Being an adoptive transracial family, we always knew we were going to face hardships other families would never have to deal with.
Racism was something we expected, but I think we were unaware of the different kind of attacks we would face. What we have noticed the most are the subtle but insidious comments and disapproving looks.
Over time it gets easier to ignore the outside silent judgement from other people, but no matter how thick your skin is, it is not something pleasant to deal with.
Another misconception is that racism towards multiracial households only comes from Caucasian people. That is simply not true. There is someone from every color of the rainbow disapproving of what our family looks like.
I struggled when Samuel first came home with really worrying and seeking approval from the African American community. The judgement from an African American person stung more to me. When I received a negative look I wanted to know the reason why. Or if we all went out in the morning to grab breakfast without getting ready, I was worried people would look at Samuel and think I didn’t know how to care for his hair or skin (okay, the hair they are half right on, but I can’t even do my own hair)…
I knew it was wrong. I knew my child was my child no matter what anyone else thought. I didn’t need approval from any group of people to tell me that. It’s strange how logically you know something is true, but internally you can still struggle with it.
I’ve gotten past all of that now, thankfully. Although, I’m not sure I had any great revelations about it. I think it was more that we sunk into being a normal family, and the thought of anyone criticizing who we are seems ridiculous at this point.
I think it is important to point out that the majority of people (of all different colors and backgrounds) we come in contact with have been positive towards our family. I also think this should be insignificant to us as a family. Positive or negative, it doesn’t matter what other people think. It’s just a lot easier to hear something positive about yourself or a loved one, than something negative or hurtful.
I know I am not alone in my feelings about this. I just wanted to let any other transracial or future multiracial families to know those feelings are normal, but they pass. I also wanted to encourage you to keep moving forward. Do not ever do something you wouldn’t normally do for the sole approval of someone outside of your family. I can see how easy it is to get lost being a “people pleasing family.”
As much as I do feel it is important for my family to be open with what is working in our family, and support what we believe in- it is NOT our responsibility to get the acceptance of every human being on this earth. There are going to be people who will never agree with what we are doing, regardless of how right it is for our family.
We just need to accept it and move on.