Most parents feel they have an idea of what they are getting into as they begin building a transracial family.
Still, in an inherently broken world that is often filled with prejudice and stereotypes, leading a transracial family isn’t necessarily the easiest road.
Families who grow through adoption are often impacted by the racial stereotypes and prejudices held by others. As members of a community surrounding and supporting adoptive families, we need to understand this.
And, because we understand this, the way we speak needs to change accordingly.
There’s not enough space on this blog to address all of the ways that children and adoptive families can feel isolated or hurt by comments about race, even though those comments are often well-intentioned. But what we can do here is acknowledge that healing is needed, and progress has to be made.
We believe everyone has a responsibility to play a part in that healing.
As a friend of families who have adopted, be aware of this, and be extra careful to speak with love. If you need help knowing how to better love children and their families through your word choices, take time to ask. Every family carries different needs and sensitivities, but understanding those is the first step to making loving and supporting choices with your language.
The book of James teaches us to be slow to speak and quick to listen. There’s no better advice we can give than that.
As a family who has grown through adoption, strive to see beyond the words and to the heart of the person. It can help to give the benefit of the doubt, knowing that most people genuinely want to be supportive and do not intend to cause harm.
Families need to be surrounded by communities of encouragement. We pray that your words and actions would be that encouragement.
May you be a blessing to those around you, and may your words be a light of hope to others.