Rachel: Why was it important to you to write this book, offering it to not only parents by adoption, but also adoptees, siblings of adoptees, educators, social workers, and therapists? What are you reading, seeing, and hearing in the transracial adoption community that inspired you to write your book?
Ms. Roorda: In the last twenty years as I have traveled across country listening to transracial adoptive parents (most who have been white), white non-adopted siblings, and transracial adoptees from various racial and cultural backgrounds, I have found that most of the transracial adoptive families that I interacted with lived in predominately white communities, had primarily white social networks, and attended mostly white places of worship. This pattern is reflected in over 40 years of research on transracial adoption and documented in the Simon-Roorda trilogy of books on transracial adoption. The bottom line is that most of these families did not have meaningful and sustainable relationships with persons that looked like the children they adopted.
As the transracial adoption movement has matured, there has been more emphasis, compared to the early ’70s and ’80s, on carving out tangible avenues for transracial adoptive families to learn more about their child of color’s racial and ethnic background(s) and grappling with the challenges that face adult transracial adoptees such as through attending culture camps, reading books by and about transracial adoptees and other people color, and watching documentaries featuring adult transracial adoptees. Still most transracial adoptees from all racial/cultural backgrounds raised in white homes rarely see someone who looks like them sitting at their dinner table, partnering with their parents in equitable ways, or investing in their lives as mentors or even godparents. This striking gap in the long (and short) run negatively impacts every member of the transracial adoptive family unit. Why? Because we now know from research that when there is minimal immersion and comfort level among transracial adoptive families in the communities of color in which these adopted children come from, members of the family, particularly the transracial adoptee, are left to rely on stereotypes and shattered images of their true selves.
I wrote In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption to narrow the experiential gap between white transracial adoptive parents and members in the black community. I wanted to show that black Americans are just as diverse in thought and action as white Americans, and that everyone has a story.
In the process of writing this book and interviewing incredible people, from the first black Mayor of Philadelphia to the great Grandson of W.E.B. DuBois and to a foster care alumna and transracial adoptee, I too learned that I was going to have to replace my own colorblind glasses with more multidimensional ones.
The biggest lesson I learned was that the answers or struggles many white transracial adoptive parents eventually will have to come to terms with are the same realities that black parents raising black children deal with. Transracial adoptive parents are craving to find answers on ways to help prepare their black and brown children to grow into successful adults… of color. Sadly, for over forty-five years, the transracial adoption world has looked only in white spaces for these answers. Truly absorbing this reality as a transracial adoptee myself nearly put me in a fetal position. It simply does not make sense!
In Their Voices is an attempt to bring incredible men and women of color into the living rooms of our transracial adoptive families in this country and around the world. It allows the reader to hear from these individuals the challenges they struggle with in raising black children in a society that still measures someone’s character by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character; and how they work to move forward in positive ways going around this obstacles. The reader gets to feel the rhythm of each person I talk with, their intensity around issues of race and discrimination, their joy of who they are, and their deep concern and support of transracial adoptive families. The words of wisdom each one of the people I interviewed shares is of tremendous value to our families. This book for me is a gift to my inner child. It allows me to breathe…
Why does the other anon care so much that we (35+) like a boyband? If we're not supposed to care about them, maybe anon shouldn't care and stop being ageist and just let people like what they like. Seems a little hypocritical to tell people they shouldn't care about something when they care about something that's not hurting anyone.
I’m going to assume the person who sent us that is younger. because one of the biggest lessons you learn about “growing up” is that nothing is like you thought it would be and just because you turn 27 does’t automatically make you all about work and kids and a mortgage. It’s just a number on a calendar.
I just wish people could be nice and mind their own business but we don’t live in that world.
All we can do here at AFOOD is spread positivity and spam you with pictures of 1D.
i want to leave, it would be easy, i don't care about 1d/larry anymore i'm still here only because i need to understand this whole baby thing, i was convinced before it was born that there was no baby or if there was it was not louis' but i'm not that sure anymore and it doesn't matter to me in the end if he has a baby or not, it just bugs me that it makes no sense and i need it to make sense to have some sort of closure but i feel crazy reading all these conspiracy theories and i'm just tired
I understand where you are coming from.
The current situation that we have to put up with reminds me of a long-running TV show that you’ve been watching for years and now you are in Season 8 or even 10 and everything goes off the rails. The plot makes no sense, leading characters act as of they got a personality transplant, there is no continuity, everything looks like a crack fic.
But you invested so much time in it already, you adore the characters and the actors so you keep watching, hoping that they are going to fix everything soon. But it keeps deteriorating, soon it’s the season finale, and it’s still a terrible mess.
Do you keep watching or do you just say screw it and quit, looking for something better to invest your time in? Or do you stay, hoping for better things to come? That’s the question.
God, Sense8 is one of the best things that I’ve ever watched!
I remember finding the trailer completely randomly on my dashboard and getting overly excited because the concept really appealed to me. I mean, people being mentally connected is like, my dream???? + It’s the Wachowksis. It could only be good. I am still not over Cloud Atlas, so like, I was ready to let this show consume my soul.
I’ve watched it in I think three days, if I remember well, and everything was perfect. The concept can seem confusing and a little messy at times but the way it’s filmed is awesome and the lights and the colours are incredible and the characters are all so fucking cUTE. I’ve fallen in love with all the girls the minute they appeared. :’D And they all have these incredible stories and you feel them struggle and they help each other and it’s beautiful.
In a more Serious And Intellectual way, there is something about this show that makes me really happy as a history student, because in geography class last year my teacher talked about the Clash of Civilizations. It was an article published around 1970, about “regions of civilizations”, with like, a “european civilization” and a “muslin civilization” (yeah muslim is a civilization because this thing is actually bullshit) and an “asian civilization” and whatever. And it was used by Americans to justify the war in Irak, like “we can’t just discuss with these people because they’re not like us so they’ll only understand war”, but it’s also used by terrorists to justify attacks on America and Europe because “they’re different and they’re obviously bad and they won’t change so we have to attack them”. I’m not going to explain it in details, I’m just providing context, but basically the article was a pile of bullshit that caused a lot of trouble. And my teacher talked about another book, made by two guys, in reaction to this. And it’s called “Rendezvous of civilizations”, and it’s about the exact opposite: it says that, with time and because we share information very quickly now, countries tend to develop to be more and more alike in terms of politics and social changes, and there are no inherent “civilizations” that would be completely unable to understand each other. And I still can’t explain very well but what I love, about Sense8, is that you have all these characters from all around the world, sharing their experiences and becoming stronger, and it echoes to this idea. And it echoes to the creation of the Internet and how we can now discover ideas from all over the world and become better people all together, and I love that, and this show gives me hope for the future. And it’s important. <3