Adoption and the lack thereof

So on NPR today, I listened to Ed Gordon talk about adoption within the Black Community. Ed was joined by Antoinette Williams, assistant director of domestic adoption for Spence-Chapin Services, and Lisha Epperson, mother of two children she adopted through Spence-Chapin. As I listened, I was reminded of the movie Antwone Fisher, and how the main character described the plights of young Black children as they struggle to find families that want to adopt them. That movie really made me really think about adoption in a new light.

The panel went on to discuss that Black families will adopt our kin (i.e. our sibling’s children) out of obligation but are reluctant to take in kids outside of the family. Immediately, I thought about how Black slaves were separated from their families and forced to work on various plantations. And when new people arrived or left, the sense of family was so strong, regardless of where you were from and who you left behind. How Black people managed to make it through slavery is a constant source of pride, which makes me upset that more of us don’t adopt Black children. I mean let’s keep it real. Most people who adopt are more often than not going to adopt a child of their same race. Therefore, if we don’t adopt our children, who will?

My hope and prayer is that people will become more open to the idea of adopting because as Lisha Epperson put it, the kids she adopted were the “best thing that ever happened to her.” That’s funny because most women who bear their own children say the exact same thing. So what is there to lose by adopting? Your kids won’t look like you? It might be better if you don’t have kids playa! But seriously, when you have those mythical conversations with your mate or family about how many kids you want to have, think about adoption in a new light because you would be getting a beautiful boy or girl whose life will be a constant blessing in ways you didn’t think possible. Unfortunately, the fact is that most people will say, “hey man, that is cool for other people, but not for me, I need my own kid.” That type of thinking did help us make it through slavery and that same mentality will cripple our future as we deny the precious lives of foster children a loving home filled with the values that we dream about passing to our “real” children. OUR children can’t wait for tomorrow. They need us today.

Stay up fam,

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