Saturday, March 5, 2011

Home Sweet Home...Adoption Style

A much debated topic in the adoption community, and specifically the transracial adoption community, is that of where to live.  Being a transracial adoptive family whose children make up the racial minority where you live, should you move somewhere more diverse?

Our thoughts often go to this question.  We moved to a community that is split pretty evenly between Caucasian and Hispanic (with the majority still being Caucasian), but the black population is a whopping 8%.  Hello!  We moved here for various reasons I won't go into now, but with the idea that as our children got older and realized they were such a minority here, we would move somewhere with a greater black population.

Yet we often discuss this because there are perks to living here.  The biggest perk being extended family.  We live in the same city as our son's grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, one set of great-grandparents, etc.  And our son loves it!  He adores his extended family and delights in spending time with them.  So do we move halfway across the country for more diversity but ensure that we'll only see family a few times a year?  Here's our answer:  We don't know.

The conclusion we came to the other day was we could stay in California, but find a more diverse area.  That way, we're only a few hours away from family and can still see them quite often while helping our children feel less like the weird ones.  Maybe that's what we'll do, maybe not.  It's an idea.

Here's the thing, we get stared at daily.  At Costco, at Walgreens, at the library, etc.  People full on stare.  Yes, as a transracial adoptive family we will probably always be stared at to some extent, but I think it would be much less in a place with more diversity all around.

We also get a lot of comments in public.  "Is that your kid?"  "Why do you have a black baby?"  "Now I'd like to know how THAT happens."  For now, they just bother Chris and I.  But it's always at the forefront of my mind that Ephraim will eventually understand and then they will bother him, too.

I just feel that all of these things would be less in a more diverse place.  And of course there are other reasons to live somewhere with more diversity; these are just a couple of examples.

But then there's the other side of the argument, too.

I would love to hear people's thoughts on this.  I've read books and magazines and blogs on this topic, but hearing from more people is always beneficial.

2 comments:

Penelope said...

Keep it up, Laurel! I would love for you to guest post on transracial adoption sometime. foster2forever at gmail

The Raudenbush Family said...

Hmm...our area is pretty diverse. When we were first home with Lydia, I felt like people were really staring at us everywhere. Now, I think they are just staring because (a) she's super cute, (b) they are wondering how in the world I am grocery shopping with 4 kids who are all talking and have their own agenda, or (c) Lydia is causing some serious mischief (which is often). I have not had any comments like you share here--they are awful. I'm thankful we do live in a place where we can walk outside and see folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. My kids are very comfortable with different cultures--they have kids in their classes from Europe, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Viet Nam, African Americans....It's great.

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