“I’m glad my parents were aware enough to move us to an environment with more families of color.  Now as an adult, I realize how important that transition was to my self esteem and self identity process.”  – Toni

“It’s not enough to encourage your child’s participation in “their” culture, you must explore it too!” -Ben

” My parents always told me the truth about being biracial and helped me to understand how hard it must have been for my birthmother to choose adoption and that she must have loved me a lot to make such a difficult choice.”  -Barb

“Make sure you and your child understand they may be treated different then you are treated in certain situations and make sure you prepare them to face these difficult situations.” -Lona

“Darker skin scars very easily. Please use cocoa butter, vitamin E and other ointments, like “Mederma”, early on to prevent discoloration and scarring. I have deep stretch marks across my hips and bottom due to a growth spurt, which could have been minimized with the use of these ointments.” – Anon.

“Make sure the child has proper hair grooming, preferably by a black salon early on – even if the parent is partial to a fro.” -Janice

“I can’t imagine how my life might have unfolded had I not been adopted. A beautiful experience that has allowed me to see a variety of cultures and to decide for myself how I will view the world.” -Seth D. Himrod; age 35; garbage man; small business owner, Father of five;

Black, White, Native American children

” I am so grateful that my mom taught me to be proud of being Black.  She also surrounded me with friends of all races so that I would grow up knowing unconditional love is possible from people of all races.”  -Barb

“Understand the differences your child will face and embrace them.” -Lona

“One of the biggest gifts my mother gave me was the unconditional love and support I needed when I wanted to search for my birth family.  She reminded me that she would always love me and be my mom and it was ok to want to find my roots”.  -Barb Gowan

“While I love my parents, I hate the fact that my culture was taken away from me. I’m Costa Rican and spent the most crucial years of my life in an affluent Caucasian suburb. The only brown child in the neighborhood.

    You notice that your different from everyone else, including your parents, you seek out those who look like you, and so much long for that part of your life. You want to know what other “Costa Ricans” are like.

    Having spent the first five years of my life in Costa Rica, and then coming to America and suddenly not having anyone whom I could relate to was shocking. I wished that my parents would have found me some friends who were Hispanic, bought me Hispanic food, took me to Hispanic events, allowed me to speak Spanish instead of forcing English upon me as my only language. Because I lost everything that I knew about my culture, I’ve found that now, when I’m seeking out Hispanic culture, friends, I’m to white for the Hispanic people I encounter. 

    I can understand Spanish, but I’m embarrassed to speak it!!! and that’s awful. Embarrassed to speak my own language, WOW! This has caused some resentment between me and my adoptive parents, while I love them and am so glad they brought me here, I hate that they stole my identity, my culture, who I really am, and I’m left with the feeling of “where do I belong.”

    I would suggest and stress to any new adoptive parent to make an effort to find and seek out people from your child’s race, culture. Allow your child to spend time with them, so that they continue to understand where they came from. And even though English is important, find some way to not let them loose the language that for them was what they knew, and is what ties them to they’re culture. That’s if your adoptive child was able to speak they’re language when they were adopted. If they weren’t than I would suggest still putting them in Spanish, Japanese, (whatever) language classes. Because they will want to feel like they fit in with you as well as with the people from they’re own country, and culture.

    I’m not saying that every adopted child has and/or will feel like this. This was my experience. Remember that no matter what you do, if you make an effort to show your child their culture, it’s a lot better than forcing them to be what you want them to be, or completely ignoring the issue.  – Ashleigh