We Are (Some of) Their Grown Ups

Image/ poster credit: @Nursekelsey

It takes a village

I really love this phrase “your grown ups”! It validates the wide range of different family shapes and people who might be caring for a child. It also points to the idiom, “It takes a village to raise a child,” which I really think is such a healthy perspective, and especially true for transracial adoptive families. There are things about what it means to be Black that us White parents can’t teach our children about, because we don’t ave that experience or knowledge. And, our children need a sense of belonging amongst Black people too. White people cannot give them that.

We belong to our children.

The issue of belonging is such an important topic in transracial adoption. Adoption is supposed to be driven by “the child’s best interests,” not adoptive parents’ wishes and needs. So I love how this phrase “your grown ups” reminds me that it’s us who belong to our children, instead of our children belonging to us. We are for them, not them for us.

For several years we’ve been in the habit of saying to our son, “I’m so glad to be in your family.” Andy and I deliberately say it that way (instead of “I’m so glad you’re in our family”), so that we centre him and affirm his ownership of our hearts.

We belong to him. We are (some of!) his grownups.