Mighty black of me

I took The Precious to an audition last week – luckily, an actor/dad entertained him while I was acting my heart out (and no, I didn’t get it, but I should have).  One of the casting directors was a new mother and had her child in the office so I knew it would be cool.  Actors do occasionally bring their kids because you’re essentially “working” for five minutes and then you’re back to the rest of the day.  However, to prepare for said five minutes takes a lot of work prior and dragging your kid along is not fun.  That day, luckily, I was willing to just not fight it and I felt pretty calm.

On the way out, I ran into a fellow African American actor and she was surprised I had a kid.  For the first time ever someone actually asked if I had given birth to him or did I adopt him?  Most people just assume I had him cause he looks like me.  I told her he came from her home town as a matter of fact.  And then she did the oddest thing.  She congratulated me and thanked me for adopting a black kid.  She thanked me.  On behalf of the entire black race, I guess, I don’t know.  I have to admit, I was taken aback.  Yes, I’ve heard the “good for you” or “bless you” sort of reply but not the “oh, you took a black one – good for you”.

I had wanted a child with my husband.  That didn’t happen.  We had gone into this adoption thing in search of a bi-racial child because of who we were as a couple.  There was no politics to that decision.  That too was not happening for some reason.  When we were presented with the “blind date” match, we were going for it even though we knew the child was African American.  I just wanted a kid but having the experience of growing up black in a white world (on this side of the planet anyway), made that decision of parenting a black child over a Caucasian child (a decision I never had to make by the way) natural. At least to me.

Still not sure I want to be thanked for it though.  I didn’t adopt cause I wanted to save someone or make a political statement.  I just wanted to be a mum, to raise a family with my hubby.  Just like those who never had to question it, think about it or agonize over the political correctness of it.

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9 thoughts on “Mighty black of me

  1. First, I love that she asked if you if you gave birth to him or adopted him. I love that she didn’t make any assumptions about that. She did make huge assumptions about why you adopted a child of the race your child is. That’s odd to me. I still feel like a five year old (white) girl living in the south in 1975 listening to adults tell me that race matters and being so confused by that message. I was also told that confusion I felt would be cleared up once I was an adult. Nope. At 40 years old I am still confused.

  2. Huh.

    That’s the polar opposite of what we got. When we inquired about a non-caucasion child, the question asked of us was “why aren’t you looking for a white child?”

    I just say good on ya for becoming a mom & doing a great job at it.

    • It truly is a different experience as an adoptive mum, isn’t it? I have a feeling that the years ahead of me are going to be peppered with so many “teachable” moments with people.

  3. This brought back a flashback for me…the one time I was a snarky bitch and didn’t care (I am that way all the time now, but back in the day I was a people pleasing wallflower with no spine).

    I made NO secret that we wanted to adopt. I told everyone I saw. I figured someones neighbors-cousins-sister was probably pregnant and would love for us to adopt her unplanned baby.

    A co-worker that was a snot asked me one day “so what will you get” (kinda like do you want soup or a salad with that entree)…okay, I KNEW she was asking about race. She had been very outspoken about her feelings in the past (being the children s bible school instructor in her church was the biggest hypocrisy on the planet…she was a racist snot).

    Knowing she was expecting me to say that we wanted a baby that looked just like us, I smiled and said, ‘oh, we are really hoping for a human, but right now I am considering all options’. I was later high-fived by the other co-workers.

    In our area of the world (think middle America) it used to be unheard of to adopt outside your own race. When we had a potential placement of a baby that was biracial,(fell through) even my own in-laws were a tad horrified, asking how would we know how to raise “a child like that”. I was floored. Thankfully husband spoke up and said—just like any other baby in the world..with love. That closed the subject.

    I would have loved to been you when she asked that. My next statement (with a smile) would have been something along the line of asking her if she had considered it, since yes, there are so many lovely children waiting for loving homes.

    Don’t you think that some people open their mouths without fully engaging their brains first?

  4. Huh. Interesting response on her part. Yeah, forget the whole adopting thing is awesome, you’re such a saint and now you have this on top of it? I can see how you’d be uncomfortable.

    btw, I Tagged you today. I have questions on my blog to be answered!

    ICLS

  5. My girlfriend adopted a biracial child. Both our families attended a reunion in the town where we both grew up, shortly after the adoption. It was quite funny watching people’s reactions to this baby. Most people just assumed it was hers, and my friend only told a few people the baby was adopted. Believe me, there were NO black people within miles & miles when we were growing up — lots of German Mennonites, Ukrainians, Poles & Icelanders, along with WASPs, but the natives/Aboriginals were about as multicultural as it got. One lady said, in a perplexed tone, “Well, she doesn’t really look anything like you…??” lol

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