White adoptive parents often ask me: "Would it have been helpful for you if you had a been a part of a community of other trans-racially adopted (TRA) children (other non-white children adopted by white people)?"
Actually I was. My parents would meet and vacation with a group of TRA families when I was a kid.
However, it didn’t make much of a difference for me growing up. Especially when I needed it most. And that’s not to say it couldn’t have benefitted me. But it didn’t and here’s why:
1. The regular play dates and vacations only happened when I was a young child.
2. They stopped as we all grew older and most questioning my identity.
3. It was not framed to me as something my parents intentionally did in order to create a community for us.
I struggled the most with my TRA identity and racial legitimacy as an adolescent when I no longer saw this group. So, no a group informally, seemingly unintentionally created and lead by white adoptive parents was not effective for me. But here’s how it could have been...
As a teen I think I would have greatly benefited from more intentional community cultivation. Ideally, a small group of adolescent TRAs lead by an adult TRA through a series of discussion topics. And if that doesn’t exist—give me a minute and I’ll do it myself.
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