Friday, March 18, 2011

Color Blind?? and Foster Care Update

I was at the park yesterday when another mom started talking to me.  Come to find out, she is an adoptive mom of a child from Guatemala.  She was sharing with me that, at the age of 4, there have been a few instances where children have pointed out to her daughter that her skin color is different.  I remarked that young kids commonly categorize things...he has glasses, she's tall, he's a baby, she has hearing aides, and his skin is darker than mine.  She agreed that is the case sometimes.  Then she continued to say that one time, after an event had ended, her daughter said that the girls didn't play with her because her skin was different.

Any mom's heart breaks when their child is left out or hurting.   I am quite sure that it will be near impossible to help any of my children navigate through childhood without incidence.   This might be complicated because we will also be a trans-racial adoptive family.  I went to hear a speaker talk about his experience as a trans-racial adoptee.  One of his topics really stayed with me.  He said that families must discuss race openly so that children know that it is okay to talk about what they may be experiencing outside the home.  Parents can be ready to help them process.  He said that by overlooking that the child looks different is like ignoring the fact that a child is a girl or a boy.  He said the world still sees differences in people and we all need to keep the conversation open so that our children aren't trying to figure it all out alone.

Obviously, racial diversity within my family feels normal and comfortable and isn't an issue.  I actually think that it has enhanced my family.  But I am going to try to keep the conversation open about all kinds of issues so that we can try to help them survive childhood....and awful adolescence someday. 

But on a lighter note...
People say that love is color blind and in our 3 year old's case, it might be true.  One day a few months ago, J and JJ were dressed in Supergirl shirts and matching hairbows.  J looked really concerned and said, "You know Mom, people might think that we are twins."  I instantly thought about their age difference and completely different looks that they have.  I smiled.  Then I said, "You know, they might."

A few weeks later, the little ones were next to each other in their car seats and J suddenly stated with a little bit of surprise, "Mom.  JJ's skin is different."  I just replied, "Really, what do you see?"  She thought briefly and said, "Well, mine is this white color and her's is sort of a brown color."  I said, "What do you think about that?"  Casually, she said, "It's good."  Then she was off to another subject.  All I could think was, "Really, it took you a whole year to notice."

I feel like we are new in the trans-racial foster/adoption world and therefore not fully prepared for all of what may come with that.  All I know is that, in general, we feel like we have been very supported by others.  Of course, people may look our way a little longer out of curiosity but as long as no one is rude, I'm fine with it.  If they stare too long, I might just say with a grin, "I know.  We look just alike don't we?"  Oh, I'd be lucky to be that cute.

Update on adoption and kiddo #5:  The court will be meeting again to review the case late May and then if the transcripts aren't ready, they might extend the date out another month or so. URGGGG.  We knew that this was probable but I was hoping that it wouldn't take so long.  Oh well, we are moving forward, just slowly.

As for foster/adopting JJ's sister, this has taken a turn. There must have been a misunderstanding. She will adopted by her foster parent, whom she loves very much.  I restated our willingness to adopt her if the circumstances change and offered support and friendship despite the outcome.  We just pray for the best for each child and family.  I'll keep you updated.


annieglan said...

Julie told me about big J. That took me by surprise because I know how close the foster parent is with her. I wish you luck and am anxiously awaiting to see what happens. Heck, if you don't take her we will. hahah

Krista said...

That is the case and it seems that it may work out for them and we are happy for them. There may have been a misunderstanding but it doesn't matter. We just want everyone to be with the ones they love.