Diversity: the condition of having, or being composed of, differing elements; the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.
I’m sure that some people hear the word diversity and roll their eyes while thinking: “Here we go with this topic.” Why does the word diversity make some folks uncomfortable? When you read the definition above, it doesn’t sound like a “bad word” or a topic that you wouldn’t want to discuss. However, there are still many who do not have discussions about diversity.
Being “color blind” is a term some use to explain that they are not prejudiced or racist. We should celebrate the reality that we are all different. People are comprised of lighter skin, white skin, brown skin, dark brown skin, and black skin. Some people have different hair, eyes, and may wear different styles of clothes and eat different types of foods.
Teaching children about diversity is extremely necessary and important. Children are curious about diversity. Small children do not judge the other kids they play with based on skin color unless someone has taught them to do so. Children may ask you why their friend is a different color than them, they are asking out of curiosity. When that question is asked most parents tend to give the stock answer: “We’re all different” and move on.
Teaching children about diversity and learning to celebrate diversity is a necessary thing to do.
Here are a few things you can do to get the discussion going with your children:
(Some of these things may not be able to be done until the current COVID-19 situation improves)
When your child asks a question about a person’s skin tone or culture, take time to answer them. Let your child know that you are glad they are asking questions. Explain to them in simple terms why people are different colors or why some people wear certain clothing.
When events are going on in your area that celebrate other cultures, take your children to these events.Enjoy the food, dancing, language, and education about a different culture.
Visit museums with your child.If you live in an area that’s not very diverse, try to take day trips to nearby cities and/or museums. Make diversity fun to learn about. Celebrating others should not be a chore.When your child asks a question about a different race or culture that you cannot confidently answer, be honest. Let them know that you do not know, but you will look it up and find out for them. These days we have so many resources available to us online that can help us have the talk about diversity.
Diversity is good. Inclusion is good. Our world is filled with many different cultures, races, religions, etc. Let’s celebrate diversity and be willing to learn about those who are different than us. Please do not worry about getting everything right, the important thing is to start having the conversations and being willing to learn.
I’d love to hear how you’re having conversations about diversity with your children.
Years ago at work I was having a conversation with an older co-worker. We were talking about the company we worked for, life, family and future plans. She mentioned to me that one regret she had was staying with the same company for so long. She was nearing retirement and would receive a great retirement and pension but she still wished she had tried other things career wise. When we were done talking she said sweetie “Life is a journey enjoy the ride”.
After that I would always say that same phrase to her in a joking way. When she retired I got her a mug with that phrase on it. Her words have always stuck with me. At the time my 20 year old self thought there is no way I’m not retiring from this company. Little did I know my journey would change direction. Yes it was a bit scary but I’m grateful for the change. Being able to try a few different career paths before moving from California to the Carolina’s was beneficial not only career wise but also with a huge cross country move.
I had no idea that at the time her advice would stick with me. As I try to figure out certain things in life I keep reminding myself: this is all part of my journey and I need to enjoy the process. The journey may not always be sunshine and roses but that is how life is. Not all can be glitz and glamour. Has someone ever dropped a gem of wisdom your way and at the time you had no idea how it would help you later on? What is the best advice someone has shared with you?
Fitness and keeping moving is IMPORTANT. For me it is a daily struggle and whenever I find folks that motivate me to keep moving and help me keep up with my daily step goals, I am happy. Shay is realistic, funny, AND motivational, she has some of the best dang recipe suggestions.
Here is my chat with Shay the “Fitness Strategist”:
Have you always been someone who is into health and fitness, if not when did you start to be interested in health and fitness:
I have always been into fitness. As a Soldier in the Armed Forces, it’s important to be in tip top shape.
What is the biggest obstacle that you find most women face regarding staying fit/healthy:
The biggest obstacles I see is that most people don’t have the time to exercise or meal prep.
How much time does meal prep take you:
I usually do it on Sunday and it takes about 3 hours.
Mental health and awareness surrounding the topic are extremely important to me. This woman making her-story is doing a great job bringing awareness to a topic that deserves more attention. Ashleigh thank you for sharing part of your experience with us.
Why is mental health awareness important to you:
Mental Health Awareness is important to me because it’s the foundation of our very being. If we aren’t in tune with our minds and attentive to our emotions , triggers and responses to certain situations, our ability to function in society goes down. Educating others through personal experience and research-based tips is my way of furthering mental health and pushing mental health awareness.
Where did the name the black gold series come from:
The name The Black Gold Series came to me while I was a junior in high school. I was sitting in history class and we had to watch one of those long history videos and take notes. The video was about the start of oil, and I noticed how they nicknamed it “black gold” because of the color and because it was profitable, in high demand, and helped individuals reach a certain level of success. I wanted to start a blog on mental health at the time, and decided that would be the name. I wanted it to not only be for mental health awareness for everyone, but to also have aspects that focus on mental health for minority men and women.
What does the book “The Perks of Being A Wall Flower” mean to you:
That book is my all-time favorite book! I first read it when I was in high school and at the time, I had just been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety disorders. Feeling misunderstood and lost because the responses of my peers to my diagnoses was either not taking it seriously at all or hearing the word “disorder” and overreacting. I felt totally misunderstood and struggled to find my voice not just as a person, but as a person with a whole new diagnosis I didn’t know I had before. Charlie the main character in the book, was in a similar situation, and the book showed him finding his voice as a person with anxiety and depression, but also as just a person. It helped me find my voice.
What do you do for self-care / mental health:
I’m a big believer in having a morning routine. This is for both self-care and mental health. A lot of studies show it increases productivity and happiness and I can attest to it, for sure! Meditating in the morning and setting my intentions for the day helps me clear my mind and prepare for the day. I also like to set aside time during my day where I put my phone on Do Not Disturb, just to have a mini break from social media.
What can we do to help the mental health stigma in the black community:
Educate, educate, educate! Many of us are either uneducated on mental health and want to learn or either uneducated and unwilling to learn. Those who want to learn, help them! Give them resources to learn and educate on their own time and be open to asking and answering questions. I also say to know how important our mental health is to our lives and functionality, and how serious it is and should be taken. It’s not just a demon to be prayed away, or a cry for attention. It’s a serious imbalance or illness that deserves attention and treatment.
Who are some mentors that you have:
One mentor that I have is Michelle Williams. I love that she is so open with her journey with mental health and how it should be taken seriously, even as Christians. I also look up to Dr. Kelsei LeAnn, she is a millennial therapist who literally does it all. She does affordable therapy, has a best-selling book, and offers daily advice through her twitter. She’s paving the way for women like myself, and she is my main inspiration for what I do.
What do you have planned for this year to help people with mental health:
I have so many things planned for this year! I’m planning to do more interactive things with my followers so I definitely want to do a mental health/self-care-based giveaway sometime soon. I also have different series planned for furthering mental education such as my Healthy Love series going on right now. A communication series will be coming soon. I’m planning to help with different communication skills for different audiences. In addition I will have a mental health education series for describing different disorders and their symptoms and treatments.
In February you are talking about focusing on Healthy love where can folks get more on this series:
My Healthy Love series is geared toward all ages and genders. The series can be found on my Instagram @theblackgoldseries . I will also have a few in-depth articles coming up on my blog soon so be sure to check it out. www.theblackgoldseries.com
Why do you think so many folks stay in toxic relationships:
My favorite novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has a quote that I love: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I think people stay in toxic relationships because a part of their subconscious believes that it’s what they deserve. Their insecurities along with their toxic partner can lead them to believe that this relationship is all they can get and that this relationship is love because it’s all they will have, and it’s not true. If you’re in a toxic relationship, you deserve a love that fits and compliments you. Coming from experience, You are worthy of that. They aren’t worthy of YOU.
Ashleigh THANK YOU again for discussing such and important topic. I especially liked that you talk about mental health issues not just being able to be prayed away. A motto I myself like to say is “I believe in Jesus and therapy”. Be sure to check out what Ashley sites, you will not be disappointed.
I am excited to introduce you all to Maisha Rush. She is another woman making her-story. Maisha owns a consulting firm, she blogs and home-schools her children. As you can see her plate is full but she is always ready and willing to help others achieve their goals. Here is my chat with Maisha:
What was your motivation to go into business for yourself:
My motivation was (is) the desire to help black people succeed in business.
What obstacles do you see that most black business owners face when starting out:
Usually the biggest obstacle I notice is the lack of knowing where to start. Sometimes even when knowledge is given, it is the lack of discipline to stay the direct course on building their brand. Most times people want to do the easy stuff like logo, website, social media posting. However without the business fundamentals, automation’s, and processes their businesses don’t go much further than a great idea; meaning they never see significant revenue.
Is your consulting firm your full-time job or do you also work an additional job:
It is my full-time job.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working for yourself/owning a consulting firm:
Time. I get to choose what and when I dedicate my time to.
How do you stay motivated:
What motivates me now is breaking the family curse of “just making it” and knowing my children will do more than me.
What is some of the research you did prior to starting your business:
I am a numbers person. I researched statistics on the Black American population vs Black American wealth. The numbers are astounding and that moved me to study those who are and did make it and to pass that knowledge on.
What advice would you give a mom who is planning to start her own business:
You have to have passion and audacity. Without passion, you will grow to hate what you do. Without audacity, you will fail. You cannot be afraid to GO. Add a plan to that and you will be unstoppable.
When a client reaches out to you for a consulting request what is the first thing you do to assure them your firm is right for them:
I am always open and honest with what we can and cannot do. I am an open book and you can pretty much google any aspect of my life. People choose me because I can relate to them and they can trust me. I aim to always be this way.
Do you have a mentor:
Yes. I have a millionaire mentor. He has been my mentor since 2009.
Can you elaborate a bit more on what your mentor has helped you with:
The main thing my mentor helps me with is staying focused on the upward trajectory not the right now circumstances. Business is about growth. If you aren’t growing you just have a hobby.
Being self-employed how many hours per week do you spend working on your business:
About 2 hours a day. On random ideas and ah-ha moments about 4 hours a day.
Do you enjoy being a business owner:
Absolutely. I don’t know what took me so long.
How do you go about networking to get your business out there and recognized:
I am sure to speak at least once a month and I make it my business to show my face at events at least twice a month.
How do you find events to to attend to keep your name out there:
I keep an eye out for getting in circles I am not currently apart of. Dare I say, more prosperous circles. I always aim NOT to be the smartest person in the room. I am always looking to take.my knowledge up a notch. Its beneficial for me and my clients.
How’d you come to the decision to home school:
My children were not being challenged in their curriculum. In addition I did not agree with the way they were being taught as they struggled to “catch on” to things like common core math. Also, as black children, I felt it was imperative that they learned who they are along with their capabilities. Our curriculum is based on how they learn and what interests them.
Can we get a glimpse into your home-school schedule:
Our schedule is pretty flexible since we have 10 (soon to be 11) children. Some of the children like to do their assignments in the morning, some in the evening laying in bed. We do a good bit of un-schooling which allows us to be flexible.
Maisha is indeed busy making her-story. The passion and drive she has towards her family, goals and business is refreshing. If you’re looking to expand your business and need some guidance definitely reach out to Maisha for some resources. As she said business is about growth and to reach that growth it takes hard work and resources. I can’t wait to do a follow up with Maisha about her home schooling. In the meantime you can find this woman making her-story on Twitter at @Rush_Consulting or Facebook .
If you know me then you know that I am always looking for a good podcast to tune into. As I have mentioned before I like all sorts of podcasts. Sports, entertainment, inspirational, funny the list goes on and on. I especially like to start my day off with a podcast that is inspiring.
A few months ago I found a podcast on social media and I hit subscribe but didn’t have a chance to listen to right away. What caught my attention was the name of the podcast “Brunch With Bri” I mean who doesn’t like brunch. When I hit play I was happy to hear such an upbeat voice that was genuine. She was not trying to be overly enthusiastic and it was just like chatting it up with friends over brunch.
Brunch With Bri is a podcast that is always dropping gems of knowledge and motivation. So when I decided to do this series on “Women Making Her-Story” I knew Bri was someone I wanted to chat with. I hope you enjoy our chat and be sure to check out the Brunch With Bri Podcast.
How long have you been podcasting:
The Podcast launched not too long ago, in May of 2019. I come from the radio world before I even began podcasting. Hosting and producing my morning radio show on iWorship 96 FM (The Bri Lee Radio Show), has given me the confidence that I could even podcast. Radio really prepared and groomed me to be comfortable in front of the mic, although podcasting has a very different format.
How did you come up with the name of your podcast:
When God first gave me the idea to start a podcast, it was like ‘Podcast…but make it Personal’–
That meant my name had to be included in the title somewhere, but I wanted something with some “bop in it.” I went the alliteration route, playing off the letter ‘B’ in my name. After a few tries, I thought about where I have had the most amazing conversations about anything and that was during brunch with my girls! And there it was…Brunch with Bri – The Podcast was born.
What is your vision for your podcast now and what was the vision when you started:
In my best Keke Palmer voice, I hate to sound ridiculous but when I first started Brunch with Bri, I did not have a clear vision. I knew I wanted it to be a space to share freely experiences and thoughts on life with other women who would listen. This is why I came out the gate telling alllllll of my business from being a creative to parenting and relationships. I had no clear direction on where I wanted it to go. At first, the podcast was more of a “free” space for me creatively, different from anything I have done in the past. I needed that.
During season one, I came out the gate challenging myself and just “figuring it out.” Listening to some of the first episodes, I think it shows! Haha!
Brunch with Bri, slowly organically developed into what it is today. I felt it on my heart to be an intentional platform to empower women in being their multidimensional selves. Now, at 27, I am unapologetically operating in my full multidimensional self (took me a while), which is why I enjoy being an entrepreneur so much. It is where I can be who I am called to be. Naturally, the podcast followed that and now with a clear vision, it is a personal development and entrepreneurship podcast for women seeking to walk in their purpose through business.
That is my passion. To empower other women to be who they are created to be and to help them get there. The podcast and now blog (brunchwithbri.com) encompasses this mission and I am glad it has the impact it does on the women I’ve met who listen.
What have you done to make sure that vision comes to fruition:
Phew! Girl, first and foremost prayer, because the strength has to come from somewhere. Planning is also a big part of making sure the vision comes to fruition. Writing the vision down helps me to stay on track; Not just writing the goal but writing actionable steps that need to be taken to get there. Writing the vision, also helps you stay the course when life throws things at you.
How did you come up with this years theme especially “breaking generational curses”:
Season Two of the podcast I had much more direction and began interviewing amazing entrepreneurs in the marketplace, sharing their stories, different backgrounds, industries, expertise etc. When planning Season 3, I knew to get women to the place in their business similar to the women they have heard thus far, we would have to go even further back and really teach where to start from the beginning. This is why season three, of Brunch with Bri – The Podcast is entitled the “Biz & Basics” series.
On the business side we learn how to write business plans from scratch, the difference between types of business entities, how to build multiple streams of income within your business and scale etc.
What I have noticed in my own experience, that while much of business ownership is about the numbers, and paperwork, and marketing, a lot of that will fail if we don’t have a strong foundation within ourselves.
On the personal development side, we are really digging deep within ourselves, discovering why we want to be business owners in the first place, what that means to us, how that is impacting our families. A lot of us are entrepreneurs to build a legacy for the future and to undo what we know from the past and break chains, cycles and generational curses of lack.
We are really not coming to play in Season 3.
I love that you include your faith in the podcast can you tell me how much your faith means to you:
My faith in God means everything to me. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. I mean God has really gotten me through some things and discovering my purpose through Him is the number one reason why I do what I do.
What advice would you give a new entrepreneur/a new podcaster:
To the budding entrepreneur, I would say, do not measure your “success” in comparison to someone else’s. Comparison is a dangerous game. Don’t worry if someone else is doing the same thing you are. Definitely do not measure your “success” in comparison to others. Pace yourself and celebrate your achievements at every stage.
For a new podcaster, find out what works for you. Worry less about numbers and more about good content. Before anything else, podcasting should be something you enjoy, and then you can build around that.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your podcast.
When it comes to Brunch with Bri, I am most proud of the women in the community. The women we hear back from are really out here living their best lives, making their dreams come true and overcoming personal obstacles while doing it! It makes me emotional every time a woman tells me her story and how they’ve been inspired by an episode or a show topic really resonated with them. I love the Brunch besties and the community that has been built through this platform. God is good!
What are your top 3 favorite shows you have done over the last 2 seasons:
This is a tough question! I am not sure I can even answer that. My most vulnerable moments might have to be my favorite because it is where I pushed myself the most. I share some really personal things and yes…I have cried on the mic. A few of those episodes happen during season one on episodes entitled ‘Father Figures’ and the ‘You are Not The Father’ parts I and II. These are where I share my relationship, something I have never spoken about publicly until then.
If you could interview a famous person who would it be and why :
Thats funny! I have been around media most of my life and “celebrity” is a weird concept, but to choose someone who is very well known, I would love to interview Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts! I love her work, her transparency, how she has stepped into her calling and are helping women walk into theirs as well.
On top of that she is killing the game as a business women and has allllllll the fashions! In my head we are best friends, that just kick it all the time!
As you can see Bri is indeed a woman making Her-Story! I love that she mentioned not measuring your successes based on what others are doing. We must follow our paths and journeys. Sometimes we get caught up in all the noise and forget to do just that.
Happy New Year! I am counting today as the start of the New Year for me. It has been an awesome two weeks of Christmas, holiday excitement, lounging, Netflix binge watching, and over all just chill time.
Today is the first day of back to work, school and getting back into a routine. As much as I enjoyed relaxing the last two weeks I must say I am happy to get my routine up and going again.
The hardest part of getting back into a routine after a break is the going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. UGH!
How is the start of the New Year going for you? How are your goals going? I have only a few goals set right now. Honestly I haven’t had time to work on them, remember I have been lounging… The goal I am really working on right now is relying on my phone a bit less and using a paper planner. Today is day one of the paper planner and so far I am doing well at keeping my list.
I am doing a January photo challenge on my personal Instagram account (@lalahoov) and so far I am doing well at that. I have started several of these monthly photo challenges but have only finished one before. If you are on instagram be sure to check out the hashtag #cherisheveryday365. It is a cool challenge started by a Lashawn Wiltz and Jennifer Borget.
Happy New Year and hopefully you’re doing well easing into your goals and adjusting to 2020.
One of the places I absolutely love visiting here in the Carolina’s is Daniel Stowe’s Botanical Gardens. I visited the botanical gardens over the summer and loved all of the gardens and the beautiful butterfly exhibit. In July while I was there one of the workers told me about the Christmas exhibits. I have been counting the days to go back ever since.
National Adoption Awareness Month and the topic of race has been a good discussion. I am glad this dialogue is taking place, when this month passes, I will continue to have the dialogue regarding trans-racial adoption. I believe hearing from the people who have been involved in the adoption process is beneficial.
As I mentioned last week, I spoke to four people about a
small part of their experiences/thoughts on trans-racial adoptions. The same
questions were asked to all four people.
The third person I spoke with is a black woman who is a mother of two sons, and she has not adopted. She did share her honest thoughts on this topic. Here are her responses:
you ever adopt a child of a different race? Why or why not.
Yes. As a parent you
have unconditional love for your child. It wouldn’t matter what color they
Do you think
transracial adoptions are a good or bad idea?
Yes and no. In all
candidness it depends on how you choose to raise the child. For example, an African
American child adopted by a Caucasian family that literally has no interaction
with people of color. How do they learn about themselves? How to do their hair?
Which seems simple but if you are raising a daughter our hair is our crown. It
must be taken care of and sometimes it is no simple feat. How do you make her
proud of hair and not envy the straightness of their adopted parent and all the
people that she sees around since she is unable to see a reflection of herself?
For African-American males this is a hard time for them growing up in America. Many of us have seen the newly released American Son and I, too, as the parent of 2 black sons, one of who is college age have had the conversations of what he may or may not experience especially as he attends a Predominately White Institution as his college of choice. My husband and I fear for him. My husband discusses things with my son I simply cannot identify with. Who has those conversations with their sons? Who helps them if they are pulled over or treated unfairly due to the color of their skin and their adopted parent cannot identify with their experience?
However, I believe that if you are engaging in a transracial adoption in culturally diverse areas that it may be easier because you may have more resources to help your children identify with aspects of their culture that you cannot quite understand. That’s just not Black children…it could be children of Hispanic descent, etc.
Do you know anyone who
was adopted by someone of a different race? Do you feel as an outsider looking
in that the child was made to feel as he/she was included?
Yes, I know one. Yes,
she made sure her baby was included.
In the area you live
in do you see a lot of transracial adoptions
I’ve seen a few, but not a lot.
Many good points brought up in her responses. African American children being adopted and not having any interaction with other people of color, whew! Yes, that happens more than we may care to discuss. I have seen this with my own two eyes. Some folks will adopt a child of a different race and not even consider the reality that the child will benefit from being around people of his/her own race. I have wondered how the topic of race and adoption goes with adoptive parents, Is this something they consider?
Hair care is another topic, years ago I was at the store and a white lady who had a black daughter whom she had adopted was in the aisle in tears by the ethnic hair care products. I looked at her and asked if she needed help and she said yes. I helped her find the right products for her daughters’ hair, gave her a phone number to a hairdresser and we exchanged phone numbers. She texted me a picture of her daughters’ hair a few weeks after and she said she couldn’t believe the confidence a new hairdo gave her daughter. Yes its “just hair” but come on now black folks hair is different than Caucasian hair and knowing the basics of hair care is beneficial.
person I spoke with is a white woman who is married to a black man. I love the fact
that she brought up the importance of listening to adoptees about their experiences
and I hope to be able to talk to some adoptees soon. Here are her responses:
you ever adopt a child of a different race? Why or why not.
adopted a biracial child who has the same racial background as our biological
child. As a result, this is not really considered a transracial adoption
because my child was adopted into a family with the same racial makeup as her
Do you think
transracial adoptions are a good or bad idea?
I am pro-adoption, but
I do believe adoptive parents must educate themselves and be willing to make
changes (neighborhood, schools, church etc.) as needed.
should teach a child about his or her culture and help the child connect with
his or her heritage. I know lots of adoptees and I also read the writings
of adoptees. Some adoptees had terrible experiences and others had wonderful
experiences. We should listen to adoptees whether they had good or bad
In the area you live
in do you see a lot of transracial adoptions
Yes, in the city where I love there are lots of adoptees of all races.
Trans-racial adoption just like giving birth to a child is a unique experience, no two stories are alike, I am thankful that folks agreed to share just a small part of their overall experiences.
Race and adoption is not complicated, the unwillingness by some that adopt children of a different race to ensure that they not only teach their child about the child’s race/culture and find mentors for their children that are the child’s race is heartbreaking. Love is love and big part of that love when involved in a trans-racial adoption MUST include the child learning about his/her race.
Just think for a moment how you would feel if you were not taught anything about your own heritage/culture?
“Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.”- Leigh Anne Tuohy
As we continue with National Adoption Awareness Month I want to talk about trans- racial adoption/foster care. I recently asked four people to share their feelings/thoughts on the subject of trans-racial adoption. Three of these folks have adopted or fostered children of a different race. This week I am going to share two of the four responses and the remaining two next week.
The first person I reached out to is bi-racial (black and white). She is a feminist who lives in Southern California and her honesty and concern about the topic of adoption and foster care is genuine. She and her wife have fostered and adopted a child.
This is what she shared with me:
Would you ever adopt a child of a different race? Why or why not?
I have adopted a child of a different race (she’s white and Japanese). I do believe, however, that if an adoptive parent is not willing to understand and immerse the child in their own culture, then they have no business adopting that child. For instance, if a white person adopts a black child, it is their responsibility to take them to a black salon/barber shop, let them learn about black historical figures, and to allow them black mentors.
Do you think trans-racial adoptions are a good or bad idea?
I believe that transnational adoptions should not be initiated unless every other resource has been exhausted. For instance, so many children are adopted from 3rd world countries. Instead of adopting them, our nation (a rich one), could be aiding that country in bettering their resources, like providing actual housing, clean water, and food. Instead, we swoop in on vulnerable nations and take their children away from their cultures of origin.
Do you know anyone who was adopted by someone of a different race. Do you feel as an outsider looking in that the child was made to feel as he/she was included .
I know a few black children who were adopted by white families. Some have been ripped from their cultures and others have been immersed in it by their adoptive parents.
In the area you live in do you see a lot of trans-racial adoptions ?
Yes! I live in Anaheim, California, which is predominantly Latinx. Many of the kids/adolescents in foster care are from the Latinx community, so often times we’ll see kids being adopted by parents outside of their own culture. I think this is great, as long as families are immersing the children in their culture of origin.
The next person I spoke with regarding race and adoption is a white woman who has three adopted children who are now grown. They are ages 23, 30, and 34 years old. She was very open and honest in the responses she gave me.
Here is what she shared:
Would you ever adopt a child of a different race? Why or why not?
Yes.I have 3 kids of another race.
Do you think trans-racial adoptions are a good or bad idea good?
Do you know anyone who was adopted by
someone of a different race. Do you feel as an outsider looking in that the
child was made to feel as he/she was included.
My three were all adopted by a different race and I certainly hope they don’t feel like outsiders…although at times they may when outside of our family.
Do you think people who adopt a child of a
different race are responsible to help teach that child about his/her own
culture or race.
In the area you live in do you see a lot of trans-racial adoptions?
Not a ton but it is becoming more prevalent. Ours are 23, 30 and 34 now.
You said your kids appear as black. Just want to clarify are they black or a different race?
All 3 kids are bi-racial. My daughters both have white birth moms. My son’s birth mom was bi-racial.
Have any of your children expressed interest in adopting children.
My oldest daughter has 2 bio boys and wants to adopt a little girl from Kenya (we are involved as a family in support for World Vision and she and I both visited Kenya a year ago).
When your kids were younger what did you do to help them connect to their culture.
When my girls (now ages 34 and 30) were younger I took them to multicultural events, museums, adoption support groups. Our church is somewhat multiracial (Unfortunately our pastor who was black left recently for another ministry.)
I have to admit that I was not as intentional with our son (age 23). (We adopted him from foster care, and the girls at birth. Maybe I was more worn out by the way he came along!) We did send our oldest daughter to a very exclusive private school for jr. high that had a lot more kids of color than our home neighborhood. We sent our son to a charter school for high school, where white was very much the minority (it was primarily Hispanic and Black.)
I can tell you that both of these women love their children. When I asked them to share just a little bit of information with me they did not hesitate. There is so much more to discuss when it comes to trans-racial adoptions and foster care. I will continue to write about it even after National Adoption Awareness Month. I know that not everyone feels that trans-racial adoption is the best idea. The reasons for and against it are worth discussing.
What I will tell you is that we have so many children who are in foster care awaiting adoption and those children are not so much concerned with the race of the person who may adopt them as they are with finding a forever home. With that being said there is a responsibility for foster and adoptive parents to ensure that if the children they bring into their home are of a different race that they (the adoptive parents or foster parents) are making the time and effort to find ways to teach the children about there culture.
Now I know some may say “Well at least they have been adopted”. That is entirely the wrong response. Even though there are many folks who will say the race of the child they will adopt is not an issue. The reality is that when you adopt a child of a different race there are some topics you must look at from the start:
How will your family react to this adoption? Yes, you are adopting
but this child will also be around your family. Is your family accepting?
Have you looked into where you can find mentors for your
child? These mentors can help you answer the questions about race that your
child will bring up that you will not be able to answer.
Find a local group that of parents that are the adoptive child’s
race and get tips and advice from them. You can find these groups online you don’t
even have to leave your house.
Do a google search for cultural events and take the adoptive
child to these events.
Adoptive parents are doing a child a disservice when they are not doing these things. Adopting a child that is a different race does not mean that you get to bypass teaching them about their culture.
Trans-racial adoptions can work, and they do work. The conversation must continue and the concerns that some have can not be ignored. No matter what the forever homes these children find must filled with love and inclusivity.