Adopting a child of another race is an option most skips when facing adoption. However, if you think you are ready to do this and you’re prepared to embrace a new experience, there are three questions you need to honestly ask yourself before starting this unbelievable journey.
Will I be able to fully understand my child from the perspective of his different race?
The answer is… probably not. If you don’t have a certain skin color or some attributes which define you and separate you from others in plain sight, you might not be able to understand 100% a person of another race. However, empathy is an element that you shouldn’t oversee. Walk a mile in your kid’s shoes and get ready to make it clear to him that his race does not define his core. Yes, it might rapidly “classify” him in one group or another, but that’s not knowing a person. And he should understand that certain physical features don’t represent his true self. Once he grasps that, the fact that you don’t feel Caucasian, Afro-American or Asian isn’t important anymore. Help him build trust in what he really is and race will fall on the second place for any of you.
How will I explain my child the differences in our family?
Family is family no matter what. And no matter if your child would be biological, adopted and with the same race or adopted and of another race, he’s still your child. Don’t waste your breath on going on the negative path – with an explanation on “why we’re not alike”, but stay positive and talk to him about unconditional love that creates strong family bonds, respect and care for one another. The main issue is not giving an explanation for what may seem out of the ordinary, but avoiding making the child feel any differences. Love and affection have no color and no strings attached, so make him feel loved and appreciated and try to avoid going through the narrow and uncomfortable path of talking about contrasts.
Can I make my child the hero of his story?
It is crucial for you to answer this question with a yes. Every child needs to be nurtured and loved, so never leave him the impression he falls on the second place, no matter the situation and the context. He needs a healthy emotional upbringing so use the power of storytelling to transform him into a hero. Because unless the child is Caucasian and you’re not, chances are all familiar faces advertised around him are different than he is. However, you can make your kid the hero of his story and offer him strength and courage through kind words and encouragement. Children do feel differences and have the tendency to notice them, but it’s your role as a parent to build his trust.
If you don’t feel 100% ready to go through this, don’t worry, you’ll never reach that 100% fully. It’s in the human nature to ask ourselves questions on and on, so don’t worry and trust your gut if it tells you you’re on the good path. As a parent, you’ll grow together with your child and as long as you’re open to raise a kid from a different race you’ll learn along the way how to give him the best life and the best version of you as a parent.