Do you have the best intentions to raise your adopted child in the best possible way you can? If so, you’re like most of us adoptive parents.
In the case of international and transracial adoptions, the intentions can multiply, as do the mistakes made by parents.
The book is organized according to these ten reasons, so I will list the chapter titles and gloss each one:
- Wiping Away Our Children’s Past–a child who is adopted is not a blank slate. She comes with a past, including the past before she was born.
- Hovering over Our “Troubled” Children–don’t pathologize your child.
- Holding the Lid on Sorrow and Anger–allow and encourage the expression of emotions in your home and don’t show your child that you don’t accept emotions or have to be protected from them.
- Parenting on the Defensive–if you’re defensive, you’re going to come off as angry at the child. You might do something dumb like tell her she ought to be grateful. See my recent grumpy post about that subject.
- Believing Race Doesn’t Matter–of course, race matters. We live in a race conscious world. Saying “I never see Lauren’s race” isn’t doing her any favors. She has to learn to live in the world the way it is. And her race is something to take pride in–not to ignore.
- Keeping Our Children Exotic–This is where sometimes people think “exotic” = cute. Your child isn’t an exotic pet. Need I say more?
- Raising Our Children in Isolation–Children need to be raised in a diverse community. This is healthy for all children, no matter their race or if they are adoptees or not. But international and/or transracial adoptees, need this even more. This is the one where my husband and I most let our kids down.
- Judging Our Country Superior–How does that make a child born in another country to people of another nationality feel pride and instill self-confidence?
- Believing Adoption Saves Souls–if you follow this logic to its conclusion you learn that God intended for your child to be torn away from her birth parents, culture, history, genetics, etc.–all to save her soul. How will that make her feel about the religion you bring her up in? Or about herself and her natural emotions?
- Appropriating Our Children’s Heritage–This is a big ick. If your child was born in China and you were born a white person in Philadelphia, don’t start to think you’re Chinese by adoption or by extension. You’re not. It does your child no disservice to have you act like you think you are. It can be perceived as a colonialist attitude.
A huge thanks to blogger Menomama who directed me to this clear and well thought out book.