Tuesday, March 17, 2015

-isms: part 1

There are a lot of "-isms" we're grappling with while also coming to terms with the fact that we're becoming parents. But the most egregious one we're facing these days is racism. (Yes, we've gotten a number of racist comments and questions, already.)

Our daughter is Chinese. She will be raised to know that she is Chinese. We will raise her as an American, because we are American. But she will know she is Chinese. We will give her every opportunity we can to explore her Chinese identity. And we expect everyone that we share our lives with to understand and respect that.

Here's an excerpt from our agency: "Sometimes families hope that by adopting from an Asian country, their child won’t have to deal with racism or racial issues as an Asian in the United States. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even “positive” stereotypes can be very hurtful. Many children who are adopted transracially deal not only with identity issues related to adoption, but also identity issues related to race."

And here are some recommended books:

We can only hope our daughter faces less racism (than Tatsuko and her family) as she gets older and people of color become the majority population (hallelujah!). We encourage all of you to get educated about transracial adoption and consider what our child will be experiencing as she grows up outside her country (and her family) of origin. At some point she's going to have an identity crisis (or more than one if she's anything like her adoptive parents), and we hope all of you will be there to help us support her in exploring how she identifies and how that might change over time. 

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