Thursday, February 1, 2007

Inaugural Post

As a white guy who is in the middle of an international transracial adoption, I'm looking to do everything possible to do right by my child.

I hope this blog will serve as welcoming nexus for a number of voices, allowing us all to learn, share, be challenged and grow.

The blog is born from nagging questions I have:

What can I do to prevent my adopted daughter -- who will be a black, Ethiopian-born girl raised by two white, American parents, in a family with two white, "bio-kid" (dislike that term) brothers -- from feeling alienated and isolated when she grows up?

How can I ensure that she is secure in her (multiple) identities -- as an African-American woman, as an Ethiopian-born woman and as a loved and cherished daughter?

How can I prevent her from feeling cut off from her roots and missing a piece of herself?

How can I prevent her from being too "white" for the black community, but, obviously, by virtue of being black, not feeling accepted by the white community?

How can I prepare her to confront racism when I have never been the victim of racism (but have been the de facto beneficiary of racism)?

How can I honor that which makes her unique in our family without also making her feel like an outsider?

How can I help her to cultivate her own sense of identity without inauthentically appropriating it myself?

I sometimes read blogs of white adoptive parents, and find them naive -- shocked by racism that I don't find shocking, hopeful in the face of that which I find worrisome. I also read the work of some adult transracial adoptees and feel very inadequate in the face of primal psychological issues of identity. Through this blog, I hope to find some middle-ground, between "no effort to address identity required" and "no effort to address identity will succeed".

In this blog, I would like to encourage PARTICIPATION. This is one blog that will only be as good as the comments posted.

Thanks in advance.


Laura said...

What a great blog! I am so glad you commented on mine so I could find yours! I have no objections to your linking my family affair post to your blog and I look forward to reading your blog as part of my daily routine.

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