Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Daughter

Just before Lily started Kindergarten, Bayo and I sat down with her to chat about some things she might face because she is adopted. I was concerned that she might get some uncomfortable questions about skin color in our family, especially because she is a different color than her brothers.

I said, "Lily, if your classmates ask you why your mom is white and your dad is black, what will you tell them?"

She responded, "Because they were born that way!"

How refreshing. We brought it up because we thought her classmates might wonder why she's black like her dad and not brown like her brothers. But it looks like she'll be able to hold her own with any questions people throw her way.

Or maybe most people just won't notice the color variation of our children. Case in point:

Recently I was chatting with a friend who moved to Jos about a year ago. I mentioned that we would appreciate her prayers for Lily to get a visa. She looked confused as she said, "But she's your daughter so of course she should be able to travel with you."

I said, "Yes, she's our daughter, but she's adopted and we still need to complete her U.S. adoption."

My friend had no idea. I was quite tickled that she hadn't noticed the color variation of our children.

Lily is aware that she is adopted. We've been very open about it. But now we've come to a point where we're intentionally not going to talk about it--unless she brings it up. She is simply our daughter, no labels attached.


Sandi said...

I love the picture and the story. We're so happy Lily is in our family.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I can relate you your post because I also adopted interracially. My two adopted kids have brown/black and black hair. My birth daughter had blondish hair then (dark now, for some reason.) B and I have med-dark brown hair. We had been giving another boy rides to swimming lessons and we realized that he thought our oldest was adopted because she didn't match. He wasn't living with his own parents due to their social problems, so this stuff was on his mind.

Also, my oldest said that she often heard comments about her brother and sister, from people who assumed that they were foster kids, since a number of foster kids in our area (CooK) have similar coloring. You get the drift on that.

You are right to keep this topic on the table but not to dwell on it.

My youngest just had a baby on Monday. She has lots of black hair! I've posted about this of Facebook, so you can maybe see that.

Deborah Payne said...

I know a question was asked this past weekend in Decorah about Lily's adoption. I think you handled it quite well and your blog tells it all...she's your daughter...end of story...she is a delight. It was fun to be with you and Bayo and your beautiful children. Lots of laughs this past weekend (July 16-17, 2011)