I have often said that I wished I was “stupid.” But what I really want is to know less and to care less and to think less. What I want is simplicity and the peace that I imagine comes with it. I don’t want to be stupid, I want to be simple.
Adopting a child, internationally, transracially and from a country with diverse, complicated, sometimes barbaric politics and cultural practices is a recipe for inviting turbulence into your life, not simplicity.
Our son has been home only three months but so far we have heard no rude comments. We have had no uncomfortable moments. Our community seems to be unfazed by transracial families. It has been a very soft entry into the world of being a conspicuous family. And yet, a few weeks ago I had THE moment.
I had just finished reading something else depressing. I can’t even remember what it was. It could have been another article about problems in Africa. It could have been statistics on race problems in our own country. It might have been a tale of an unhappy adult adoptee. Regardless of the specifics, I was laying in bed with my son and thought, “Maybe we can just pass him off as our biological son”. This was a real thought. It actually took me a few seconds to realize it wasn’t likely to work, what with our pink tones and his brown tones, people would surely doubt our story. My thoughts did not come from being embarrassed or feeling adoption wasn’t a great way to grow a family. It came from a desire to have my son’s life, my family’s life, be as peaceful and simple as possible.
The more I reflect on this moment, the more I love it. Not because of what it says about the complicated, fractious, and often inhumane world we live in. And certainly not because of what it says about my coping skills and fantasies. But because of what it says about the adoption process. My son is my son, is my son, is my son. My instincts to protect him are the exact same as my instincts to protect my bio daughter. My hopes, dreams and wishes for his future are the exact same as for my bio daughter. And sure, at only 12-weeks into living together I am still often aware of our physical differences. But I also completely and totally forget at times.
This is not an anecdote about love being colorblind, or the responsibilities of a transracial parent. It is testimony of the ability to love a child you have really only just met. And ultimately the knowledge that the gift of that love will far outweigh whatever additional complications arise.
Reality says my life wasn’t simple before. I read, I listen, I worry, I get pissed. Now many more things I care about will be just that much more personal. But the person who is making it personal for me, he is so worth it.