Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora

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I am so excited to find out about this group for Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora! There are opportunities to volunteer, so I’m gonna check ’em out.

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30 Adoption Stories in 30 Days – Come Meet Your Son

Remember I told you that our foster care – to- adoption story was accepted into the 30 Adoption Stories in 30 Days project?

Well, it’s live!

All told, we were matched and finalized in about a year. We were matched with a healthy newborn with the specific ethnicities that match our family. We worked with amazing social workers (the baby had three over the course of a year) and our super, duper amazing adoption worker. When we started, I would have said that a story like this couldn’t happen. There are a lot of negative ideas out there about adopting from foster care. Those stories may be part of the truth, but they are not the whole truth. This is our story.

Of course there is more to the story. Check out the whole shebang over at Chicago Now.

 

 

Babies Sleeping Door Sign

At least twice a week someone I don’t know comes to my door. They usually ring the doorbell and knock. Loudly. Just now, someone came, uninvited, and rang the doorbell three times in a row. Both of the babies are sleeping. I wanted to hit the person with a brick.

Since that’s illegal, I’ve decided to hang a sign on the door. Perhaps this will get us some peace and quiet.

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Or this one with a wax print background

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Should Black Fathers Kiss Therir Children?

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Anthony Blue, Sr. with his father and son.

 

I ran across this article on BlackDoctors.org that talks about the image above. It says:

“This was a photo that I took for my father last year for Father’s Day. It’s a display of love being passed down through the generations. Our family loves hard and everyone knows it. My father showed unconditional love to me, my twin brother, and my sister, and I want to pass it on to my son. We call it, Blue Love.”- Anthony Blue Sr. [pictured with father Aubrey and son Anthony Jr.).

There were some pretty messed up responses to this photo that I won’t reprint here but suffice it to say that some Black men were NOT feeling this image. BlackDoctor.or says:

In an unofficial poll, a Facebook user conducted a survey of Black men and came with these results:

Out of roughly 179 Black Men:

77% had never had their father say the words “I love you” to them

64% can’t remember the last time they said the words “I love you” to another man

39% think that kissing their father or son can make them “soft” or “less than a man”

24% think there’s nothing wrong with kissing and hugging their father or son

My husband kisses my son all the time but my son is two. When I asked him about this photo he said thought he probably wouldn’t take one like it, he didn’t see anything wrong with a father showing his son that he loves him.

We know that boys and men have just as many feelings and emotional needs as girls and women. When boys learn not to express any emotions beyond anger and happiness, we are setting them up to fail. I hope that this image will encourage other Black fathers to show their kids that they love them.

Furqan’s First Flattop – a book for Black and Latino kids

As a Black and Mexican person with a little boy with an afro with will some day be cut into who knows what kind of style, I look forward to reading this book to him. Better yet, he and his dad can read it together. =)

Furqan Moreno wakes up and decides that today he wants his hair cut for the first time. His dad has just the style: a flat top fade! He wants his new haircut to be cool but when they get to the barbershop, he’s a bit nervous about his decision. He begins to worry that his hair will look funny, imagining all the flat objects in his day to day life. Before he knows it, his haircut is done and he realizes that his dad was right — Furqan’s first flat top is the freshest!

“Furqan’s First Flat Top” is a bilingual children’s book about the love between and father and son, reassurance, imagination, and of course a “flat top”. If you would like to purchase a copy for your library, classroom, office, or home please go to FurqansFirst.com

Toddlers Learn Black Pride by Cartoons

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I am VERY concerned with what my toddler consumes. We don’t have cable and I try to watch every video, show and/or movie he watched before he does. Same goes for books. My partner and my partner’s family think that I’m a bit kooky. Lol

Well, I found out that what I’m doing is exactly right and it’s working! One of the approved videos is a Disney short on John Henry (it’s also on Netflix). This version is problematic (for example, there are two white people that could be seen as “bad” and both are shown in a way that doesn’t allow you to see the color of their skin clearly while the “good” white people populate the short) but has passed by toddler test. Lol

For those of you that don’t know, the legend of John Henry, this version is told by John’s wife to her son. She mentions she and John being enslaved, the emancipation proclamation, setting out to find a place to live, and them finding a railroad that’s offering land to anyone that will work until the line is finished. John Henry is a strong man that’s worked with a hammer his whole life. When the new steam machine shows up, he challenges the machine to a contest. John wins the contest, with encouragement from his wife, but does from the physical exertion. The wife is telling the story to the son from the porch of the house they live in on the land that John got for them. It’s a sad ending but here are the good points of the story:

  • It’s a child-friendly way to explain that many Black people in the US were enslaved.
  • It introduces the concept of the emancipation proclimation.
  • It shows a Black couple that love and support each other.
  • It shows a Black man in a position of leadership.
  • It shows a loving mama and her cute little son.

I wish that John didn’t die but the positive themes are enough to want him to see it … and see it, he does. He watched that video at least two or three times a day. He knows the song and celebrates (while holding his own hammer) when John wins the race.

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Toddlers copy what they see. I’m so happy that he’s copying a wonderful example of a Black man that loves his Black wife. He works hard, but laughs. He’s strong, but gentle. You can say what you want about me being overbearing (and I might agree) but it’s working. It’s really working.

Update Interview for Adoption #2

Our adoption worker came over and we went through the normal adoption questions until we got to ethnicity. She asked what we wanted. I originally wanted:

Gender: Girl

Desire: Black & Latinx

Open to: Black

Don’t want: Caucasian

Which is fine. That’s about what we asked for the last time. After she wrote down the notes, she mentioned that they don’t have enough homes for Black children, especially boys. After that, we told her that we’d take ANY Black child in our age range that needed a home.

Traditionally, Black families adopt kin. We take in our sister’s or brother’s children. We take in our grandkids. We take in a kid that’s already like family anyway. I love that about us but I’d also like more Black families to adopt from strangers from foster care.

In the Black community we like to say that it takes a village to raise a child. I need us to step up and be that village. ALL of our kids need stable, loving homes. I’d rather see a kid in any home rather than no home BUT I’d love to see more Black families (with TWO Black parents) adopting Black children from foster care.