I’ll admit it…my husband and I had a bit of a ‘leg up’ when it came to being open to our preferences during the adoption process. Preferences is an odd term to use when adopting a child, but in the adoption world, that is the language used when deciding on what you are open to in a child in terms of race, gender, special needs, openness with the biological family, etc.
My husband and I had a leg up because we were already an interracial couple to begin with. I am Caucasian, and my husband is Laotian. We were high school sweethearts, so we had been together for a long time, and being an interracial family was so normal to us, that I didn’t even think much about it on a regular basis. During the adoption process, we were never concerned about having a child that looked just like us, because, well, we already looked different from each other! I also have a sister adopted from China, so my family not matching was already a norm for me as well. My husband and I didn’t overanalyze preferences. We were wide open to what God would give us and knew it would be exactly what we were supposed to have.
An Interracial Family Is Not Always About Looking Different
Ironically, God decided to give us a child that actually did look like us! Our daughter is mainly Caucasian with some Hispanic in her, so her birth mom chose us based on the fact she thought she would blend in with us well. While that wasn’t something we were worried about, it was something that crossed her biological mom’s mind, and we, of course, respected whatever reason she landed on!
Although we are already an interracial family, and because no one could tell Jubilee was adopted based off race alone, we haven’t necessarily faced your typical transracial adoptee stuff others might. We don’t get rude questions about her race being different than ours. We don’t get looks in public because of it. We don’t stand out as an interracial family to the mere eye. But even though she looks the same from the outside in, we still do our due diligence to celebrate her differences from us.
Embrace What Is Different By Educating Yourself
One visible difference is that she has naturally curly hair that was passed down from her birth mom that none of us in our family has! This does make her unique, and as her mom, I have done countless hours of research on how best to maintain curls and take care of them. We also have done small things like cook Mexican food and talk about her Mexican heritage with her. But what is cool is that we do this with our son as well! He is our biological child which makes him half Laotian. This past year, we went to a Laos New Year festival for the first time as a family and had a blast! My husband’s father cooks a lot of Laotian dishes, so we all eat that as a family.
Both of my kids, having a mixture of races in them. They benefit from learning about each other’s race and culture. Being such a diverse family truly has made us more well-rounded. While I know this isn’t the norm, it is something I am grateful to experience on a daily basis and especially grateful to experience this being an adoptive mom as well.
How Can You Do More As An Interracial Family
Did you have open or closed preferences when going through the adoption process? Why or why not? Do you ever reflect on that decision? We would love to hear your perspective! Email it in to Lizzy at Lizzy@abidinglovecharities.org