NEW POSTS ON ANTI-RACIST PARENT
Now before any of yall go to read these posts, let me just say a couple of things. Before I submit most of these posts to Carmen, I really struggle over whether or not I should--I mean, I have come really close to not submitting them and posting them up. For one thing, there're very personal. I write mostly about my life and, so far, I have focused on not-so-very-happy things. This is mainly b/c this website is about being "anti-racist" and how to be better parents--or just people--with that kind of consiousness, so I write about my own experiences with racism, especially as a kid growing up around my white family. But while these posts tend to serious, I am grateful for the opportunity to write them b/c I get to talk about things that mean something to me but that I don't get to address.
The last post I wrote about transracial adoption was a departure from what I usually write in that it wasn't about me per se but about what I've learned from the countless transracial adoptees I've met over the years while writing and performing poetry. In this post, I share some personal stories that had been shared with me by certain folks (all with their identities protected, of course), so that I can issue a warning of sorts to any people reading the blog who might be considering transracial adoption. I was responding to a comment that a white woman had submitted to an earlier post by someone else where she became very defensive about being white and wanting to adopt a child from another country/race (Ethiopia/black). I volunteered to do this after much deep thought and internal debates about whether or not I had a right to speak out about and for transracial adoptees. And to make the points I thought were imperative to make, I knew that I would have to share some details from private stories told to me, running the risk of stepping on adoptees' toes or, possibly, upsetting a reader who may have been one of those adoptees over the years who has told me their personal stories of pain and struggle.
I am in awe of and respect so much the adoptees who have waited in line after a show to spill out their hearts to me, sometimes telling me in five or ten minutes all the heartache they have endured for a lifetime. And honestly, this rush of pained words is what prompted me to write the post--b/c I have known pain in my life and I care when I feel someone else's. And I kept thinking "What else can I do with some of these stories but try to make things better?" And so I wrote the post and submitted it to Carmen--releasing it and letting it affect how and who it will.
Now, I don't usually read or respond to comments that folks make about my posts--I've learned over the years that reading other folks' comments sucks away any postive energy I have--I'm challenged enough in that regard. But I was really concerned about this post, so I read the comments. Anyway, I'm writing all this now b/c I just want to say to any adoptees who may read it and feel "uncomfortable" like they've "just walked into a room where everybody is talking about" them (I'm paraphrasing one person's comment), I'm very sorry for over-stepping any boundaries. I also want to tell anyone who may recognize their story in the post, that I'm sorry if you feel betrayed in any way; I really took great pains to make sure all stories were anonymous, except for the last one which is a summary of my friend Dan's recent dramatic monologue performance titled "Perfect" from the "Edge of the World" show we did in June. Above all, though, I want folks to understand that with sincere intentions, I wrote this post to be a mirror to white parents or anyone else who may be adopting children of another race--to assess the image coming back to themselves so that they may have greater respect, love and appreciation for their adopted children and make adjustments where necessary. With these hopes, I do not regret anything I have written.
Much love always,