Lois Melina has been a voice of wisdom and authority in the world of adoption for decades. We connected with Melina upon the publication of her latest book, The Grammar of Untold Stories,a collection of personal essays, to discuss immigration and international adoption, transracial adoption and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the many ways adoption and infertility continue to surface in her writing.
For years, many white adoptive parents of children of color have sought to claim the relatively passive “not-racist” identity, but now is the time to push beyond self-examination into action and become an anti-racist family. Learn how to interrogate your own white privilege; talk with your child about systemic racism, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests; and commit to working toward justice.
As my children move into the world without me, I can’t protect them the way I could when they were little. I can’t assume that their lives and actions will be cloaked with the same privilege I was born with.
Fifteen years into parenting in a transracial family, I thought I had heard it all—with appropriate comebacks at the ready—until an interaction with a racist (former) boss left me simply dumbfounded.
Isaac is 14 years old, but he’s six feet tall and almost two hundred pounds. He’s also black. He hasn’t been a discipline problem since the day he came home, but someone who doesn’t know him could see him as a threat. So what was I to do on a recent evening when he asked to bike home alone in the dark?
A mother seeks advice in selecting a school for her daughter, who is biracial. How to weigh general diversity vs. specific racial representation vs. distance from the family’s home?
A homeland trip can help kids connect “where I come from” to “where I’m going.” Having traveled with thousands of adoptive families, I’m delighted to share my thoughts on the impact of homeland travel on identity formation.
In this excerpt from That Kind of Mother, by Rumaan Alam, the white adoptive mother of a black child learns about importance of talking with her son about racism and interactions with the police.
When my transracially adopted son was teased about adoption at school, he came home upset—and also bewildered about how his friend could have known. When I heard this (and when it came out that he wasn’t wholly innocent in the exchange), was it wrong that my reaction turned from anger to laughter?
Racism exists, and it’s our job as parents to talk about it with our kids. Start with this glossary of important terms.
These books can help your child connect with her birth culture. Add your family’s favorites in the comments!
We left our house this morning a family of three, but the next time we walk through our front door, it will be as a family of four.
Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t use the word black to describe myself. But as the mother of two black children in the U.S., I walk the fine line of raising them to believe they are capable and worthy while understanding that everyone in this country has been taught to discount their value.
Find ways to bond and connect with the culture of your adopted African American child.
An unexpected emergency tests the strength of a mother-daughter bond.
“From an early age, my children needed to know where they belonged—and the birth country where they came from.”
Although we knew our South American-born son would face challenges growing up in a predominantly white middle class suburb, we were totally unprepared for what was to come.
If your family is thinking about adopting a child of a different race, spend some time answering these six questions to help determine if it’s right for you.
As the parent of an Asian child, I am constantly called upon to help my daughter navigate between diminished achievements and heightened failures.
We’re committed to raising our son in our religion, but we won’t let his adoption erase essential parts of who he is.