A Multiracial Family’s Journey To Transracial Adoption
Tell us about you and your family
My name is Ruby and I’ve been married to my husband Nate for 5.5 years. We have two kids: Jevani and Lavinia. I come from an Indian background, Nate is Caucasian, Jevani is our biological son, and Lavinia is our half African-American and half Filipino adopted daughter. Whew, I know, quite the mixed bag!
When you started the adoption process, what shaped your views/thoughts on transracial adoption? And how did you determine it was the right fit for your family?
When we decided that we wanted to adopt, we very quickly came to the realization that we didn’t have a preference for race/ethnicity. We felt like we are a mixed family, and that we would love to mix it up even more! We felt confident enough in our racial identities to love and empower a child with a different ethnic background than our own.
How did you educate yourself before adopting your daughter?
We educated ourselves before adopting our daughter by taking adoption classes. These classes taught us the importance of empowering adopted children in their racial identities, and taught us the common struggles of transracial adoption.
Did you have to learn about a new culture or new skills when adopting a child of a different race?
So far the biggest learning curve, with the adoption of Lavinia, has been learning to take care of curly hair! She definitely has a combination of African-American and Asian hair. At first, I would just brush it and put bows and headbands in it. Over time, I realized, I needed to learn how to define, and maintain her beautiful curly hair! I’m now in Facebook groups that are specifically for transracial adoptive families that need hair tips! It’s awesome, and I’m learning so much!
What was your first thought when you held your child for the first time?
My first thought was “she’s absolutely beautiful!” Lavinia was born with the biggest, fluffiest cheeks. She still has them actually. She was such a dreamy infant, and still is quite the charmer!
It was a bit hard to believe that everything would go okay, that all the paperwork would get signed, and that she would come home with us. However, Lavinia is blessed to have the kindest birth mother. She loves Lavinia and has always wanted her to have a loving home. We are incredibly blessed to have a great relationship with Lavinia’s birth mom.
Have you gotten any offensive or strange comments? If so, what are some examples?
We actually have not gotten any rude comments, but maybe that’s because she’s only 10 months old! We definitely get looks, especially if Nate is holding Lavinia. He’s been stared at, looked up and down… people may wonder if he’s kidnapping a baby, or honestly some people probably just think I had Lavinia with a different “baby daddy”, LOL! We don’t really care what people think, and if people ask, we love telling them about the beauty of adoption.
We plan to educate Lavinia on her rich cultural background by reading books, going to museums, going to cultural events, and festivals, and our favorite… enjoying different cultural food. We are blessed to have Filipino and African-American friends who can speak into Lavinia’s life, and at the same time educate us.
Do you have any tips for other families considering transracial adoption?
My only advice is to make room in your heart. If your heart is open to loving a child who doesn’t look like you, then get ready because they will completely win you over!
What did you think of Ruby and her family’s beautiful and uplifting journey to transracial adoption? Has your heart turned to mush yet? Thanks again, Ruby for sharing your story! You have such a gorgeous family!