Thursday, February 3, 2011

Transracial Adoption- Talking about color

When Mike and I chose to adopt from Ethiopia we obviously knew that we were likely to have many conversations in our home about color. To prepare ourselves we (read I) read tons of books and attended webinars, read blogs etc.... etc... But, now here I am home for nearly 9 months with my gorgeous black son and nearly everyday he talks to me about the color of his skin, eyes, the difference in his hair etc... I am running out of things to say and nothing I am saying is making him feel any better about being different- HELP!!!

Do any of you have great suggestions on how to make your trans-racially adopted child more comfortable with the obvious differences between you? Or, do you know of any great links, websites, or more books that may help?? Please leave me a comment and let me know.

I am really struggling with this one.


msl said...

Wow. Hard one Amber. I'll be interested myself with any advice you get. T brings up her hair and skin color a lot too.

Liz said...

Is he saying that he wishes his skin or hair were more like yours, or is he just pointing out the differences? Seems to me that if he is pointing out the differences, he is comfortable with himself - comfortable enough to talk about it! I talk about differences with my daughter all the time, but not in the context of it being a problem, just something interesting to notice - and we also talk about other people and whether they are the same or different from one of us. My daughter has even pointed out that I'm the odd person out becuase her skin color matches the fur on our dog but mine doesn't!

MRK said...

Which books did you read so I can know if I read any that might be helpful that you haven't read ? I don't think I have any fantastic sources, but one that I thought was crucial to read for raising a black child was the Beverly Daniel Tatum one, "Why Are All The Blacks Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" I read others, but this was my favorite (it isn't so much about exactly what to say to your child but more about understanding what you need to know to help him flourish as he grows). I'm going to reread it at some point.

p.s. don't forget to include me when you go private !

Susan said...

The colors of us by Karen Katz is a book I have read over and over to Will. He pretty much has it memorized. The power of Children's books is pretty remarkable when you want to get concepts across. I highly recommend getting a copy of this book and reading it over and over with him. There is also a book called the color of me. When I think about this situation I often think of the scene in Tarzan when his mom,Kala, shows him how they are the same by their beating heart...always brings tears to my eyes. Will doesn't mention the differences in skin color much...We often say to him "brown is beautiful or "I lika brown!" and he smiles and giggles. I have a whole list of other books I could give you, but it is in storage with all my teaching supplies! Try to google childrens books dealing with color. Although our two cuties hair is not "nappy" I still like the book Nappy Hair. Will likes it too!
Good luck, Susan oh, and add me to your blog invite list! I have to see this cutie grow up in your family!

Calmil2 said...

p.s. I love the picture you used for this cool!!