I get it. My family isn’t the typical family made up of mini-me’s. My family has two babies that look identical in age but not in appearance: one is brown with textured-hair, the other is white with straight hair and appears to be my twin. We have two daughters who also have brown skin and textured hair, one even wears a hijab at times. Me and my husband? We are white. And no, we don’t take this parenting-kids-of-color lightly.
Before you stop us in the middle of the grocery store or while I am trying to play at the park with my kids, I’d like you to know these ten things:
1. Yes, these are my kids.
They are every meaning of “real” and “own” that my biological son is. They deserve to be known as my own kids and no one is pretending to be family here: we are a real family. So please, don’t ask if they are my “real” kids, if they are “real’ brothers and sisters, or if I could have my “own.”
Genetics and DNA aren’t needed to make a family, love and commitment are.
2. My children’s birth families are people too.
You don’t need to know or ask about the intricate details as to why my children are now my children. Their birth and biological family members are real people with real stories and a whole bunch of heartache. It does not matter if they have an addiction or an illness or are incarcerated: please stop asking, it is not your business. We love them the same as we love any other part of our family.
3. Adoption is not a means to pregnancy, nor the cure for infertility.
Last I checked, adoption is not a means to get pregnant. However, the amount of times someone has told me “I got pregnant because I adopted” is astronomical. Approximately ⅛ married couples experience infertility and LESS than 3% of all people who adopt will get pregnant — I don’t even know if this takes into account that not all families who adopt are infertile. Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as those who do not adopt.
Not only is this myth false, but it discounts the worth and wantedness of my child via adoption. You reduce his value to a formula that will result in a biological pregnancy.