Protected Spaces are Necessary | Racial Justice & Adoption | Musings of a Black Female Adoptee
Teach your adopted child to protect their space and their experiences.
Parents who are adopting children of color, please listen, this is so important. On so many levels.
To do this you will need to take them to the people who can teach them. You need to take them to spaces that hold people of their race and culture. There is no maybe about this.
You see as white parents. You can't teach them what it is like to walk in this world as a person of color. Because you walk in this world shroud in protection just because you are white. But when your child of color walks through this world the their adoption does not precede them.
It never will.
There is no way you can truly relay to them the multitudes of microaggressions they will face. From people asking to touch them, to world's assumptions about race, the nuances of discrimination and racism, questions of their birth status and even the rejection they will no doubt experience when it comes to some members of their own culture and race.
You can't teach them this. You can help them access resources and spaces that are created for them.
This means you need to be intentional about having them connect with their own culture, but also with other transracial adoptees.
It's not easy to continuously walk through both worlds. It's rocky and bumpy. Between code switching, having to demand a space that is rightfully theirs in the communities they are in, making sure that their voice is heard, then being discredited because of circumstances that are beyond their control, to being protective of people that they love, its exhausting.
In my own experience isolation has fueled me create balance for the many "worlds" I walk in, many of them which I am just a blip on a radar. Many of them where my voice is actively silenced because the fact I am adopted is given as reason that I lose credibility. In other spaces I will be silence because people think I'm play the 'race card'. When all I am voicing is my reality.
When what I am fighting for my past, present and future experiences as a person of color who is also adopted.
Your child is not just going to fight for the right to have their own identity JUST because they are adopted. They will be fighting for the RECOGNITION of their identity in many spaces for their whole life time.
Work hard and be intentional to prepare your child and walk through this journey with them.