Characters from Oz plus a Belly Dancer
What's it like raising a multiracial family?
It has to be said– they’re beautiful. You got it– it’s Love Thursday.
When we set out to form our family through adoption, we did not think about ethnicity. I think we both assumed a child would look like all the other babies in our families– white. Yet, when we began to educate ourselves about adoption, we realized that we did not care about the color of our children’s eyes or hair. We did not need to have kids who shared our cultural identity or ethnic background. We began to explore what interracial adoption was all about and what it would mean to us and our families. We started learning about our responsibility in bringing in kids from another cultural or ethnic background. We decided we were up for the challenge.
When we signed with our adoption agency, we did not say we wanted African American children or Hispanic children; we said we would open our arms to any child. Typically in our state about 40% of children available for adoption are African American and the balance is split between white and Hispanic children; but the vast majority of parents adopting through traditional, non-kinship means are white and seeking a white child. What this means is there is a plethora of African American and Hispanic children available for a adoption. When we signed with our agency we were aware that our statement that we would accept any child in reality meant our children would likely be African American or bi-racial.
Our early decision has changed our family portrait forever. And we love it. We have been widely supported by our community as well as our family. In teaching our children about their ethnic identity and their cultural heritage, we have received an education ourselves. Our family life is so much colorful and exciting because our family traditions have broadened to include other perspectives on life. We still have much to learn, but it has been an exciting adventure so far.