We see a lot of stories about Western couples adopting children from overseas who need a loving home.
But what about the orphaned children in our own communities?
Mik and Tracy were in their early twenties when they fell in love, decided to get married, and start a family. They couldn’t wait to be parents, and just a year after they were married, their first beautiful daughter, Taylor, was born.
She was born with Down Syndrome, so their parenting journey was a little different than they had originally imagined.
Tracy worked as an Early Childhood educator and her husband, Mik was both a pastor and a business owner. They visited various specialists, met with advocates, went through with evaluations, and prepared themselves in every possible way they could.
Their path required a lot of learning, and quickly, but their daughter thrived.
After fourteen years of wanting another child, they went through the process of fertility testing.
The doctors couldn’t provide a medical explanation, but the results were conclusive… they were infertile.
The news was heartbreaking, but they didn’t let that stop them.
International adoption was complicated, expensive, and unnecessary. They knew there were children in need right there in their own community.
“I remembered the Feed the Need commercials I’d seen as a little girl, thinking to myself these children need a family they deserve a family.” – Tracy
They became foster parents and filled out every inch of the necessary paper work to get started. But when it came to ticking the boxes of what race they preferred their baby to be… they left it blank.
Why should that matter? They just wanted to provide a loving home to any child that was in need.
A month passed where they waited anxiously to hear from Children’s Services about fostering a child.
But eventually, they got the call.
An eight-month-old boy with “dark brown hair and blue eyes” was ready to be fostered. The case worker seemed to hesitate after describing him to his potential foster parents, and then said,
“he’s white… Do you guys think this will work”?
They had no doubt in their minds that they would be a good match, regardless of the difference of their race. They were simply excited to care for a young child again.
The foster system works quickly, and shortly after, the case worker appeared at their door holding the adorable eight-month-old baby, David. She read the details of his case, but forgot to mention some important details.
“She never mentioned what we would have to endure in the time to come.” – Tracy
They quickly learned that being African American foster parents to a white baby would draw far more attention than they ever could have imagined.
Unwarranted and offensive comments started coming their way immediately.
One older white man at the grocery store had the nerve to say, “you must have paid a pretty penny for him.” As if her baby was some kind of accessory.
This wasn’t the only instance, and the couple would grow used to hearing from more and more ignorant people over the years.
Sometimes they would treat the uncomfortable stares as a learning experience, and other times they’d just have to walk away.
Five months after David became a part of their family, they got another life-altering call from Child Services. A six-year-old boy, Dwayne, was in need a home as well. Just as before, without hesitation, Mik and Tracy said yes.
Dwayne was African American, and the difference in the way they were perceived by strangers was visibly different.
There was no uncomfortable staring when they were shopping, no unwarranted comments. Everyone assumed he was their biological child, and kept their opinions to themselves.
Adoption became an option much sooner for Dwayne than David. The couple couldn’t make sense of it since their cases were so similar, and David had been within their care for longer.
The only real, visible difference… was the color of their skin.
“Everyone knew what was happening but no one said a word.” – Tracy
But Tracy and Mik had learned from the advocates they met when raising their first daughter. They learned to speak up.
So they e-mailed, they called, and they documented everything they could. They fought to legally make David a part of their family. They already loved him like one of their own children.
They didn’t want him to go back into the foster care system. He was already home.
“No one ever said it and no one ever outwardly admitted that race was a factor. Our love was a factor too. Our love and determination to show others ‘you don’t have to match to be a family.’ Our love for this little boy who looked nothing like us would win in the end.” – Tracy
In the end, love is what matters most.
Their beautiful family of three has now become a family of six. They successfully adopted both David and Dwayne, and are currently fostering another child.
This incredible family didn’t let anything get in the way of love. And now their story is inspiring other transracial families fight for their rights and against prejudice.
Love matters most!
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Source: Love What Matters