Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Dear Transracially Adopted Child: A Love Letter From Your Mom

Dear Child,

I write this to you because you are my sunshine, the spark in my eye, the flutter of my heart.  You are incredible.  And I'm so grateful that your birth parents chose me to be your mom.  What a tremendous honor and responsibility.  

Some things have been weighing on my heart, things I must tell you.  I hope they offer you reassurance, honesty, and most of all, love.  And not just today but through all of your days.  

You've already heard, many times, strangers convey that you are are "so lucky" to be adopted.  But let me be very clear.  We, your parents, are the lucky ones.  We are not your saviors or superheroes.  We are your parents, and we are so grateful for you.  But you, dear child?  You aren't indebted to us for adopting you.  You don't have to wear the "lucky" label.  

You have the right to feel as you do about adoption.  No one has the right to tell you that your thoughts and feelings about adoption, at any given time, are invalid or incorrect.  The only time I will "correct" you is if you state an inaccuracy surrounding your adoption.  If I know something to be a fact, I will share that with you.   

You don't have to choose between us, your parents, and your biological family.  I hope we've made that abundantly clear from day one.  You are forever part of them and forever part of us.  And we know we were "second."  You have a "first," and we, as your parents, honor that.  We won't make you ever choose between "them" and "us."  There is room for everyone.  Remember, love multiples, and true love should never divide.  

You were "fearfully and wonderfully made" by an Almighty God to do great things:  this is the truth and who you are.  We fully believe this as people of faith.  I know it may feel unfair that you weren't parented by your biological family.  But this isn't because there was something wrong with YOU.  This is a lie, an untruth, and it fosters shame, anger, confusion.  The reality is no matter which baby came to them at that point in their lives, they felt they weren't able to parent at that time.  Those reasons were deeply personal, and you absolutely can feel however you want about those reasons. 

You have every right to ask questions, and you deserve truthful, transparent answersWhether you ask us, your biological family, the adoption social worker or lawyer, or someone else, you should get a complete picture of your adoption.  Remember what I've always taught you?  Secrets aren't OK (only "surprises"---like a birthday gift you buy someone) and are usually created to conceal, which only breeds distrust and more problems.  

Ali Cummins Photography
Your story is your business.  Which is why I work hard to protect your privacy, both online and in public spaces.  Your adoption story is sacred, and it's not available for public consumption.  Because the public?  They are fleeting.  They are "here today, gone tomorrow."  They haven't earned the right to something we hold holy.  If and when you choose to share your story, we will support you.  

The world is sometimes confused by us:  Black and white.  But their confusion is not our problem to "solve." Racism in this country is vast and deep, and I am sad that it seemingly is stagnant, if not regressing, as I write this to you.  But I want you to know that we love and celebrate you as a person of color:  your history, your culture, your appearance.  And we pray that the investments we've made in hair stylists, and mentors, and friends, and professionals, and art, and music, and books, and toys, and affirmations has impacted you positively and has shown you that you are absolutely incredible.  

I am so humbled to be the one you call "mom."  And I love you.  All of you.  Forever and ever and ever.  I love the parts of you that are happy and whole and pretty, but those aren't the only parts I love.  I love the entire you.  Which means when you process adoption and race, as you will your entire life, I will be here to empathize, to listen, to learn, and to do what I was chosen to do:  love.  

Forever yours, 


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