Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wanted Ad

Wanted: Friends.  Not just any friends, friends who my family can relate to, friends that my children can look at and feel accepted.  Friends that have grown their family through adoption, and/or friends with an interracial family, and/or friends who are Korean.

I'm thinking of posting the above on Craigslist, what do you think?  One of my great frustrations in the year and a half since our Jack came home to us is the lack of friends who's family resembles ours in any way.  We do have a few, don't think I've forgotten you but we're still lacking a family or two that are a constant in our lives, that reinforces our choices.

I read every article I was told to in order to prepare myself for becoming an interracial family, I went to the training, I listened to every single word.  I took it to heart, I committed to do everything in my power for my child to grow up in a world where he did not feel alone.  In a world where he knew other children that had been adopted, other children that were a different race from one or both parents, or at least a world where he didn't think he was the only child with brown skin out there.

I have run into many brick walls in my pursuit, first discovering that indeed my training was not incorrect in suggesting that Korean families would not be accepting of white parents raising a Korean child.  I do not wish to make generalities, but so far it has been my experience.  In thinking I had met some friends who were just like us...only to have them move far away.  In discovering by moving to the more diverse of our two twin cities last year, I did not move into a diverse school district, quite the contrary, it is one of the whitest schools in our town.

I remember the piece I read on children who are surprised by their race when they look in the mirror, how they always see white faces, their mother's white face, their farther's white face, their siblings white faces, their friends' white faces and therefore forget that they are not white, until they look in the mirror and are surprised and saddened by the face they see.  I do not want that for Jack, for our next baby, for our family.  I want a family where all colors, all cultures, move in and out of this house, where Jack has so many brown faces surrounding him in different roles that he is not surprised when he looks in the mirror, but pleased and confident in who he is, our Korean son, whom is adored.


Nilam said...

You know, while I certainly don't have the experiences with adoption, I do understand what it is like wanting your children to have friends who can reinforce their perceptions about their families. In my case, it has been a struggle to find other families who homeschool and while nowhere near to as fundamental to one's identity as being adopted is, it's difficult when you know that there is a part of your children's lives that looks and feels strange to almost everyone who knows them. I think that it is part of human nature to want to fit in, but if we can teach our children (and learn for ourselves) what a gift it is to be unique and stand out, we will be empowered in life. The person who finally cures cancer, develops the first clean energy source or who solves any of the major problems in the world will not be someone who needs to fit in--rather, he or she will be someone who isn't afraid to stand out and do things differently.

Jenny said...


Good points, it is definitely important that we are all unique, and I hope my children know that they are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that there will never be another person like them.

But I also feel that we are designed with a need to belong. I want Jack to know that he is not alone in his situation or race or skin color, but that he belongs, and a huge part of feeling that one belongs is seeing a face that looks like yours or a family that looks like yours on occasion.

And most of all I don't want him to be confused, I want him to be proud of all that he is, his race, his talents, his family, his faith.