Does My Daughter Feel Different?

I read a lot about how different transracially adopted kids can feel and it always makes me worry.  I like to think that it’s not that big of a deal, but I’m sure that’s a bit of denial talking.  You only have to clink a link on the internet to find a story about how hard it was for someone who grew up with white parents when he/she wasn’t white.  But, still my kids seem ok and I like to think that it helps that there are four of them.  How different can you feel in your home when it’s really your parents who are the “odd” ones? 😉

Even though, I like to be blasé’ about it, I do recognize that it’s something to take seriously and I do.

I particularly worry about Lizzie.  She seems more aware of the difference between herself and others around her than the boys do.  Or, at least, she seems to dwell on it more.  She has a greater tendency to refer to someone by their skin color.   “The white teacher.” “The black lady.”   I don’t know where she gets that from.  I can honestly say that we don’t identify people by their color, unless it’s relevant, so I don’t know why she would feel compelled to.  But, I do point out when I see other transracial families or really any family that is different from the norm.  I do this with the hope that it will make her and the boys feel less different.  But, maybe that’s made her more aware of the differences, instead?

Either way, I use any opportunity that I find to try to make them feel good about themselves (physically) by talking about how pretty their skin is.  Today was no exception.  However, today Lizzie reassured me that she has a positive attitude about the whole thing and isn’t particularly insecure.

I was looking through my Facebook memories (I love those!) and I ran across a particularly amusing picture of Lizzie.  She was a couple of years old and was wearing a Dora The Explorer wig.

She looked so different and so much older than she normally did at that age.

I showed her the picture and she thought it was funny, too.

Then she said, “I looked like I was turning white.”

I didn’t really see it, but I went ahead and agreed that she looked lighter in the picture.  And when she added, “My skin is a lot darker now,” I was ready to pounce on it.

I said, “You’re right, it is darker and it’s so pretty, don’t you think?”

Lizzie casually agreed with a nod and then said, ” Black is cooler than white, anyway.”

Me, not knowing where she was heading with this, said, “Black is pretty cool…”

Lizzie, gesturing towards a poster of Batman on the wall, “Yeah, Batman wears black.  He’s cool.”

She raises a valid point.  Batman really is very cool.

I know that it can’t always be that simple, but, at least for now, I think she’s ok. 🙂

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13 thoughts on “Does My Daughter Feel Different?

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