I started Trinity Heart out of a deep desire to offer support & encouragement to others who found themselves in the same position as we had been in. Lost, hopeless and believing that their chances of adopting were slim to none because of all the myths that shroud adoption in South Africa. And Trinity Heart quickly became my passion project. If I could, I’d dedicate every moment of every day to that project.
What I hadn’t factored in was that my children would become the poster children for mixed race adoption in South Africa and its something I’m not always entirely comfortable with. My children are exactly that… my children. I don’t see them in terms of a colour or a race and I’m not always comfortable with the fact that whenever anyone asks on a support forum on blog about mixed race adoption, that my children are mentioned… It’s not that they’re mentioned that bothers me, it’s that they’re mentioned as a colour and not as people that gets my back up at times.
Being a cross cultural family means that we do have our own unique set of challenges. And this is an area I struggle with the most. I receive daily emails off the Trinity Heart website from people looking for assistance and the number one question I’m asked? The possibility of adopting within ones racial group. Now don’t automatically go assuming that its only white folk who are asking this question, this comes from all slices of our colour, cultural & religious pie. Indian couples wanting an Indian baby, Muslim’s wanting a Muslim, Chinese wanting a Chinese baby. It is natural to want to adopt within ones racial/cultural group. I get it. I understand why that would be first choice.
And herein lies the conflict. I get it because we too were like that when we first embarked on the adoption journey. We only wanted to adopt within our own racial/cultural group. But that changed. And with that change came some great lessons, lessons I’ve learned from my children, the most valuable of all… my infinite ability to love, because God knows, I love my children. Even though they don’t look like me, even though we don’t share any genetics, even though we’re from different & blended cultural, racial and religious backgrounds. I love them! I love them more than words can ever fully describe.
So I’m often left feeling frustrated when I counsel people who have contacted Trinity Heart. Firstly, I feel as though my children are rejected by them as not being good enough because they are not one specific race and secondly I feel frustrated for the desperate people out there, desperate to have a child, to experience what it’s like to be a mother or father and yet willing to limit their miracle, their chances of experiencing parenthood in all it’s beauty and challenges because of something as inconsequential (and it IS inconsequential when that child is placed with you and you fall so deeply in love that nothing else matters) as race/culture/religion.
And then I have to remind myself that I get it! I really DO get it because I was once there too and how lucky I am to have experienced what I have experienced and to know what I know and to love the way that I love my children.
And I have to remind myself to take my experience, my emotions, my thoughts & my opinions out of the equation and out of any advice I offer. And THAT is not always easy to do.