Life in a Multicultural Family

Guest blogger, Jennifer Nichol, shares her thoughts on life in a multicultural family.

We are in the middle of packing up for our Harambee Camp, which is a celebration of African culture and the highlight of our year. In the middle of planning for our grand African Adventure, we shook off our jingle dresses, tied up our moccasins and headed out to celebrate and honor National Aboriginal Day.

I looked at my kids, my African-Canadian-American son, with the head full of dreadlocks, holding on to his Jingle Dress wearing First Nations sister’s hand while his French-Norwegian-Irish-Swiss-Russian-Canadian brother sat beside him eating an Indian Taco and there was a small part of me that realized that maybe my normal isn’t necessarily everybody else’s normal.

And I felt sorry for everybody else.

Our life is so RICH. Rich with culture and history and color. We are blessed beyond measure by communities that have embraced us and still challenged us to know more, do more, be more for our kids.

I cannot imagine how little I would know about the rest of the world if I had chosen to stay in my world of White Privilege.

Maybe you are reading this and you are considering adopting transracially, or you are the parent of an adult child considering adopting transracially and you worry. You might worry about the work involved to be a transracial adoptive parent, because there is a lot of work involved in being a GOOD transracial adoptive parent. You might be scared of the opinions of others, because nothing really hurts more than realizing that someone else either doesn’t view your child as equal in value to their own, or doesn’t view your parenthood as being as legitimate as their own. And it does hurt. You might worry about raising teenagers when you don’t fully comprehend what it is like to live in their skin, and it is very hard. You might find a thousand reasons why adopting transracially has a cost, and there is a cost and probably you can find enough reasons to justify running far away from ever expanding the color of your family. But that would be so sad, not for the children, who would hopefully find a family willing to embrace them and celebrate them, but for you and your little, tidy world.

I am richer for my kids. I am richer for being in awe of the Elder willing to teach my children the history of hoop dancing or the kind emcee inviting my daughters to dance at a Pow Wow. I am richer for understanding racism and culture and the horrors of prejudice. I am richer for putting their needs before my own discomfort.

My life, my brown, black, white, multi-colored life is good.

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