Some quick “noticings” from my week- The stuff I wish I said when I heard/saw/was asked certain things….
My son was not picked or chosen. He is not a dog from an animal shelter.
My son is not lucky because he was adopted. That minimizes his personal story and puts his current life (and us) on some sort of pedestal. Maybe he doesn’t feel lucky and that’s okay.
I am not “kind” because I adopted my son. Kindness has nothing to do with it and my son will one day hear you say that and may wonder if I’m parenting “out of the kindness of my heart”. I have never once heard a bio mom be told she’s kind for raising her child.
I am my son’s real mother. His birth mom is real too.
My son IS beautiful. But not only because he’s Black and you don’t see Black people a lot. Say it once. You don’t have to say it over and over. Do you know what fetishizing is? Are you convincing me he’s beautiful? Yourself? Are you shocked? It’s weird.
I see you smiling at us. So does my son.
I see you shaking your head and scowling at us. So does my son.
“I always wanted a Black baby!” My child is not a commodity to be exoticized. He is not an object. Saying “I always wanted a red convertible”- that’s one thing. Saying “I always wanted a child” seems okay, but attaching race to the statement is not okay with me.
What do these statements say about adoption? Race relations? Privilege? My own privilege? Simply being able to adopt a child represents a level of privilege that is not open to all. I am very aware.
Ask me questions. Ask my son questions. Ask us all you want. I beg of you- ask. ask. Ask. But- Respect our boundaries, our privacy, and his story.
I write this not because I’m defensive or angry or hurt- I write to raise awareness, to start conversations about transracial domestic open adoption, to educate, to love, and above all to protect and advocate for my son.