Sometimes we forget that our adopted child is different from us. We're just a family - but it's true that he doesn't look like us. There's so much out there about acknowledging and recognizing the differences - celebrating them, even. But we honestly forget! Hohw harmful is that?
I couldn't agree with you more Denalee. I think it's important to acknowledge and embrace our differences as well as build bridges to create strong relationships. Celebrating differences can add excitement and strength to our relationships.
I think it is GREATLY important to acknowledge the differences. Because in acknowledging, you are voicing that it is not shameful. You know? Like just saying little things like, "I sure love your 'curly hair'" or something like that. Or, "I think your brown skin is beautiful." Or, "That man has the same hair type as you!" or something. You know? Because they may be thinking it but afraid or feeling unsafe to speak it. I have spoken with many adult adoptees whose parents never really talked about or acknowledged the difference and the silence spoke shame to them. And your heart seems beautiful! From what I can tell, you aren't in a place of seeing the differences as shame but rather just forgetting. I think it is a responsibility as us as parents to remember to celebrate and talk about our differences, because of the sweet uniqueness. Your child may be thinking about it way more than they bring it up. Just some thoughts from a white mama raising a brown son :)
I think it's important to find a balance. More than anything, a child wants to belong, and it sounds like yours does! I think problems emerge when parents actively ignore differences and/or refuse to acknowledge them. That could certainly set up a child for confusion and identity distress.