It was INCREDIBLE! If you are new here, you can catch the discussion that followed from the first workshop here. Also, these workshops are open to anyone, not just those who've adopted through our agency. I highly encourage any family to come to these (post-placement) as I have learned so much!
There was a panel of people touched by transracial adoption. A couple who adopted their 4 children 15 years ago, 3 of whom are biracial, and two adults (Sarah and Patrick) who were adopted transracially 30 some years ago. There was also a woman who has a transracial family (through an inter-racial marriage, not adoption) on the panel. Don't you love all this lingo???
It was so good to hear from families that have been through what we are going through. It was wonderful to see these two incredible adults THRIVE out of transracial adoption. Seriously, if our kids turn out like these two...we'd do cartwheels! They are such neat people that really embraced what their parents told them growing up....race is a part of who they are, but it is not who they are.
Sarah and Patrick both encouraged us to teach our children not to define themselves by race, but by our faith, personality, humor, intelligence, integrity, etc. It was so cool to hear them talk about some of the struggles they faced growing up, but that's all they were...struggles. Just like all of us face. Patrick talked about how he just didn't give it attention...he didn't have time for it. I love this. We can all decide what we will let affect us, and he chose to not let others opinions matter. He simply decided to shrug it off.
The couple that is currently raising teenagers was sharing some of the issues their kids are facing because of race. It was a good and gentle reminder of how our kids may all handle this differently, but I am SO glad they have each other to walk through this with. There may be things they don't feel they can discuss with us, and that's okay. I praise God for giving them siblings to share this with. That seems to have really helped this family.
Sarah shared about hair care and again it was so much fun to learn new tips from the group! I learned a new word...peppercorn (also known as a beebee?). Those are those little balls at the end of Cooper's and Sadie's hair that are tight tangles. Evidently I need to quit trying to comb them out of Sadie's hair and just cut them off like I did with Cooper's hair recently. We talked about new products and stuff to try. She highly recommended Carol's Daughter products so I am going to have to get some for sissy. We discussed silk wraps and pillow cases, conditioner and eczema...I am telling you it was GOOD STUFF!!!
I left this workshop feeling very encouraged and not as heavy as I did last time. Maybe it's because I prepared myself emotionally for the topic to be hard to hear. I think more than anything it was so good to meet these families and see that this was not going to be an uphill battle and an everyday issue unless we choose for it to be that. This is going to be a balancing act of trying to keep our little world diverse so that our children see people everywhere that are multicultural, but yet not giving race more attention than it deserves.
God keeps reminding me that we are all created in His image. This is what we will focus on in our family, being more like Him. God has given me the most incredible blessings in my family and a love that is so intense that I am constantly on the verge of tears. My children bring me the most amazing joy (see pictures below). I will not let anyone steal that joy. I will not let race issues, which is not of God, steal my joy or take my focus off of Him and His incredible blessings.