Why Adopt If You Can’t Handle the HARD Stuff?

IMG_5371My parents oldest daughter adopted a bi-racial boy who is a little older than my son.  My son will be ten next month. They have had him since he was younger than one and they are the only parents he has ever known. And I know they love him.

But are they ready for the hard stuff?

I wrote a note to her on Facebook last Fall.  That letter and her response is one of the biggest reasons that I am writing this blog today.  I opened up to her about how I did not like being raised in total racial isolation.  I asked her if she would like living on the East Side of Buffalo, where she would be a minority.  And what did I get for reaching out?


By her AND her daughter.  My niece.  The little kid I used to babysit when I was in high school and she was a baby.  The kid I took for milkshakes when her grades were troubling her.  The kid I allowed to be the Godmother of my third daughter.

Thanks a lot.

But when I unfriended the family, I got told that it was “immature.”  Uh…no, that’s called self preservation.  They have hurt me enough.  I should have cut them off when they lied about the pumpkin party and didn’t invite my children to baby a grown ass man.

(Dear reader…. this is an inside story that I will expound on  later and the reason why they are referred to as My parent’s children and NOT my brothers and sisters – you don’t hurt my children.  Period.)

It made me ask myself why I even accepted her friend request to begin with.

Sometimes I am too forgiving.  She and I have a relationship that is troubled because her family has secrets that I know they are afraid I am going to write about.  That’s just too bad for them.  (That is my anger talking- I haven’t decided if I will write about their deep dark secrets yet – we are no where near that part of the story yet).  But I let down my guard with her.  Again.  And I got burned.  Again.

She refuses to look at the hard questions.

My mother is the same way.  I never felt like I could come to her with the hard issues.  None of the things that I have been talking about are things that I have ever felt comfortable talking to her about.

I have been writing this blog for over a month now and have revealed that some of the things that they did that were very hurtful.

Have they reached out to me?

Not one peep.

Not a word of support.

Not a word or “can we talk about this.”

From anyone.

So basically everything that you have been reading about my growing up – in their minds, this is all MY issue and I have to deal with it.

No wonder I tried to kill myself.  Thank goodness I have my children to ground me and keep me focused.

I will not say that they have never been there for me.  I haven’t gotten to that part of the story either.  But I will and I will highlight how much I appreciated them being there for me.  FINALLY.  But as you can see, it was transient.  It served their purpose of being the heroes.

But for now…. where you at?

And to your daughter… if you won’t even listen to a person who has walked in your son’s shoes, then why did you adopt?

You don’t have a single friend who is Black or of any color for that matter.

No one in the family does.

I am the only person of color that you know.

That’s freaking ridiculous.

And you know what’s more ridiculous?

That I have to write a blog post and tell the entire world how ridiculous you are being.

Seriously, unfriending me because I told you that you may need to look into getting your son into an environment that won’t kill him.

Sorry I cared.

But I will ask again to you and every other White Adoptive Parent out there hiding from the hard questions…..

If you can’t handle the hard stuff, then why adopt?

Don’t give me that crap about love and “would you prefer they be stuck in foster care all their lives” – an honest answer…


Look at my life… drugs, suicide, alcohol abuse, escaping through sex, criminal activity, prison and any other manner.  Emotionally cold and distant.  Guarded and Hypervigilant.

I don’t enjoy a close relationship with anyone from my family and I absolutely hate my hometown and don’t ever intend to return there.

Is that any better than the results of foster care?

And I do love my parents.  Which makes it even more difficult.  Because as I write this blog, I can’t wrap my mind around how people who loved me couldn’t see that I was hurting.  I have it documented all through my journals and writing. But I can forgive them, they were caught up in the turmoil of their one son and his criminal activity.

But I am having a hard time with them not picking up the phone and not wanting to talk now.

Is my love wasted on people who obvious will just turn their backs on me when I ask the hard questions?


About sjwoods318

Mother of six children - five girls and one boy; wife; community organizer, family chauffeur, philosopher, trans-racial adoptee, Deadhead, person of mixed racial heritage, artist, poet, writer who loves to swim, read, and run around with my family.
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4 Responses to Why Adopt If You Can’t Handle the HARD Stuff?

  1. I have known so many people suffer at the well meaning hands of adoptive parents who think that colour blindness is for the best. We all need to grow up seeing positive role models who look like us. A little boy with African American heritage and no guidance from that community is going to grow up into a young black man who has no idea how to deal with the reality of being black. I would be afraid for him the first time he pisses off a cop who will treat him as a threatening black man and not the stupid suburban kid he is underneath.

    • sjwoods318 says:

      Thank you Maggie. Mirroring is extremely important, as well as an honest assessment of the community where you are raising your child. If you know people are racist there, your child will not be exempt.

  2. You have seen this? Too late for your family, but at least you are not alone in sending the message: https://truthoutadoptioncollective.wordpress.com

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