Hello, I am Michelle L Anderson, of Lovelogical – DNA NOT REQUIRED®, a company I founded to support blended families and those with adopted and fostered children. It is my mission to support such families because of my own family history growing up in a blended family and then fostering children as an adult.
Many times I have been contacted by families who have adopted transracial children and who need practical advice.
Feeling Out of Place
Recently, I was asked what to do when a transracially adopted child starts to notice he/she is different from everyone else in the home. Our conversation found a child adopted as an infant who had grown to school age with very limited interaction within his/her ethnic community. As the result, the child was asking questions and feeling out of place.
I shared a few ideas I believe could be helpful to transracial/transcultural families willing to immerse themselves in activities and events where their child sees people who look like them.
Answer Your Children’s Questions by Preparing
Hopefully, some of my suggestions will find parents places where their children’s questions can be answered, and help the entire family prepare for real-life experiences they may encounter:
- Consider visiting a hair salon specializing in your child’s hair texture. Please take time to ask questions and learn which products work best for your child’s hair. Find out how often you should wash, clip, cut or perform hair maintenance. Perhaps a mentor relationship will develop for all of you. If you don’t know where to find a salon, please ask co-workers, friends, or maybe…ask a stranger whose hair looks great! “Hey who does your hair?”
- Attend ethnic and/or culturally based activities at local museums, libraries, community centers, churches, and theatres. Googling and subscribing to newsletters are a great way to start planning.
- Join or form transracial or transcultural adoption organizations or Meetups so your child sees similar diverse homes.
- Meet and embrace parents and families from various racial and cultural backgrounds to truly diversify your friendship circle inclusive of events and gatherings within your home.
- Learn to prepare dishes or visit restaurants where your child can learn dishes native to their history.
- Celebrate your child’s heritage year-round. Do not wait for national months or days to educate your child.
- If your child is in a school where less than 5% of the children look like him or her please consider moving to a more diverse yet challenging school system with at least 15-20% diversity.
- Whatever your child’s hobbies, piano, karate, dance, etc try to incorporate diversity in regards to the teacher, instructor or class. This is another great way to find a mentor.
- Know it is very important to have a mentor of the same race and/or culture as your child to allow the asking of complex questions. Carefully, choose the mentor to assure responsible responses and accountability in sharing any concerns with you.
- Teach your family that a Lovelogical family is – Biological by Nature. Lovelogical by Choice. DNA NOT REQUIRED!
Thank you for being a Lovelogical – DNA NOT REQUIRED® parent by adopting a transracial or transcultural child that you are willing to grow and learn with!