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Old 03-17-2013, 03:43 PM   #11
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Re: Transracial Adoption Please help!!!!!

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Originally Posted by crunchymom2b View Post
My aunt and uncle adopted an African American baby (our family is 100% Caucasian) 16 years ago. My cousin is a beautiful lady now; extremely well adjusted IMO. My aunt is very passionate about adoption and trans-racial adoption and knows a TON about this stuff. If you'd like me to put you in touch with her shoot me a PM :-)

Personally I don't know much on this subject; but I went to a primarily white school district. But the handful of AA kids that went there were some of the most popular. So while I would def. look deeper into the school (how many AA/b-racial kids have gone there? etc) don't let that fact be your final decision maker. There are many, many other ways to immerse him in his heritage!
I think this makes perfect sense We will definitely be doing some research! I will shoot you a PM

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Originally Posted by abunchoflemons View Post
Holt international. Holtintl.org has camps that try to touch on all races that started out korean mainly. Picnics & stuff depending on where u live
I will check into this. Thanks!

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Originally Posted by juclark77 View Post
We are Caucasian and have 3 African-American kids. I am not an expert, but I can share what we do for our kids.
We moved to a diverse area from an all-white area.
We put the school age kid in what appeared to be the best of the racially diverse schools. The school sucked, and now we homeschool.
We go to a church that is 98% African-American. The kids are involved in activities there during the week as well. It can be uncomfortable to be the racial minority in church, but it is better for me to be the minority once in a while than for my children to be in the minority all the time.
We started talking about racism at a young age. We discuss slavery and oppression and prejudice against all different groups.
I taught my kids about racial slurs and how to respond before I sent my oldest off to kindergarten.
My husband and I educate ourselves about African-American history, culture, and civil rights issues. Eyes on the Prize is worth watching.
I read all the race related articles in the newspaper.
I am lucky to have made some wonderful AA friends that I like for who they are, not just because it is good for my kids to see me have AA friends.
We have lots of books, music, and art that represents African-Americans.
I have learned how to do the kids' hair. Doing a good job braiding my daughter's hair has earned me an unbelievable amount of goodwill in the AA community.
We gave them (or let them keep) names that aren't totally "white."

Even with all the effort, our kids are still in the racial minority a lot of the time. Society in our part of the country is so segregated, that it really takes a lot of work to create a diverse environment for our kids. Also, there is very little support while making the effort. I have found very few people who understand why I am doing any of this for our kids. A lot of people think that racism is dead and that I must be obsessed with race to go out of my way to connect my kids with others of their race. It can be lonely and isolating.
Thanks for sharing some of your experiences. I think you make some great points I want our new son to have that connection with those who are among his minority group. As a child my father separated from the majority of his family and we lived in a nearly all white community. I would like for our son to have more cultural diversity than I experienced.

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Originally Posted by britsuz90 View Post
I would suggest racially diverse toys and books as well. We have Little People and wooden dolls (Plan Toys, Habe, etc) that represent different ethnicities. We have hundreds of children's books without checking shelves ones that I really like are- A Snowy Day, The Empty Pot, lots of books by Tomie dePaola, and On Mother's Lap.
Thank you for this suggestion!!! I will look into those books and other toys for all of the children.

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Old 03-17-2013, 05:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by juclark77 View Post
We are Caucasian and have 3 African-American kids. I am not an expert, but I can share what we do for our kids.
We moved to a diverse area from an all-white area.
We put the school age kid in what appeared to be the best of the racially diverse schools. The school sucked, and now we homeschool.
We go to a church that is 98% African-American. The kids are involved in activities there during the week as well. It can be uncomfortable to be the racial minority in church, but it is better for me to be the minority once in a while than for my children to be in the minority all the time.
We started talking about racism at a young age. We discuss slavery and oppression and prejudice against all different groups.
I taught my kids about racial slurs and how to respond before I sent my oldest off to kindergarten.
My husband and I educate ourselves about African-American history, culture, and civil rights issues. Eyes on the Prize is worth watching.
I read all the race related articles in the newspaper.
I am lucky to have made some wonderful AA friends that I like for who they are, not just because it is good for my kids to see me have AA friends.
We have lots of books, music, and art that represents African-Americans.
I have learned how to do the kids' hair. Doing a good job braiding my daughter's hair has earned me an unbelievable amount of goodwill in the AA community.
We gave them (or let them keep) names that aren't totally "white."

Even with all the effort, our kids are still in the racial minority a lot of the time. Society in our part of the country is so segregated, that it really takes a lot of work to create a diverse environment for our kids. Also, there is very little support while making the effort. I have found very few people who understand why I am doing any of this for our kids. A lot of people think that racism is dead and that I must be obsessed with race to go out of my way to connect my kids with others of their race. It can be lonely and isolating.
How do you discuss racial slurs with your children? My dd (bio, we are both white but foster AA dfs) is 5 and I dont want her to know about those ugly parts of life. theres a knot in my stomach just thinking about her becoming aware of racism. One day she was talking about her classmates and said that black person, that brown person and i was like what?! Then she said that blond person and I realized she was talking about hair color! The closest thing we have had to a conversation about race is when she asked why Js skin is brown and hers is pink and I said thats just the way god made them just like how auntie maia had brown eyes and I have blue eyes, everyone is different. Because of her special needs we have also discussed how everyone has different gifts and we are all just different. I dont want to turn that into slavery and oppression and all of that heavy stuff. It hurts my heart I dont want her to be burdened by it too.

No one understands my hesitations about adopting outside of our race. I feel very incompetent in this area, I think our community is racially diverse but very segregated for many reasons. A lot of people think if you dont make a big deal about race it won't be a big deal. In my home its not...outside those walls its still very much a part of our lives. I also think that it is a part of white privilege to not see the role that race continues to play in our lives.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:04 PM   #13
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Re: Transracial Adoption Please help!!!!!

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How do you discuss racial slurs with your children? My dd (bio, we are both white but foster AA dfs) is 5 and I dont want her to know about those ugly parts of life. theres a knot in my stomach just thinking about her becoming aware of racism. One day she was talking about her classmates and said that black person, that brown person and i was like what?! Then she said that blond person and I realized she was talking about hair color! The closest thing we have had to a conversation about race is when she asked why Js skin is brown and hers is pink and I said thats just the way god made them just like how auntie maia had brown eyes and I have blue eyes, everyone is different. Because of her special needs we have also discussed how everyone has different gifts and we are all just different. I dont want to turn that into slavery and oppression and all of that heavy stuff. It hurts my heart I dont want her to be burdened by it too.

No one understands my hesitations about adopting outside of our race. I feel very incompetent in this area, I think our community is racially diverse but very segregated for many reasons. A lot of people think if you dont make a big deal about race it won't be a big deal. In my home its not...outside those walls its still very much a part of our lives. I also think that it is a part of white privilege to not see the role that race continues to play in our lives.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

I just started reading this book. I have read through the pre-schoolers perception part of the book though and it is really important to understand that kids see things differently than adults. Kids see color as a simple thing not a race label. It is no different than thinking someone is green because they have a green shirt. You can read the book to get more of the details as I know very little on the subject and don't want to explain it the wrong way. I just bought the kindle addition and have been reading it on my computer. So far I have really seen a lot of common sense in what is written and enjoyed it very much. I already feel like I have learned alot!
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:58 PM   #14
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Re: Transracial Adoption Please help!!!!!

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Old 03-17-2013, 08:09 PM   #15
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Re: Transracial Adoption Please help!!!!!

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Quite honestly, discussing racial slurs and racism with my children makes my stomach hurt too! Luckily, at young ages, they have short attention spans and take in little bits at a time rather than really long, heavy discussions. I believe knowing about racism helps protect them. I read the book N*gger by Kennedy, which is a history of the word and how it has been used. After that, I realized that the word is frequently used in preludes to violence against AAs. I talked to my kids about the word (man was it hard for me to make that word come out of my mouth), and told them that if a white person used that word on them, they may not be a safe person, and my kids should go find someone safe. I explained that AA's use versions of the word speaking to each other and it may be totally different in that context. Hopefully, no one will ever say something so awful to my kids, but if someone if a big enough creep to do it, I want my kids to know to get the heck away from them.

When I talk to my kids about "the ugly parts of life" I try to make it constructive. I point out that race is just a way that people choose to classify one another, not based on people being truly different. I point out that racism can be against people on any color. It is something sinful in the racist person/society, rather than something caused by the people being discriminated against. I know adopted kids sometimes think that they were a bad baby, and that it is their fault that their parents couldn't keep them, so I point out how other parents may love their children, but not be able to keep them safe. I emphasize how important it is for kids to be safe. I tell them that there are no "bad babies." I talk to them about how drugs and alcohol mess up people's brains. I am preparing them for some hard talks that we will have about why they aren't with their first mom and dad when they are older. I talk to them about a lot of hard things, but in other ways I really shelter them. I am super careful who I let babysit them. I don't let them watch TV or movies that are scary at all. Other stuff like that.

It may sound like I am giving them too much heavy information, But kids this age really are not deep thinkers. They take the info in, think about it for 10 seconds, then run off to play legos. The conversations are upsetting for me, but not for the children. They don't have nightmares or get upset about it. Sometimes they ask questions about it later, but it is no big deal for them.

Please be gentle with me if you disagree with my approach. I am trying my best with the kids, and it is impossible to know what is truly the best way. Also, I tend to phrase things badly, so my post may come off wrong. We don't sit around talking about this stuff all the time. Mostly just bits and pieces spread out over the years.
The book I referenced does say not to over emphasize color and race but please don't think that I am taking a hard line against what you are doing because I barely have my feet we on the subject.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:58 PM   #16
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Re: Transracial Adoption Please help!!!!!

OMG i can't imagine anyone saying the N word to a child. wth is wrong with people.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by juclark77
I have learned how to do the kids' hair. Doing a good job braiding my daughter's hair has earned me an unbelievable amount of goodwill in the AA community.
This. AA hair is naturally dry and fragile compared to other ethnicities. It is a lot of work to maintain. Healthy and well groomed hair by nonAA parents is viewed as a visible indication of how much you care/effort exerted in the AA community. A bit shallow and judgmental, but a reality.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:12 PM   #18
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Re: Transracial Adoption Please help!!!!!

i agree hair is important. I know my dfs's mom likes his hair done a certain way. here i thought having a boy things would be easier? even my husband knows he has to make sure to spray and brush it just right before a visit.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:21 AM   #19
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Juclark77- I like your approach. It's not exactly like ours, but I think openness with kids about race and the social implications of it is vitally important. So much more appropriate than pretending kids are color blind.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:45 AM   #20
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Re: Transracial Adoption Please help!!!!!

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I'd love to help! We've been very blessed to have lots of help in this area and its something I'm passionate about.


Chocolate hair vanilla care - a must read website for knowing how to deal with all things Black and biracial hair. There is also a Facebook page wi the same name where people are constantly asking questions, giving tips, and sharing resources.

www.loveisntenough.com

www.rageagainsttheminivan.com

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum - great book on racial identity formation

Some other things to think about are the racial makeup of the church you attend, the school your children attend, the neighborhood you live in, the places you frequent. Will where you live make your child always be the one who looks different?

That's a jumping off place.
i just sat down to explore these links and clicked on love isn't enough (which is a heartbreaking title!) and the first thing there is an article on the 10 most segregated cities in the US. Guess what is #2 on the list? Milwaukee. We live just south of Milwaukee and an hour north of chicago which is also #5 on this list. interesting!
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