So for those of you who leave comments, you may notice that as of last week, I took the “comment moderation” feature off. I put in on about a year ago, because I had gotten some nasty comments and felt like I needed to edit them. Most of the comments were from anonymous people and were negative about the fact that we are adopting transracially. There were comments like, “are you adopting Black children because it’s trendy?”, or statements about how Jafta would be better off with his African American birth family, etc etc etc.
I used to really have a hard time with those comments, and would ruminate over them and let it really get to me. So much so that I put the filter on my blog, which felt a little weird. But lately, I think I’ve just developed a thicker skin. Or maybe more confidence. Because the truth is, comments like that just don’t bother me anymore. I’ve read it all by this point, if not on my blog, then on someone else’s. And I realize that statements like that are just made of pure ignorance or resentment (and usually from people who are doing very little to actually solve the orphan problem). It just rolls right off my back. Like someone saying “Los Angeles is south of Orange County”. Um, no, that’s just not true. I can’t argue with crazy.
I will not use specifics to defend myself on that stuff, because I refuse to throw my son’s birth family under the bus to tell off a couple of strangers. If Jafta ever wants to tell the story of why he was removed from their care, it’s his story to tell. But suffice it to say . . . he’s better off. Is he going to struggle a bit with his racial identity being raised in a family that looks different from him? Yeah. Probably. And yet he’s still better off than he would be in the situation he came from. Might Keanan lose some of his cultural identity leaving Haiti and coming to live with a family in the US? Yeah. For sure. I will do the best I can to help my kids grieve those losses, and I’m not blind to the fact that all the love in the world will not put a band-aid on that. But when we look at the hiearchy of needs for a child’s development, things like safety, family, stability, love, attention, and care are more important than race. While there are still children growing up without family, all this talk of preserving cultural identity by leaving kids in foster care or a hostile environment or an orphanage, is kind of like offering a homeless person a pretty sofa when what they need is a house.
So the filter is off. And if some crazy folks want to start leaving comments, I will just ignore and delete. Because until we figure this thing out and every child has the basic human right to a loving parent, I don’t want to hear about it.