Ask AstridThere are other really great articles, too. I hope you'll read the whole thing -- I gobbled it up in one sitting, and immediately subscribed!
An advice column from adult transracial adoptee Astrid, responding to an adoptive father who wants to know what he could have done while raising his now-adult daughter to better understand her and her birth family's experiences. Astrid shares this anecdote:
Recently my mother and I had a conversation that left me very proud. During a recent visit my mother mentioned that, when she attended a workshop of mine on transracial adoption, she heard me say something along the lines of “it is important to acknowledge your child’s birth family and to remember that you are raising someone else’s child.” She said, “until that very moment I had never thought of it that way and I think this is one of the most important things that parents should hear.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I wanted to both hug her and shake her! Really, this was the first time she had ever thought of this, and wow, how wonderful that she was talking about it with me! I knew this didn’t mean she had never thought about my birth mother before but, rather, this was a new way of thinking for her. She attended a workshop and was willing to step outside her box and listen to what I had to say as an adoption professional, not as her daughter.
It's All About the Hair by Amy K. Hall
Like it or not, our children are a reflection of us. Naturally, we want that reflection to be positive regarding how a child behaves and treats others. But a child’s appearance—or how their appearance reflects on us as parents—isn’t something most people spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about. That is unless you’re a transracial adoptive parent, and then appearance seems to move to the top of the list whether we want it to or not. For me, that means hair care.
Humanizing Humanity by Maureen
“Mom, please, please, make Dad change his mind. Please let me come home with my baby, just until I find a place of my own. I know I agreed to the adoption, but I just can’t give her away. She is so beautiful. I need to keep her Mom. Please help me.”
My father didn’t change his mind. My mother was quietly powerless. I was not welcome to come home with my first born daughter. My social worker told me if I kept her, I would have to put her in foster care anyway, because I was going to have to find a job and wouldn’t be able to look after her. Plus it would be a devastating disappointment to the family who planned to adopt my baby. I could think of no one to turn to.
Interview: Dr. Richard Boas
Dr. Richard Boas is an adoptive father, founded the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network (KUMSN) which works to educate, inform and promote discussion about the difficulties facing unwed mothers and their children in order to elevate their economic, political and social potential in Korean society. From the interview:
I met a group of pregnant women who had already signed away their unborn children. I had always believed in fairness and social justice, and had treated my medical patients with respect, educating them and actively involving them in decisions that affected their health and lives. But these women were powerless, marginalized, and stripped of motherhood before delivering. I also visited children who had been relinquished by their mothers, which brought all of that into focus more fully. Imagine holding an infant, days old, and realizing that this child’s mother is capable, loving, and not far away.
I discovered that most of these women did not want to give up their children for adoption. But they felt that they had to due to economic and societal pressures. It hit me hard that my daughter’s mother, years before, had done the same thing. She loved her child as much as I did, gave her up under pressure, and would likely never see her again. I realized that these adoptions were about the child and the adoptive parents. The mother was left out of the equation. This was a wrong I wanted to correct.
Still hoping for change
3 days ago