  6. AliciaD

    AliciaD On second thought...

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    OMG! I'm sorry my wording was bad!

    I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT MEAN THAT A WHITE FAMILY CANNOT RAISE A CHILD OF COLOR! Simply that if they do, they should talk about social justice issues with their kid, although really, we should all talk about social justice issues with our kids. And really, many people are raised to operate in whiteness even when they are not raised by white people.

    And I agree, lighter skin isn't always or mostly or usually or often prettier, but that the IDEA that it is is a symptom of operating in whiteness. This documentary is good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE5AaHertOQ
     
  7. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    I see what Alicia means, and it's the general feeling I get from a lot of transracial parents on adoption forums. Heck I'll be the first one to admit I don't know how to take care of AA girl hair, for example, and didn't even know it was such a big deal until I read about transracial adoption.
     
  8. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I don't think Alicia's post was incorrect at all.

    Of COURSE a single father can raise a daughter perfectly fine. But (and while things are certainly changing in this country as far as gender stereotypes and restrictions) I think it's safe to say that a single father, with no female family members and no female friends, who sends his daughter to a school where the teachers are primarily male and she has no female role models, is not going to be capable of raising a daughter to realize how to cope in the "real world". What happens when she goes into work and hits the glass ceiling? What happens when she is suddenly surrounded by women and judged harshly for things the men in her life just wouldn't judge her for?

    I think if a child of color is brought into a white family, in a white neighborhood, where racism is a non-issue for the majority of the people around them, one of two things are going to happen. Either they will grow up feeling as they are the ONLY target of racism around, with no one to understand the issues they're facing, and feel extremely isolated and struggle immensely, or they are going to have a perfectly fine time because miracle of all miracles, this is a very progressive and understanding town and the child is sent to a good school and everyone accepts them and no one seems to notice they're different looking. YAY. Until they go to get a job somewhere, and they have all the same qualifications as the other candidate, who is also black...but lo and behold, the other candidate has grown up being discriminated against and knows that they aren't going to get a job unless they chemically straighten their hair so it looks like a white person's hair, but the other kid's grown up with white people who have had no idea what to do with their hair except for the easiest thing which is braiding it or dreading it or leaving it natural, and now they have no **** idea why that have no shot at that job.

    I hope that made some sort of sense...it was kind of hard for me to type out.
     
  9. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I think the problem is some of these issues that you guys think pop up super often really don't.

    I'm not saying certain times aren't trying but a lot of these issues that have been brought up are HIGHLY dramatized in movies, books and tv. Parents can handle things wrong and individual children can freak out and stress about it for their entire lives. But I'd say the majority of them end up as normal totally functional people, even those who didn't spend hours studying the culture the kids came from.
     
  10. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    Again wanted to apologize if what I'm saying doesn't make sense. One of the hardest ongoing issue I've had to deal with is people's expectations on what I go through. It's not that you are totally wrong it's just some things you see as big issues end up really being nonissues.
     
  11. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Actually I think a lot of the issues aren't things I ever see in the media...I honestly can hardly even think of a movie about a mixed race family except the one with Sandra Bullock as the football mom. I'm just talking about what I see day-to-day, with the kids I've worked with, in school, in psych and sociology and minority studies classes, etc.

    I'm not saying a kid in a mixed race family is automatically going to feel out of place or uncomfortable all the time if the family isn't well-versed in dealing with those issues (although as far as I know it's not very uncommon at all), but issues WILL arise at some point and not every family will be prepared to deal with that. And I think it's pretty safe to say that children who have access to adult role models who have been in similar situations and who are frequently exposed to an array of cultures and heritages (both the one they were born into, the one they grew up with, and others) are going to be more well-equipt to deal with those issues than a minority kid who's shoved into white privilege and left to navigate it all on their own.
     
  12. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    The thing is the parents can head it off when the children are young the adopted kid and the classmates. A lot of the issues brought up do happen but the majority of the time it's caused by adults projecting those issues on to a child.

    An example would be a child at school is asked where they are from the adopted child answers and everything is fine. Fast forward to when you get home and the parent asks if everything was good at school that day and the kid says yes. The parent asks if they are sure and asks if no one brought it up. The child remembers that someone did ask them. It goes from nothing into an 'issue' because of the emphasis the parent *teachers can too* put on it.

    From my personal experience and from talking to a few of my adopted Korean friends today I can tell you a lot of the issues are projected on to the kids based on what parents, teachers, and other adults think we should have been going through.
     
  13. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    From what I've gathered from mothers of AA kids, they get a lot of looks etc. I think it's especially worse for boys. Maybe it's easier because you're Asian? I've really never experienced racism first hand in this country so I don't know how people react. Maybe they insist on the kids knowing their heritage so they feel more accepted by people from their kid's race?

    Kinda reminds me of that Grey's Anatomy episode where Derek is getting pissed off because everyone's staring at him and his AA daughter, he thinks they stare at him because of the race difference, then Bailey tells him it's because he clearly has no clue about how to take care of the kid's hair. Clearly that's specific to blacks, but it's one of those things that I think is important to do... show that you care enough about your child's heritage to do the 'right' thing, you know?

    Apart from that... frankly if you ask me I have absolutely no idea how blacks, Hispanics or Asians live differently from white people. For me they're just people. We have Chinese friends and I never noticed anything different when we went to visit them, apart from the food and the fact that all their family spoke Chinese lol.

    Anyway, it's kinda nice to have the point of view of an adoptee for once.
     
  14. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I get it often enough. Most people are intelligent enough to realize I am Asian so I get asked about math and science a lot. Unfortunately I do fall into the electronic love, 80s music love, anime and video game stereotype lol.

    And living in Oklahoma I get a lot of the go back to where you are from comments. But realistically you just stand up to them. Racism is a form of bullying and you handle it the same way. And as a parent you make sure your child has self worth not just race based but anything thAt is them.

    The problem with the acceptance within their own race thing is they won't be. They can go to their country but they aren't going to fit in they will be tourists.

    Even Asians that live here I have issues with because i wasn't brought up with their culture and even though they are friendly I'm still not one of them. I feel really bad for kids brought up thinking they need to be a part of an alien culture just because they look like those people.
     
  15. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I usually don't speak up on it since it devolves into a 'why don't you want to know your real family?!' and 'let me tell you what I'd do' comments pretty quickly. But I figured a 'knew' people on Chaz well enough to go ahead and speak up.
     
  16. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    I'm bi-racial, adopted as a baby by my super white mom, my dad who is "olivey" skin toned and my parents' biological daughter who is white like our mom. Always knew I was adopted, but never really gave it a second thought ever.

    But looking back, I remember when I was little, I hated going out in public with my mom on my own. It wasn't because people commented on how different I looked from my mom, but more based on how often people said I looked just like my dad. I so desperately wanted people to think I "passed" as my mom's bio-kid too...it just never happened.

    The only time I can remember someone being outright ignorant was when my sister and I went to use a "siblings" pass at a pool. The front staff lady said "you don't look like sisters" and my sister just about tore her a new one. Our argument was "would anyone else but sisters have matching bathing suits?" Lol...but I was so upset after that incident.

    In my angsty teen years, I really struggled with the whole "why didn't my birthmom want me" thing. I have no desire to meet her, and I think it's partly because of that. I know my parents want me and love me, and I never knew my birthmom, so I have zero attachment to her.


    What hurts me the MOST are when a friend says something jokingly "its because you're adopted"...I think this person think it's funny because I don't seem adopted (whatever that means), so she thinks I won't take offence...but it hurts and is so stigmatizing...
     
  17. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I totally agree...it's not just about race but about tolerance and discrimination of people who are "different", be it bi-racial or adopted, either transracially or not, disabled, etc. but these are issues that are very prevalent in adoptive families, be it because of race, special needs, or just looking different than the parents.

    And I agree, the issue isn't just that a kid adopted by parents of a difference race might not feel that they "fit it" with the family, more often it's the opposite...they're also often expected to fit in with the culture their biological parents come from.

    Also, where I grew up it's VERY segregated. It's not uncommon to hear "that's a white town" or "that's a black town". In school, in the cafeteria, one or two of tables had all black kids and one or two tables had all asian kids, one had the latino kids, and most of the other tables had all white kids. And this was a public school where pretty much everyone was from the same income bracket, same area, etc. I imagine it would be a little confusing to be either biracial or a black, hispanic, or asian kid who grew up with white parents and siblings and heard plenty of crap from both sides about sitting with the "wrong" group. Minority kids who sat at the "white tables" got more crap from their own ethnic groups, "traitor" "sellout" "you think you're better than us because you got white friends and family" "to you a *insert various ethnic slur* that hates *repeat ethnic slur*"
     
  18. zoe08

    zoe08 New Member

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    This has recently been on my mind lately, and my husband and I have talked a bit about it and we are both interested in adopting in the future. It would be several years away, if we get to a point where we can afford it. Though I think I would like to adopt an older child like 7+. Fostering is something that we might consider, in several years as we are not in a position to do that anytime soon.

    I really like Yoko's take on the heritage thing though. I definitely think it is great to offer them a chance to know their heritage, but really if you bring an infant here, and raise them here, they are American. I can see that it would be much more important to continue the heritage if you are adopting, say a 10 year old, who would feel homesick from their country because they were raised there. But an infant wouldn't even know the difference.

    I think saying that they need to have people in their lives that are their own race is basically being racist, only it's ok to be racist against white families trying to give these babies good homes. Saying that they need role models in their life of their own race is like saying that we are separated by race, when I thought we were trying to get away from that.

    Yes I can see needing to learn how to take care of their hair and things like that, but if our type of hair or skin color determines our ability to be role models only to certain kids than it seems like we are going backwards in the equality department.
     
  19. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    "Cara, how was it growing up asian in this family?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "Like.. did you ever want like an asian..person.. to you know ask questions to about..being asian?"

    "...like someone to talk to about my math super powers?"

    "shut up. You know what I mean.. like, last year when your mom didn't know how to do your eye make-up for that dance. How did you figure it out without having someone asian to ask?"

    "google. Mom and I found some youtube videos and figured it out, like we do with most everything"

    "But didn't you want like a role model?"

    "I had plenty of role models. You because I thought you were like, really cool before I knew better..Aunt Lissy, because she always was so nice and brought my candy..Mom for being so brave, Sara because she is like, crazy smart, and of course I went through that weird Miley Cyrus thing.. I don't see why I needed a role model that looks like me. Is that what a role model is?"

    .. no. that isn't what a role model is.

    And what that Fran is once again schooled by a very wise 13 year old.

    and LOL at google. I mean, yea.. I forget, kids these days have the internet.

    and ya, she totally said I wasn't cool. Nice lol
     
  20. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    Sounds like she's got it XD.
     

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