On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from August 2008.


Ohhh . . . my heart is hurting tonight. This evening Jafta opened up about how he feels being the only brown person in our family, and it was devastating. He’s really never commented about it before, and we try to keep the dialogue open. But tonight he said the following,

Mommy, I don’t like my brown skin. I want it to be white.

I want to take my skin off.
I don’t want this hair. I want hair like daddy.
I want to fix my skin so it will be white.
I want my skin to look like yours and daddy’s and India’s

and then, worst of all:

I just don’t like myself

I tried so hard to listen, to keep from overreacting, to be empathetic, and to tell him how much I love him and his brown skin. But it was obvious that he has a lot of pent up feelings about this. I’ve wondered . . . especially watching the way he interacts with other kids sometimes. But tonight he left no question.

I am totally torn up about it. What do I do? We’ve read the books and followed the advice . . . but I’m just so sad because I know that there is inevitable grief in adoption, and this is a part of his life experience as a transracial adoptee. I WANT TO FIX IT. I want to protect him from pain. I don’t want him to be sad. I want him to feel special and loved and secure and confident.

Mark and I talked about it for a long time tonight. Well, Mark talked. I sobbed and made word-like noises through my ugly-cry face. We were evaluating what we could do differently, if we’ve made a mis-step somewhere. We considered again, if we need to move to Austin, or Haiti, or a place with more diversity than Orange County. But we were mostly just hurting for our little boy.

It’s so discouraging, too, that we want so badly to give him a sibling who looks like him. I wish so much that our Haiti adoption was not taking so long. I hate that he feels so alone in our family. I wish that he had just one face to identify with in our home.

UGGGHHHHH. Feeling sad tonight, and wishing I knew the answer.