Adoption is More Complex than a Viral Video

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the viral video of a young girl finding out she’s being adopted for her birthday. If not, grab a tissue, and take a look.

I shared this video on my personal Facebook page in hopes that my friends would also share it. I encouraged them to watch it with their children and explain what was happening. I’m sure some kids are familiar with the word adoption. But what does it really mean, and what can this video help teach our children?

Most kids understand that without adoption, some kids will grow up without ever having a mom or dad. Some children may not understand those children will never be exposed to family life, having cousins as friends, a chance to celebrate birthdays or holidays, or simply put, some of those children will never know love. What is also beautiful about this video is a great example of a mixed-race family. Explaining to a child why a mom is white and a child is black can be difficult; having this video as an example makes teaching that lesson much easier. Love is love, regardless of color.

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My husband and I adopted a mixed-race child a few years ago. He’s changed our world, but more importantly, he’s opened our eyes to so many issues in today’s world. Just this past week, my son informed my husband and me that some kids on the playground “won’t let him touch them because he’s brown.” Imagine if people really did explain to their children about love instead of using cliché statements and hoping for the best.

I’m thankful this family shared their experience. When I showed my son, he said “that is the best birthday present ever! She gets a family!” My son truly gets it. He talks about the day we became a family often. He doesn’t see color; he didn’t even know he was brown until someone at school told him. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll know a world where color is an adjective and not a definition, but as parents, we need to be okay having discussions about hard topics. I encourage you to show this video to your kids and start that conversation today. 

NOLA born and raised, Traci moved to Lafayette in 2005 to pursue a career in corporate marketing. She married her husband Ryan in 2010 and adopted her son, now 8, in 2016. Today, along with being a full time mom, she owns and operates a dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility in Lafayette. She and her husband maintain a part-time residence in NOLA, spending weekends "home" visiting family and friends. Avid sports fan, dog obsessed, wanna be distance runner (finishing just one half-marathon), and adoption enthusiast, she looks forward to adding "blog contributor" to her lists of accomplishments.