Sunday, January 17, 2016

Honoring Your Adopted Child's Ethnic Heritage

When my hubby and I were pursuing creating our family through adoption, we were in definitive agreement that we would welcome a child of a different race or ethnicity.  To us, a child not physically looking like us in NO way meant that child was any less ours.  I am PROUD to be not just a mama, but Mama specifically to Rose.

Our almost 2-year-old daughter is actually of Filipino descent.  My dad LOVES that he has this dark haired granddaughter among the sea of blonde hair of his other three granddaughters.  My mom gifted me a book about Filipino celebrations.  I plan on including Rose in together deciding how we as a family can recognize and celebrate some of the events.

This has not always been an easy situation.  I have never minded family or friends asking me of Rose's ethnicity.  However, a random stranger kindly opening a door for us and asking, "Where is she from?" stings.  Not that I'm embarrassed or ashamed.  Not in the least!  What bothers me is their bluntness regarding an intimate (not private or secret) subject.  What business is it of yours?  A random stranger. I am still in search of a quick, witty, smart-ass but still polite response.

I have heard that some adoptees in transracial adoptions feel like they do not belong to either their birth or adoption ethnicity.  Rose is still young, and I can not promise that we will never have any questions or issues regarding this subject, but here are some things we're doing to teach her of her ethnicity.

1) We share photos and stories of her birth family, and have frequent FaceTime conversations.
2) We remind her of her beauty and acceptance every day.
3) When someone comments of her beauty, we openly give credit to her birtthmama and her beauty.
4) We speak of her Filipino ethnicity with nothing but respect.
5) I have started to try to cook some Filipino recipes.

The first recipe I tried was Chicken Adobo,  I served it with rice and steamed artichoke.  I've included the link to the recipe I found online, and a photo of the end result.

Rose gobbled it up!  I have received some suggestions of dishes go try in the future.  I look forward to trying them.

I welcome ideas for other ways in which to teach, honor, and respect a child's ethnicity in a transracial adoption.  If you are an parent in a transracial adoption, what kinds of things do you do to recognize and celebrate your child's ethnicity and heritage?