Choosing to Become a Transracial Family Through Adoption

This post really resonated with me. Our family is made up in the same way and so we’ve had to deal with a lot of similar situations.

Choosing to Become a Transracial Family Through Adoption

My husband and I have two children. Both are adopted. Our daughter is white and our son is black. People will ask us when we decided that becoming a transracial family was right for us. Or they will ask why we chose to be a transracial family.

To be honest, I don’t really think we just chose to become a transracial family. We wanted a family. To become a family we had to fill out a lot of paper work. On that paperwork, there were tons of “Yes” and “No” boxes. We carefully thought over the boxes beside criteria like, drug exposure, alcohol exposure, and cigarette exposure. However, when it came to the box for race, it wasn’t a thought. We quickly checked, “Any Race” and moved on to the remainder of our mountain of paperwork. So, I suppose you could say that was when we chose to become a transracial family, although our first time we just became an adoptive family. The second time we checked the box, we became a transracial family. I guess you could also say we chose to adopt transracially when we accepted a match with black expectant parents.

To me it was never really a conscious choice. I didn’t care what my children looked like. I just wanted to be a mom and love and raise that child the best way I knew how. The second time, I felt the same way and also wanted a sibling for my oldest. My husband worried that having a child of another race might be a constant reminder to both children that they are adopted. We worked through the worry together, but I always knew that we were going to be given the children we were meant to have.

We didn’t really choose to become a transracial family. We chose to be a family. Now this being said, we didn’t go into transracial adoption blindly. We did a lot of reading on the experiences of children adopted transracially. We also read up on skin and hair care. Some of the things we read were overwhelming, scary, and even heartbreaking. We still chose to adopt transracially. We chose to be the family we are. That means when I walk into a classroom, store, or playground with my son, many heads are going to turn. It also means that when I go to a new doctor’s office I might be asked if I’m his foster mom. It means I will refer to myself as “Mommy” loudly when strangers stare. And it means that I have to teach my children that not everyone in the world is accepting of us; everyone will not always view us as family.

We didn’t choose transracial adoption to be special. We didn’t do it to save a child. What we chose was to be a family. We know that our family doesn’t look like everyone else’s. We know that might not always be easy for our kids. But we chose to be a family and chose to love each other dearly and go through everything together hand-in-hand.

This post was originally posted on www.adoption.net.

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Wednesday Wisdom 19/08/2015

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Selective Indifference – Lions, Rhinos and rainbow flags | theFatherheart

In light of the recent uproar about the killing of a protected lion in Zimbabwe, the recent LGBT court ruling in the USA as well as the stories breaking about the Planned Parenthood scandal this is well worth a read. Time to rather put the focus on the sanctity of human life – born and unborn.

http://thefatherheart.org/2015/08/05/selective-indifference-lions-rhinos-and-rainbow-flags/

Meet the Mama Guest Post

I recently did an interview about our adoption story with Jules from Heart Mama Blog. Loved the opportunity to share our story!

Meet the Mama {Marli Swanepoel}

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Marli is a Heart Mama from Pretoria who juggles a being a Mom to her two kids with a part time medical career. She chats to us here about the life-changing journey of parenting through adoption and you can also follow her personal blog here for some more adoption posts. Thank you for sharing your story, Marli.

Tell us a bit about your family

We are the Swanepoels, so far made up of 4 unique individuals bonded together as family not by genes but by the adopting grace of Jesus. De Wet and I have been married for nearly 11 years now, and we have two children by adoption. Nina turns 5 in October and Siya turns 2 in a month’s time.

Did you always know that you wanted to adopt?

When we did our pre-marital counselling, we talked extensively about our future family. We decided then already that we wanted to adopt, but after having biological children. After a few years of pursuing pregnancy and undergoing treatments we decided that we would rather focus our efforts on adoption. At this time we read a book that changed our perception on adoption forever – Adopted for Life by Dr Russell Moore. We realised then that adoption for us was not Plan B, but Plan A!

Did you use an agency or did you go through Child Welfare?

With both adoptions we worked through Social Workers in Private Practice. Both adoptions were seamless and made as easy as possible! With Nina, we actually met her very brave “tummy mommy” when she was about 6 months pregnant. We went with her to the gynae visits and I was in theatre when our precious baby girl was born! On the morning of Nina’s birth we exchanged gifts, and Nina’s biological mom made her a quilt with her date of birth. I know that this is something that Nina will treasure forever. We met Siya when he was 6 weeks old and visited him as often as we wanted to until the day that we could take him home with us – when he turned 10 weeks. It made the bonding with him so much easier. We were also able to meet his special biological mother the day before placement and she also gave us a letter that we are keeping for Siya until he’s a little older.

*Read the rest of the post here.